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I'm currently using Comodo Firewall along with Avira antivirus. The new update for Avira also includes the firewall with the free plan and its enabled by default.

Do I need to enable both on my Windows 10 system? I think Comodos firewall will be much stronger than Aviras.

  • Not sure about the products themselves. But in general you don't want two firewalls or AV (or anything similar) running on one host. You can get into a number of issues. – ISMSDEV Nov 17 '17 at 13:36
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No. To be clear, you should not use more than one firewall per computer. Choose the best choice you can, meaning the one which offers the best comprehensive protection against network-based attacks, on a per-network basis. I don't think you should exclude your other options.

In fact, don't necessarily use this as an example but many home networks go without firewalls on local workstations, with the exception of perhaps one in the form of home router/modem combination. It's generally accepted that the most significant risks are external/public facing or are facilitated by entirely different components such as the USB controller, and firewalls can be seen as a nuisance to some.

I have virtual machines installed. Each virtual machine has its own connection to a virtual network. If I were to install firewalls on each virtual machine, this would probably bottleneck the network connectivity I have between the host OS and guest OSes. I wouldn't recommend installing a firewall onto a VM instance, unless it's a commercially hosted VM instance, and even then your host provider might have a perfectly usable external firewall for you to try out!

  • Yes agree with you on the VMs . What about Windows firewall does that need to remain on ? – Nigel Fds Nov 17 '17 at 6:16
  • @NigelFds If there's an option to disable it, then obviously it doesn't need to remain on. However, there may be significant security risks associated with not having at least your typical home router or firewall between any of your machines and the publicly routable internet. – autistic Nov 17 '17 at 6:49
  • If you have an IOT device connected to your network, or a child or someone else you don't necessarily trust with securing their device, then it might be pertinent to protect your machine with host-based firewall. – Lie Ryan Nov 17 '17 at 12:22
  • @LieRyan Put them in the DMZ ;) – autistic Nov 18 '17 at 1:20
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No. Never try to use more than one firewall per Operating system. It will not function correctly (or at all) and problems will be extremely difficult to trace, in the case that a combination does function simultaneously.

Good anti-virus solutions have the option to 'assimilate' the Windows Firewall, so practically they will overwrite the Windows Firewall settings and the old Firewall rules will be manageable from the anti-virus. Trying to access Windows Firewall, may result (depending on the used anti-virus) on a message saying something like 'Your firewall settings are controlled by the anti-virus'. This is specially used in centralized management cases (AV server and AV clients), but can be seen for single-systems too.

To conclude: only one Firewall control mechanism should be active on one system. Decide on the best one and use it, while letting anything else similar disabled.

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