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I have Windows Firewall, a hardware (router) firewall, and McAfee Firewall installed and running on my PC, which seems to slow it down.  Do I need to have all this security running concurrently?  This also holds true for spyware, etc.
4 Solutions
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Never hurts to have too much security, but duplication can reduce performance. I have found the McAfee and Symanetec security suites tend to reduce performance, especially Symantec's. McAfee is a good product, though behind a hardware firewall many will tell you you do not need a software firewall, it is good protection from a virus spreading internally over your local LAN. I would disable one or the other, the Windows or McAfee. McAfee will give you more protection than the Windows, but it will affect performance more.
The same applies to Spyware applications. One is good, but multiple versions will affect performance and can even cause problems.
Don't use more than one software firewall on your PC. I usually leave it at the builtin XP firewall, but if you need better protection, turn that off and use the McAfee version. Don't turn off the Router's firewall though, that won't reduce the PC's performance.
McAfee Firewall is too mushc heavy for cpu usage and memory, get Free Zone Alarm if you are interested in using a third party firewall

though i really feel that if you are a cautious user, using only Windows Firewall is enoguh :)
I agree with RobWill and rindi, the hardware firewall is likely sufficient, just ensure there isn't any firmware updates for it from the manufacturer that might close severe vulnerabilities... after that, and if you are extremely cautious, one software firewall is more than sufficient...

The next version of McAfee is much faster and less intrusive... I'm participating in the beta found here:

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