This is going to start a debate. Even if you are protected by a router that sits between your computer and the Internet, you still need a firewall. Now some people will disagree, so let’s look at this in very simple terms.

The reason for bringing this subject up now is that some returning university / college students are being told that their Internet connection is protected by a router. The reasoning goes that there is a hardware firewall, so why would you need a software firewall? The easy answer is that you want to maximize your protection.

Let’s say you stumble upon a malicious Web site. A self-installing malware program might escape detection by the router, install itself, and be broadcasting information from your machine. The hardware firewall could mistake this as legitimate traffic. If you have a software firewall, it increases your chances of detecting unusual activity on your machine.

We have been recommending a firewall that was formerly known as the Kerio Personal Firewall. Now, it is called the Sunbelt Personal Firewall. Not all firewalls are the same — they differ in efficiency. The Sunbelt Personal Firewall blocks unwanted traffic that is incoming but it also monitors what leaves from your machine. That cannot be stressed enough.

Outgoing information may be your confidential data, which might set you up as a victim of identity theft. It could be that your computer has been compromised and is now a part of a bot spamming operation. A good firewall, which monitors the outgoing traffic, will give you an additional chance at catching some infection that has occurred on your machine.

This offers expires on September 17, 2009. The Sunbelt Personal Firewall is really a gift at ten dollars. Yes, it is only ten dollars when you use this link and the coupon code SPFLOCKERGNOME.

At this price, the Sunbelt Personal Firewall is affordable to even cash-strapped students at this time of year. We understand that you are spending a small fortune on books and fees, however, you can’t buy a decent-sized pizza at this price; it will give you the computer protection that you need.

It’s fine that you are behind a router and, it can be hoped, it is configured properly. There are advantages to having a software firewall — your academic year is too important not to have one. And this one is one of the best; many Gnomies have used this program for years. We can recommend this program without any reservations whatsoever. Maximize your protection (and thanks to the Sunbelt folks for this bargain for our readers)!