broadband windows xp firewall

  shep666 13:15 01 Jan 2004

I have just started with tiscali 5x broadband and as the speed varies between very fast and appalingly slow I checked out the tiscali site. On there under the xp connectivity it says that you should disable the xp firewall protection.

If I do that, what firewall protection do I have and is this likley to be causing the speed problems?


  AubreyS 13:22 01 Jan 2004

I don't think that the protection is good enough in XP to worry about. I don't use it.

  steve0 13:23 01 Jan 2004

No - its a load of rubbish from Tiscali - they will blame anyone except themselves. Check out the forums on their homepage - Broadband problems.

I am one of the lucky ones who have been with Tiscali for 8 months and have had no problems, other that a few days when for a couple of hours speed was slow. Might have been due to BT. But many people have had problems - it isn't with the Firewall. I use Zone Alarm, but friends of mine with Tiscali use the Microsoft one without problems.

I wouldn't go on line without a firewall!

  Forum Editor 13:29 01 Jan 2004

is not particularly good - it only monitors inbound traffic, and would completely ignore a Trojan that was connecting with an external computer for instance. For this reason you would not be losing too much by disabling it, and you would probably notice a slight (emphasis on slight) speed increase. There's only one way to find out, and that's to do it.

Speed problems on broadband connections can have a variety of causes:-

1. Bandwidth contention - that's where many people connect at the same time to the same Home gateway at the service provider's end of the connection. With the BT ADSL system the contention ratio is supposed to be set at 50:1 which means that no more than 50 people can be 'in contention' for the same bandwidth at the same time. The more people who connect, the slower the downstream speed of each person's service.

2. Line quality - The quality of your BT landline is absolutely critical, and as line quality degrades so does the broadband service.

3. Phone extensions and other devices connected to the same line in your house. Things like fax machines and answering machines may affect the ADSL service - it's not the most likely cause with modern devices, but it can happen.

Try disabling the firewall and take it from there. Come back and let us know what happens, and if necessary we'll see what other steps you could take.

  Forum Editor 13:37 01 Jan 2004

Don't worry about being online without a firewall - at least for a few days while you experiment. The chances of anyone trying to get into your computer are so slight as to be not worth worrying about, and there's no reason to become obsessed about it.

Many people use the internet quite happily without any firewall protection or any problems. I'm not suggesting that everyone should do it - just trying to put things into perspective. There's a great deal of unnecessary gloom and doom spread about on the subject, and much of it is totally unfounded.

  shep666 21:23 06 Jan 2004

I have removed the firewall and it does not appear to have made a difference although I notice that Tiscali have been reporting problems due to maintenance work over the weekend.

I have also tried it with our cordless phones disconnected to see whether that made a difference, but again for some periods everything appeared to work well.

During today it kept dropping out in outlook express and IE, but was alright earlier tonight, with phones connected.

I have changed the filters from those supplied by Tiscali just in case it was them, again no chnage to previous problems.

Someone at work has suggested that as I have a 7m RJ11 extension cable from one of the filters to the modem that I need a piece of kit to increase the speed of the data through the cable. However, as I ordered the cable via Tiscali I would have expected them to point this out - but there again am I expecting to much.

  shep666 19:49 11 Jan 2004

Other relevant information: PC Model : AMD Athlon(tm) XP 1800+ Speed : 1.53GHz Modem - Sagem 800 E2L
I have checked all the settings Tiscali suggest on the help site and I have uninstalled and reinstalled the modem.

I have also change the USB conection to the PC itself rather than through the port on my monitor. This has not improved the connection in fact today it is worst than ever.

At Tisclai suggestiobs I have hardwired a BT socket within a fe feet of the modem, again no difference.

Any suggestions, please?

  shep666 21:09 17 Jan 2004

Just to let poepl know. The problem was resolved by a BT Engineer. Our area suffers from interference from a national radio programme.

The replacement of a small box where the BT line comes in and then goes to the master socket has solved all the problems.

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