About Plusnet's Broadband Firewall
Broadband firewall FAQs
What's the broadband firewall?
It's an easy way to protect your broadband connection and the computers using it. If you've got it on, it'll block unwanted connections from the web and protect you against hackers and other Internet nasties.
Firewalls will deal with most potential problems, but they can't solve everything. So we recommend you use it with anti-virus and anti-spam software e.g. Plusnet Protect to keep yourself as secure as possible.
Do I have to pay for Plusnet's Broadband Firewall?
You won't have to pay a thing for it. We want to do everything we can to keep you safe online.
I've got a firewall on my computer as well – do I need both?
Our Broadband Firewall aims to stop unwanted Internet traffic before it gets anywhere near the software on your computer. Most PCs and laptops come with a firewall already up and running. We recommend leaving it active. Have a look at the manufacturer's instructions for more info.
Can I change the firewall settings?
What do the different basic settings do?
There are three basic settings. Here's what each one does.
This turns off your firewall completely. All Internet traffic will be able to reach your network and devices. We only recommend this one if you have to turn it off to test a connection problem.
On this setting your firewall will give you good protection. It'll stop most malicious traffic while still letting more normal Internet traffic through. You'll need to use this if you're using VPN software because it won't work if your firewall's set to High.
If Broadband Firewall has been set on LOW, this is to protect your router from inbound traffic on the following Internet PORTS:
53, 111, 135, 137, 138, 139, 445, 515, 1080, 1433, 3128, 3306, 6000
These ports are generally not used by home or small-business users and your connection is made safer by having them blocked before they reach you.
This setting blocks all unauthorised incoming traffic, so no external source will be able to connect to your network or your devices. Software updates and administrative traffic for Plusnet-provided routers will still be allowed.
It will stop some things working, such as certain apps, VPN software or active FTP sessions. So if you need to use one of those, switch your firewall back to Low.
What about the advanced settings?
Advanced settings won't give you more protection than the basic ones, but they're handy if you want to have more control over what's blocked and what isn't.
Block common ports
This setting blocks all traffic to common ports below 1024. Those are normally used for things like emailing.
Block common ports except HTTP and HTTPS
This setting blocks all traffic to common ports below 1024, except for ports 80 and 443. That means you can block incoming traffic but also run a web server. You won't need this if you're just browsing sites online.
Block common ports except SMTP
This setting blocks all traffic to common ports below 1024, except for port 25. That means you can block incoming traffic but your emails will get through. You won't need this if you're just sending and receiving email using a desktop email application.
Block common ports except HTTP, HTTPS and SMTP
This setting blocks all traffic to common ports below 1024, except for ports 25, 80 and 443. That means you can block incoming traffic but still run a web server and your emails will also get through. You won't need this if you're just browsing sites online or sending and receiving email using a desktop email application.
Can I customise the settings to block specific ports?
Our firewall settings aren't fully customisable. But if you want to set up stricter rules, you can run your own firewall as well.
Why can't I see the changes I've made?
The change will be made straight away on our network. But you'll need to restart your router to see it.
I've changed my settings and now my computer isn't working properly – what can I do?
Sometimes, some programs and software don't work properly when you change your firewall settings. If that happens, try changing to the Low option in Basic Settings.
Or try lowering your firewall settings in stages, restarting your broadband connection every time. If you've turned your firewall off completely and you're still having trouble, then the problem might not be to do with your firewall.
If that doesn't work, get in touch with your software provider.
I'm having trouble transferring files (via FTP), is the Broadband Firewall causing it?
This might be because of the settings in your file transfer software. This type of software gets data in two different ways, Passive or Active. If possible, switch the settings to Passive, instead of Active. If you need to keep using Active, switch your broadband firewall to Low.
Will the Broadband Firewall cause problems with my Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
A VPN is a secure connection into a corporate or business network. VPN connections might be blocked by the Broadband Firewall, but it'll depend which type you're using. If your VPN is blocked, reset your firewall to Low and then restart your router.