Firewall Software

Gene Severn

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 14, 1999
Messages
77
All,
I will soon be upgrading my home PC with a cable modem connection. The first issue that comes to mind is security. Can anyone recommend firewall software that will work??? I'm still running Windows '95...if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Thanks in advance.
Gene
 

Rob Gillespie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 1998
Messages
3,632
Gene, hop over to www.zonelabs.com and download a copy of ZoneAlarm. Free, easy to use, configurable and it checks all incoming and outgoing traffic. You can pay the $30 licence for the Pro version if you want, but the free copy works really nicely. Short of paying out a load of money, it's probably the best you'll get.
 

Iain Lambert

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 7, 1999
Messages
1,345
I'll second Rob's recommendation for Zone Alarm (in fact its usually me recommending it first). Once you've done so, you might want to head over to Steve Gibson's GRC site where he has tools like Shields Up that will check to see just how vulnerable you are to attack. Even on a 56k modem I see regular attacks logged against my machine, and a friend with cable modem manages to log silly numbers of attacks, mainly against his NetBIOS (Windows sharing) and HTTP ports.
Zone Alarm is almost childishly simple to set up; you just install it and set it running, and then any time a new program on your machine wants to use the net a dialogue box pops up asking you if from now on you want to let it access automatically, ask each time or deny it always. Any port not explicitly opened by a server program just plain doesn't exist as far as the outside world goes.
(edit- fixed the url)
[Edited last by Iain Lambert on August 31, 2001 at 09:54 AM]
 

Bill Catherall

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 1, 1997
Messages
1,560
I've heard reports that Zone Alarm is difficult to uninstall if you later want to remove it to install something else. Any truth to this?
------------------
Bill

 

Rob Gillespie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 17, 1998
Messages
3,632
I haven't heard that myself Bill. What was the cause of the problems? I've never deinstalled ZA (never had cause to).
There are two parts to ZA. There is the application itself and the TrueVector process which runs underneath.
------------------

"One does not simply walk into Mordor."
Rob's Place
 

Bill Catherall

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 1, 1997
Messages
1,560
I can't remember the details of what I read. Basically, the guy was trying to install a purchased firewall and was having problems uninstalling Zone Alarm. After uninstall it continued to create errors with the new software. Somebody then confirmed that Zone Alarm had uninstall problems. Since it was just the one incident and one confirmation, I took it with a grain of salt. Everybody still swears by Zone Alarm, but I still have that one incident in the back of my mind haunting me. I guess if I do run into a potential problem like that then I can just clean out the computer and start over. Not likely to happen, but I don't really mind doing it.
One even bigger concern I have is how the warnings manifest themselves. When someone is scanning your ports, is it just logged in a text file or does a message box pop up? The reason I ask is because my cable modem network is still infected with the Code Red Worm. The cable modem activity lights are constantly blinking even though there's no activity on my end. Even when the computer is turned off. So I'm wondering if it will really hamper my use if I'm going to be constantly closing warning boxes from being scanned by the worm.
Also, can the firewall be configured to stop Javascript pop up windows?
------------------
Bill


[Edited last by Bill Catherall on August 31, 2001 at 12:25 PM]
 

Shayne Lebrun

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 17, 1999
Messages
1,086
Don't listen to Steve Gibson. He's an idiot. www.grcsucks.com is a good place to check. :)
As to firewalling, I'd suggest a hardware solution, such as a linksys or SMC. I use the linksys 4 port, myself, which does NAT, portforwarding and firewalling.
 

todbnla

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 17, 1999
Messages
1,514
Location
39466
Real Name
Todd
Another happy user of Zone Alarm here too

I dont consider any of my data important enought to spend money on hardware beacause I keep all important files on zip discs. This program works fine for me.
------------------
Regards,
Todd

My HT
 

Vince Maskeeper

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 18, 1999
Messages
6,499
Guys,
I have 2 questions:
1) I am running roadrunner and Win98 internet connection sharing on my network. I have one PC working as a "router" essentially, routing internet access to sub-IPs via the ICS system built into windows.
The main machine is the only directly connected to roadrunner, and it contains no info or files other than a copy of win 98 (it really works as a dedicated router doing nothing else).
Do I still need firewall protection? I've read mixed reviews on if people could access sub-IP machines within the network from the main machine.
2) If I do need a firewall of some sort, so I need to run it on the client machines or on the one connected to the net, or both? I'd love to try out zone alarm, or even buy the pro version- but I don't know if it should run on the router in my config, or on the individual machines, or maybe both... and whats more I'm not sure if I need it in the first place.
I've tried to be scanned from my machine on sites like Shield Up and Hacker Whacker, but my IP comes up as invalid becuase it is a LAN IP from within the network; both then give me a blurb saying I'm probably not venurable to attack...
-Vince
------------------
http://www.musicianassist.com
AIM: VinceMaskeeper
Interested in moving into FRONT PROJECTION with huge 6-10 foot widescreen? Buy my whole HDTV-ready CRT based front projection system delivered, cheap! Click here
[Edited last by Vince Maskeeper on August 31, 2001 at 06:15 PM]
 

Dominik Droscher

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 11, 2000
Messages
531
Another vote for Tiny Personal Firewall. It may not be easier than Zone Alarm but it is a lot more configurable. It is also free for non-commercial use (no ads).
------------------
-Dominik Dröscher ICQ: 25318265
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes."
 

Kimmo Jaskari

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 27, 2000
Messages
1,528
Until a few days ago I would have suggested Sygate Personal Firewall. It walks all over Zonealarm (the free version at least) and even Tiny Firewall when it comes to configurability etc. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be working quite right for me when playing online games. It induced choppy traffic and problems when I tried to run Counterstrike. It is however better in all other respects (IMHO obviously) and when I have time I will look into getting it to work right for me. Available free for personal use from http://www.sygate.com http://www.tinysoftware.com
Either will do the job, I'm sure.
As for stopping Javascripts, popups and ads I would suggest Webwasher, at http://www.webwasher.com
------------------
/Kimmo
 

Shayne Lebrun

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 17, 1999
Messages
1,086
Vince,
I'm assuming by 'sub-IP' you mean a private IP range; 10.x.x.x, 192.168.x.x, 172.16.0.x and so on. If so, no, somebody cannot access an internal machine directly, but if they root your router, they can then use it to gain access to your internal network.
 

Forum Sponsors

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
344,881
Messages
4,723,465
Members
141,350
Latest member
conradfan