Should the firewall on my Mac be turned on or off?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jusacruiser, May 16, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    jusacruiser

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    #1
    Should the firewall on my Mac be turned on or off? And why?

    Thanks! :confused:
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    John T

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    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Jolly Giant

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Location:
    Hamburg, Germany
    #3
    depends.

    most modern routers (including Apple's airport base stations and time capsule) have a hardware firewall. if you're computing behind one of those and have your network properly secured (WPA2 in conjunction with a long, non-dictionary password), there is no need to run your Mac's software firewall.

    when out and about, otoh, it would be prudent to turn it on.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    jusacruiser

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    #4
    If I am not sure what type of router protection I have, can I just leave it on full time? It won't hurt anything, right?
     
  5. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #5
    Correct; unless you're trying to do something fancy, it won't hurt anything.

    If you use BitTorrent, some clients may require manually opening ports on the firewall, but that's about it for common situations.

    And of course, if you DO have some problem that you think might be the firewall's fault, it takes all of ten seconds to turn it off and see if that was actually the issue. I tend to leave mine on even though my router blocks incoming traffic, just in case (and, in the case of a laptop, so I don't forget to turn it on when away from home).
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Jolly Jimmy

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    #6
    It wouldn't surprise me if most users leave it at the default off position without experiencing any problems.
     
  7. macrumors 601

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #7
    Coming from a Unix background I don't trust Apple's simple firewall GUI. I personally use the Unix built in command firewall (that has been improved over 30+ years) called ipfw. However one enterprising Mac developer made a to free programs to use the command line ipfw with the the free GUI's WaterRoof (for advanced users) & NoobProof (for basic users). With these free GUI's you can use the much better built-in ipfw firewall that is much more secure than Apple's built in GUI.

    I nor ashamed to say I use NoobProof for my Mac Book pro coffee shop visits.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    jusacruiser

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    #8
    I turned my basic Apple firewall on, and will wait and see if that is good enough. It has already stopped the tons of cookies that came to my Mac in minutes like it were open house. I will also check out your noobproof suggestion. thanks.
     
  9. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #9
    A firewall only blocks incoming connections (and more specifically, incoming connections to services that aren't configured to accept incoming connections on the computer), so won't make the slightest bit of difference in whether a cookie is accepted by your browser or not--cookies are only sent in response to requests, and that's controlled entirely in the browser's preferences. In the case of Safari, for example, it's under Security -> Accept Cookies.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Morod

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Location:
    On The Nickel, over there....
    #10
    Since you have the firewall on, go to System Prefs>Security>Firewall.
    Click the lock in the lower left corner to make changes, then click the Advanced button. Make sure the bottom box is checked, the one titled Enable stealth mode. It adds a bit more stealth to the firewall.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    jusacruiser

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    #11
    Ok, I have checked off the Stealth box. Nothing bad has really happened to me on the internet, but I just want to be sure that my computer is not a free for all.

    Thanks!
     
  12. macrumors member

    alexstrider18

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Location:
    dublin , ireland
    #12
    hi i got the firewall turned on from the get go ,.. but only the other day i released that the finder ,. app hard an incoming connection to the system ,.. ?? why would it need it ,. ?? isn't it only apps that request out side or other server info that usually get allowed ,.. ??
     
  13. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Can you rephrase your question? It's a bit hard to understand.
     
  14. macrumors member

    alexstrider18

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Location:
    dublin , ireland
    #14
    :) well i got a load of probs with my old mbp, and got a new replacement one,. only the other day,.. well long story short some of the old probs came back with a system reboot,.. and i noticed that in the ( security ) (firewall ) ADVANCED settings ,.. that in the box of allowed connections was the FINDER app,.. !!?!? ,..... now from what i thought i knew .. finder is a system blueprint,. ! ,.. right ,.. so why would it need to be allowed access from an INCOMMING SERVER ??!!

    like i had loads of probs with the old mbp,.. and i think i just restored all the old probs back up to my new machine ,. :-/
     
  15. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #15
    Finder is used to search/browse files/folders on local and remote drives, including FTP. For that reason, it may need internet access.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #16
    I've had my firewall off the whole time of having a MacBook Pro (almost 4 years all together). Never had any kind of issue.
     
