Im getting DSL, whats a good firewall?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Boyd, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. Michael Boyd

    Michael Boyd Second Unit

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    I've looked online at various reviews on usenet and amazon. Some seem contradictory of each other as far as what is offered and the degree of protection. It all seems to be personal taste.

    I'll be running XP. I just want something easy and something I don't have to think about too much. Do the firewalls block the peer to peer programs like Morpheus? I haven't gotten into that stuff before, but always thought I might when I got broadband. Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Nick L

    Nick L Second Unit

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    XP has a built in personal fire wall. Use that its free!

    Nick L
     
  3. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    I use a hardware firewall in the form of a router. Being a heavy gamer, I didn't want excess software running in the background. As I understand it, it will not protect against peer-to-peer apps.
     
  4. Thom B

    Thom B Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out Zone Alarm. It's free, and very effective. I have it running on three boxes, two running xp pro and one running .net advanced server. In the past I've run it on 2k pro, Me, and 98. It's proven effective and intuitive for the year and a half, or so, that I've been running it. No successful attacks against any of my boxes in that time, though there have been a number of attempts according to the log files.
    T
     
  5. Oscar W

    Oscar W Stunt Coordinator

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    I tried Zone Alarm, but it killed my DSL connection for a week. [​IMG] Many others have used it and are happy with it though.
    I am currently running Sygate Personal Firewall. For the past month I have had no problems and really enjoy it. Easy to use, set-up and is unobtrusive.
    There is a downloadable Personal version for free and a Pro version for $$. Not sure of the differences, I'm satisfied with the Personal Version.
     
  6. Jeff R.

    Jeff R. Stunt Coordinator

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    The built in firewall in XP is very limited and shouldn't be used by itself. ZoneAlarm is a great program and offers a lot of protection. I personally use a SonicWall SOHO2 hardware firewall which has VPN, Anti-virus, and highly customizable filtering. It's nice because I can protect all the computers in my house without having to worry about software on each one.
     
  7. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    The main drawback of the XP firewall is that it only blocks incoming traffic. This is, naturally, your major concern, but ZoneAlarm or any other decent firewall will allow you to spot unauthorised Trojan or Spyware activity. Mind you, since one of people's big concerns with XP is the amount of data that Microsoft might be getting when it reports home, its hardly surprising they didn't do this.

    Morpheus is going to drill a big security hole straight through most firewalls, though, as its whole principle is to allow people access to what you're sharing. I know Kazaa has also got in trouble recently for hiding spyware in it, and apparently some of the other clients do as well. This paragraph is mainly paranoia, but its enough to stop me from installing this sort of thing; I much prefer a private ftp server for those I know instead, if files are going to be passed around.
     
  8. Michael Boyd

    Michael Boyd Second Unit

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    This is going to be a newbie question . . .be kind

    The DSL service comes with a USB modem. Can I just bypass that and go directly into the ethernet card my computer will have? That is if I dont get a router/hardware firewall which Im seriously looking at now. Like the gaming coments on that.
     
  9. ozric_smith

    ozric_smith Agent

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    You will need a DSL router. You can not just plug stright into your computer unless you get a DSL card. Computer security is a process, not just a firewall.
     
  10. Tom Lowden

    Tom Lowden Agent

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    If you want an effective, easy-to-use product and you're willing to spend ~$50, Norton Internet Security is a very good program which includes Norton Personal Firewall. You can have it automatically manage your firewall or you can pick very specific settings if you really know what you're doing. I highly recommend it if you're not wanting to buy a router (~$80).

    Otherwise, you may want to think about getting a router. A router will give you the ability to connect MANY computers to your high-speed connection simultaneously, it will act as a firewall, and since it handles these tasks, your computer will run faster than if it is running a firewall program.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Rob FM

    Rob FM Second Unit

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    I don't think anyone's mentioned Tiny Personal Firewall yet, so I'll throw that out there.
    Of course it's software based, but it lets you know when things are going out/coming in your computer. Better to stop attackers with "Hardware" than letting them get all the way to your hard drive, but if you have to go the software route Tiny's pretty good and it's free!
    A "Yahoo!" search will bring up the homepage.
    Good Luck,
    ~Rob
    EDIT: corrected spelling
     
  12. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    My girlfriend works for a local charity, and they are looking to upgrade their office's ISDN line to ASDL, because as well as being faster its also cheaper. They have a bunch of spare Pentiums lying around, and even if they can't scavenge a second network card from a second machine network cards are hardly expensive.

    So, since they listened to me so much when I mentioned the importance of a firewall, it looks like I'm going to be roped into turning a machine into a firewall for them, as forking out for a router isn't something you do if you can avoid it and you run off donations.

    As I've not actually done this before (my experience stretches to installing Zone Alarm on the firewall front), does anyone have any recommendations to make? I've seen Smoothwall exists, and a mate in the US runs his Cable firewall off a 486-with-a-floppy Linux installation that is a neat trick, but does anyone have any other recommendations as to what to try?
     
  13. Jon_R

    Jon_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Iain -
    Smoothwall is quite great, I run it and really like it. Do you have any experience with linux? If not, that is probably ok as the install is fairly straight-forward. Here is what I have for my firewall.
    p90, 32meg ram, 2 nics, 1.2 gig hd.
    My firewall blocks incoming traffic, forwards ports to my internal web server, caches web pages, monitors traffic and puts them into pretty little graphs, as well as a host of logging features. You can setup a very secure site using the different types of networking options that are available.
    Once it is set up, all options can be configured via the web interface. It is a small iso download, bootable cd, burn it and your on your way.
    There are other ways to install too, if you can't burn it.
    check it out www.smoothwall.org Let us know how it goes!
    Jon
     
  14. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the recommendation. I've installed and played with Linux a bunch of times, and I use it and a whole pile of other Unixes at work, but I've never had to set up an ASDL firewall before so this does sound great. Time to break out the blank CD then...
     
  15. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    I've tried tons of them, but Tiny and Sygate were the two front-runners IMHO. The lastest Tiny however has the bad taste to crash on occasion for me, and I also had instances where when I had locked the screen the requesters for what to do with some types of traffic popped up as clickable anyway.

    So, I'm back to Sygate 4.2 and am going to stick with this.

    Norton isn't bad, but it's bloatware now compared to how it was at first. It started out as a nifty program called @Guard which truly rocked. I'm not that impressed with what Symantec has done with it though... and last I checked there were some rules permitting ads on certain pages (NIS can filter ads and cookies too) you couldn't remove. So, no NIS for me.
     

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