Trying to install router, want to have Comodo FW, which comes first?

I am a newbie running XP Pro on old desktop connected to old Motorola Surfboard modem through my cable company. A Linksys EG1032 v3 Instant Gigabit Network Adapter Driver is installed in the desktop by the cable company, well actually it was the previous slower PCI card but I upgraded it a few years ago. I was behind a hardware firewall, a DI 604 by D-Link.

Recently, I began using Malwarebytes Pro (paid version), Avast 6 Free, and SuperAntiSpyware (disabled realtime protection). I notice that potentially malicious IP’s are trying to connect and they seem to mostly originate in China. I can see this in the logs from Malwarebytes and they are incoming. I don’t use Skype or Peer to Peer applications.

Now I have just purchased a laptop running Windows 7 and I purchased the Linksys 3200 Dual Band Router with the AE1000 wireless adapter. I need to reach the other end of the house with the wireless signal for the use of my laptop in the kitchen. I thought the dual band would help with the appliance/cordless phone interference. I am thinking I could have my desktop wired and the laptop the only wireless item. I don’t have a cell phone to worry about or TV connections.

The desktop is located at at the opposite end of the house where my only internet connection is so that will have to be my main computer, and like I said, it is running XP Pro and using only the XP Firewall.

I really want to add Comodo Free Firewall (only), but need something that doesn’t have a steep learning curve. A couple of questions…if I like the FW, can I purchase that only?
Do I set up the firewall before installing the router?

I would like to be able to block the malicious sites from contacting me and of course prevent any dialing home if a baddie was to get to me which happened over a month ago which is also why I am no longer using the D-Link as a firewall. (I don’t have the settings and it was a bear to set up even with tech support).

Do I need to disable the PCI Adapter or do anything different with Comodo?

I have searched this forum using the search terms router and firewall and found a few relevant things, but found nothing regarding the settings for Comodo. Mostly it seemed people had trouble with their Linksys and Comodo configurations. Can I use the “easy” settings for Comodo and let it be?

I tried PrivateFirewall but it was too overwhelming…I didn’t know what was a system process and what was dangerous, so I removed it.

Any and all suggestions are welcome! Keep it simple if you would as I am on meds after a knee injury and they make my brain fuzzy.

Thank you all!

Seeing inbound connections in a firewall log, or some other Internet motoring application, doesn’t necessarily mean they are malicious. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that the Internet has a great deal of background ‘noise’ which is more often than not misinterpreted as some ‘hacker’ trying to gain access.

I really want to add Comodo Free Firewall (only), but need something that doesn't have a steep learning curve. A couple of questions....if I like the FW, can I purchase that only?

If you only want the firewall component, there’s no need to purchase the ‘Pro’ version of CIS, as there are no differences, it terms of security or functionality, between the free and paid versions of the firewall.

Do I set up the firewall before installing the router?

No, install and correctly configure your router before configuring the software firewall, as there will be a difference in how the firewall behaves once behind a router.

I would like to be able to block the malicious sites from contacting me and of course prevent any dialing home if a baddie was to get to me which happened over a month ago which is also why I am no longer using the D-Link as a firewall. (I don’t have the settings and it was a bear to set up even with tech support).

The router, if correctly configured, should be preventing unsolicited inbound connections. The primary function of a software firewall, installed behind a router, is to provide control over outbound connections.

Incidentally, functionally, there is very little difference between your old DLink and the Linksys, unless you had the US model, which didn’t support SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) but the DLink is quite old and is now discontinued, so replacing it was probably for the best.

Do I need to disable the PCI Adapter or do anything different with Comodo?

If this is the PCI Network adapter, you should leave it as is.

I have searched this forum using the search terms router and firewall and found a few relevant things, but found nothing regarding the settings for Comodo. Mostly it seemed people had trouble with their Linksys and Comodo configurations. Can I use the "easy" settings for Comodo and let it be?

The firewall in CIS is very configurable and for a lot of people functions without a great deal of manual intervention. Once you have the router configured correctly, you can install CIS - make sure you only install the Firewall, if that is all you desire. After installation, you will receive an alert telling you CIS has found a new network, this will be your home network and you should allow it. It will have an IP address space something like 192.168.1.x/255.255.255.0.

Beyond that, if you leave the default settings, any application that is known and trusted by Comodo will be allowed to connect outbound. Any application that is unknown or untrusted by Comodo should generate an alert. This behaviour can be changed.

I tried PrivateFirewall but it was too overwhelming....I didn't know what was a system process and what was dangerous, so I removed it.

In all honesty, spending a little time reading forums like this and gaining a little knowledge of ‘normal’ processes that typically want to send or receive data, can only help. You can, of course, ask about such connections, here in these forums.