Router-less web-browsing question...
A few years ago a friend of mine who works in IT support came to my house and checked out my computer set-up. He shook his head in disappointment at my computer's vulnerability. He immediately had me download and install Zone Alarm's firewall software (showing me how random computers were routinely pinging mine.) And he highly recommended that I get a router even though I only use one computer in my home. The router would act as a physical firewall which is much safer. I did so without any problem.
Recently, I switched to cable high speed internet. Unfortunately when I did this, having the ethernet go through the router does not work. I tried and tried all different things with tech support on the line, hooking/unhooking while the modem/computer was on/off in every and all possible combinations but it still doesn't work via the router. So, my computer is currently plugged directly into the cable modem riding the information superhighway with no physical barrier.
Another friend of mine has said that while the router is better, the ZoneAlarm software should be fine. I would like to solicit your opinion on the matter. Am I safe or should I get the darn router to work one way or another?