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chas_m

 
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Member Since: Jan 22, 2010
Location: Victoria, BC
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Mac Specs: 2012 MBP, Black speakers, Black Benq second monitor, black(ish) iPhone 5s, Black 2012 iPad, etc.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
That assumes the machine never leaves the internal network. If it does, particularly if it travels to public networks (at a Starbucks or a Hotel, for example), you're going to want it turned on.
Nope.

Starbucks uses a router as well. So does the hotel. Indeed, so does everyone with broadband. This is simply not an issue for Mac owners, because the things you should be conscious of regarding security on a public network (unencrypted passwords, etc) are not dealt with by a software firewall. At all.

Quote:
It won't hurt anything to have both a software and hardware firewall turned on,
Actually, it does. Conflicts between ports open/closed on the software vs hardware firewall are a constant issue with people who want to do things like use iChat, or p2p, FTP, VPN, Hulu, or certain SMTP setups (and that's just for starters). On a basic level (surfing, most email) you're not likely to have a problem with two firewalls on -- but beyond that you can easily and quickly run into conflicts. So really its best to just keep the software firewall off all the time (unless you are somehow using a highspeed connection directly and no router & its attendant hardware firewall are present -- in that case, yes you should use a software firewall).

This is WHY Apple does not ship OS X with the software firewall turned on.

Here's a couple of Windows-based (and remember, security is WAY more of an issue with them than it is with us) responses to the question "do I need the software firewall if I have a hardware firewall?"

Do i need a software firewall if i have a router? - Neowin Forums

Do I Need a Firewall?

You will see this basic answer again and again: if you (or the hotspot you are connecting to is using a router that's not 20 years old, then it is already doing everything a firewall can do for you. More firewall ≠ better.
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