I’ve seen a couple computers recently that had multiple firewalls running at the same time.
This is not a good thing.
You don’t have to uninstall a firewall when you install a new one (at least, most of the time), but you do need to turn off the old one.
If you have just the Windows XP Firewall running, you need to turn it off if you install any other firewall, such as the Norton Internet Security one, Trend Micro’s, McAfee’s or my favorite, the Sunbelt Personal Firewall.
Similarly, if you have Norton’s, Trend Micro’s, McAfee’s or Sunbelt’s Personal Firewall and you want to run a different firewall, you need to turn off the firewall function in the current program. That doesn’t mean you have to uninstall Norton, Trend Micro, McAfee, or SPF — they all have the capability to turn off just the firewall portion. You just don’t want to have multiple firewalls running at the same time.
Often, the multiple firewalls will let your computer access the Internet all right, even if you’re accessing via a local network such as a home network. But, having multiple firewalls running will almost always prevent you from sharing files and printers across your home network.
For some people, that’s not a problem — they just want independent computers to access the Internet. Most of us, though, want to access files on the other machines, copy files to other machines, and share printer access. Even if each computer has its own printer, there will be times where you’re out of ink or out of laser toner. I use Karen’s Replicator (free) to back up my data to another computer on my network.
So, whichever firewall program you use, make sure you’re only running one. And, if you’re not running a firewall program, start now.
I recommend the Sunbelt Personal Firewall pr the firewall that’s part of Sunbelt’s VIPRE Antivirus Premium for anyone running a computer that accesses the Internet. Whether you use dialup, cable, dsl or a network connection, you need a two-way firewall program that runs on your computer.