  17. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #17
    While you may not have had any issues, it's still wise to turn it on.
     
  18. macrumors member

    alexstrider18

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Location:
    dublin , ireland
    #18
    ,.. so external drives ,. would that be like my time capsule and the router,. !!
    cause i don't have any other servers set up ? and I'm really pissed over this whole thing ,.. I've had a year of probs from the old mbp,.. and I'm starting to get them again with the new machine ,.. and I'm just so fed up ,.. fell like dumping a all my data ,.so as not to just bring in any old corruption ,. !! and thats 55 GB of photos and 22GB of movies ,. and a few separate apps as well ,. !! I'm afraid some one delated some integral settings on the old macbook,..and that they have now been restored to the new one,. is that possible
     
  19. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #19
    Yes.
    No, the router is not a drive.
    What kind of problems? It's hard to offer help if you don't provide more detail about what problems you have.

    How to maximise your MacRumors troubleshooting experience
     
  20. macrumors member

    alexstrider18

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Location:
    dublin , ireland
    #20
    It's hard to offer help if you don't provide more detail about what problems you have.

    :) sorry i tend to carry on a bit ,. so was trying really hard to keep it all simple,.. but here it goes,.
    on the old macbook iPhoto would stutter , close down and need to be force shut down ,.. and it happened with safari , and iMovie and just about all the apps i had even system preferences needed to be force shut down once or twice,. and thats just the sort wear probs ,.. i had a new battery, screen ,logic board,.the SSD needed to be reseeded twice ,.. and the reason i got a new replacement ,. { like i shouldn't have gotten one sooner !:-/} was the graphics card was gone ,. the cabe for the SSD needed to be replaced and the track board !!! ,..
    funny thing was between all the fixes it was in there shop about one ever two months and was passing most of the MRI.S and the over test it was put on ,..
    but the probs are here again ,. !! like needing to force quit apps and the pages when moving them around stuttering ,.. and apps going INTO THE HEAD BAR on the TOP of every page,.. then popping out to where they are supposed to be ,. ,.and ,. the other prob is memory ,.. i seem to be eaten g loads of it ,.. !! with everything closed ,. nothing running ,.. it stands on { 3.88 GB USED } like why and where is it using all that memory with NOTHING running ,.. i was lucky enough to get the 8 GB ram when i bought it ,.. so what the hell would i have done if it was just 4 GB ,. ???! :-/ :)
     
  21. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #21
    Which apps do you force quit, and what are you trying to do at the time they hang?
    I'm not sure what you mean by this.
    Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes", then click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top). Also, click on the System Memory tab at the bottom. Then take a screen shot, scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot and post them.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    #22
    If'n u is connectered up to dat there dang internettiin thingy, u should have da furwally thingy turned up as far as u can get it to, yeppers u should, uh huh, fur sure I sayz oh yea, I do :eek:
     
  23. macrumors member

    alexstrider18

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Location:
    dublin , ireland
    #23
    I'm not sure what you mean by this.

    Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes", then click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top). Also, click on the System Memory tab at the bottom. Then take a Screenshots

    ill have to send that on in a while ,.. I'm using iMovie and ,. iPhoto and safari at the moment and the ,.. reading is like 50 mb free space on the 8 GB of ram ,.. so it well taxed ,.. loads of page out ,. and I'm deleting the =trash as well thinning down the folders any bad movies or pics that were pixalated got dumped,.. hoping to strop the glitches when i import the folders after a full system reboot ,.. !!!:-/ heres how it looks for now ,.. /Users/alexstrider18/Desktop/Screen Shot 2012-03-12 at 16.09.19.png
    /Users/alexstrider18/Desktop/Screen Shot 2012-03-12 at 16.10.01.png
    /Users/alexstrider18/Desktop/Screen Shot 2012-03-12 at 16.10.14.png

    heres one from earlier on and all i had open was the disk utility and finder ,.
    /Users/alexstrider18/Desktop/Screen Shot 2012-03-12 at 13.26.46.png
     
  24. macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #24
    Read the last two words in my last post and click the link. That will show you how to post pics.
     
  25. macrumors member

    alexstrider18

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2011
    Location:
    dublin , ireland
    #25

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