Is an Outbound Firewall Needed?

Isn’t an outbound firewall really important in many situations? I deliberately installed a free version of a key logger on my system and ran thorough scans through my anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. But the running key logger wasn’t detected even though the key logger icon was right there in the system tray.

You have said that when an outbound firewall stops something it is already too late. But don’t you think outbound firewall might stop a key logger from at least sending logs to an email or remote computer? Or would it not?

A firewall with outbound detection can be of use, but you’ve captured my thoughts already: if it detects something, in a way it’s already too late: your machine is infected.

Let’s review what outbound firewalls are, why I rarely recommend them, and perhaps why your key logger wasn’t detected.

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Can a Virus Spread Over a Local Network?

I share my LAN with my mother; she’s not always the most prudent about avoiding malware, no matter how much I try to drill into her head. Over time, and many, many virus cleanups, I’ve become worried about malware spreading through the LAN to my computer. Is this possible and if so, is there any way to avoid it besides the double-router method? 

It is absolutely possible for malware to spread through your LAN to your computer.

In fact, I’ve heard horror stories of malware that makes it past one person’s defenses to infect a single machine … and from that machine, move on to infect an entire small business’s network.

In situations like yours, a two-router solution can be a fine approach to protecting your computers. But yes, it can be a little complex to set up, and there are side effects. Fortunately, there are simpler ways to avoid spreading malware.

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Do I Need a Firewall, and If So, What Kind?

I keep hearing about “firewalls” for my computer and that there are different types. Do I need one? If I do, what kind of firewall do I need?

The very short, very easy answer is: hell yes! Absolutely, positively you need a firewall.

With all that happens on the internet these days, it’s simply too risky to let your computer sit “naked” on the internet unless you really know what you’re doing. The real question is what kind of firewall do you need?

The very good news these days is that it’s very likely that you’re already behind a firewall and don’t need to do a thing.

But you should make sure.

Read moreDo I Need a Firewall, and If So, What Kind?