Do I even need a fire­wall?

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

I have a Retina 5K iMac that’s eight months old. Since I turned on the fire­wall a few weeks ago, there is a warn­ing mes­sage af­ter log-on: “Ap­pli­ca­tion ccpd wishes to have ac­cess, ac­cept or deny”. I al­ways deny per­mis­sion but I’d like to know what this ap­pli­ca­tion is and whether ac­cess should be granted. Se­condly, is it best to have the fire­wall on? Clif­ford Moisey I’m pretty sure ccpd is a Canon prin­ter driver and it is prob­a­bly try­ing to open a net­work con­nec­tion so it can check for up­dates. Al­low­ing it is safe (it was al­ready do­ing this be­hind your back any­way, be­fore you en­abled the fire­wall) but you shouldn’t nor­mally need the OS X fire­wall en­abled either. Your home broad­band router has its own fire­wall built in and this will al­most cer­tainly be more than ad­e­quate. You can test this for your­self at grc.com/shield­sup. Run the on­line di­ag­nos­tics there, in par­tic­u­lar the ‘All Ser­vice Ports’ test. If all your ports show green in this test with­out the OS X fire­wall turned on then your iMac is in­vis­i­ble to the rest of the in­ter­net any­way, and there is noth­ing to be gained by turn­ing the fire­wall on.

You re­ally only need an ex­tra fire­wall on your Mac if you’re run­ning some­thing that specif­i­cally expects ad­di­tional in­com­ing con­nec­tions (like a web server) or you are con­cerned about hack­ing at­tacks from within your own home net­work. If you just want to keep out hack­ers from the wider in­ter­net, the router’s fire­wall is plenty.

If all ports show green in this test then your router’s fire­wall has a clean bill of health.

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