Firewall!..... We dont need no firewall!!

  SDJ 19:02 08 Jan 2004

Sorry this isnt really a thread for help, but I felt the need to report it.

A friend of mine asked me to go and take a look at his computer as it seemed very slow and the internet was crashing constantly.

When I look at it, it did seem very slow so we ran defrag/scandisk the works. This helped matters a little but something caught my eye......... Where had the firewall gone?

My friend is on BT BB and when I asked they told me that when they were having so much trouble that they thought they could get help from BTOpenworld support and they (BTOW) told them to remove the Norton Firewall and see if that helped to speed up the computer. They also said to disable the NAV Autoprotect as this slows computers down!

"You mut be kidding" was my reply!

Installed Zonealarm straight away! ordering some ram and we will see how it goes.

As for BT support, well you decide!

  bremner 19:07 08 Jan 2004

The question of the need for a Firewall is one that has been debated here and has camps of those in favour and against the necessity for one.

The arguement for Autoprotect is a more clear cut one.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 19:17 08 Jan 2004

As for dumping the Firewall I whole-heartedly agree. I have not use da firewall for a year or so now. You will never get hacked on a home computer. You DO need a good AV although I agree that Norton is a problematical AV.....

When you are connected to the net you usually get the information from a series of routers and servers. If you contact Ebay UK for instance, you will not connect directly to their server. You will probably 'hop' along several. These can be and usually are in any country.
A good analogy is sending a letter from London to Glasgow. The letter does not directly go from the postbox to the goes to a sorting office (Mount Pleasant?), then to Birmingham, then to central depot, Glasgow, then to a district distribution office.

You will get more traffic from China and other countries as a) they are having routers and servers placed in them as it is a lot cheaper to run the infrastructure, and b) IT seems to be moving more Eastwards so expect Mumbai and all ports east to register highly. Santa Cruz is an important US node for net traffic as is Montevideo...the fact that both are crawling with 'I'll have to kill you if I tell you' US military bases is purely coincidental but they are damn fine chaps to let us piggy-back on their Crays click here ;-))

ALL lined broadband in the UK runs through BT, so even if you are using Virgin, Bulldog, Tiscali, Freeserve etc. you are a slave to BT. The only services, for the general public, that do not use BT are NTL and Telewest as they are cables (plus any other cableco's that have escaped me and the bankruptcy courts).

'I am not connected to a network'...maybe not at home but as soon as you connect to the net you are on a huuuuuuge network ;-)).

As I have wittered on before, I have removed firewalls from both home computers and many of my friemds are doing the same. There is more chance of Rip Van Winkle's bedside reading light blowing a bulb than of being hacked at home and a quick scan of Astalavista, Attrition and the Cult of the Dead Cow will soon show why. There is a massive amount of rubbish talked about hacking which benefits certain security companies or lets their CEO's rabbit on and on, ad infinitum/nauseum, and shame on anyone that thinks I am refering to ZA. ;-))))

I do not advocate that everyone dumps firewalls.....yet. We have noticed some quite interesting events, sans firewalls, of which there will be more later. There is a marked increase in performance when not using a firewall.


  SDJ 19:25 08 Jan 2004

Think thats the most interesting thing I have read all day, however I have been filling in Tax Returns today so there isnt much contest.

I fully understand the debate behind Firewalls and their requirement but I think that for BT to advise a customer to remove a protection package is a little careless. I bet it isnt in their advisory handbook to tell all customers to uninstall firewalls if they are having trouble with their PCs.

Cheers though for your insight, v interesting.

  terminus 19:44 08 Jan 2004

I've found quite a good reason for using a firewall. I don't use ZoneAlarm because the latest version was causing IncrediMail to freeze the PC. So I switched to Kerio which also passes Steve Gibsons Shields Up. I check from time to time just to make sure it still passes.

Yesterday I had two open ports, checking on his site I saw a trojan had been downloaded.

adware couldn't find it.. it was hidden in a folder..using another program, I found the folder name and removed it manually, leaving two trojans behind adaware mopped them up.

I deleted Kerio re-installed it, and now all is clean and green.
And I'm a fan of Steve Gibson ;-)

  spuds 19:53 08 Jan 2004

I ran a route check the other day, with a try-out programme. From my fingertip to the route tester, it was covered by 25 server connecting stations.Very interesting experiment, in seeing how the internet works.

  gold 47 20:07 08 Jan 2004

Just looked at the kerio website a bit on the pricy for me.

  terminus 20:20 08 Jan 2004

no they do a free one individual use.

While in principle I agree with GANDALF <|:-)> - not many of us hold the secrets to eternal youth on our PC's nor the innermost workings of the Government (well, perhaps at GCHQ Gandalf does but then who needs firewalls when so many civil servants leave their laptops in taxis and tubes). However, most of us hold some form of data on our PC that we would rather not have others see. I am not here talking credit cards or bank details but perhaps a private diary or that book that you have written but have been too embarrased to publish - in a word simple "Private" stuff.

No lets think about a network, no, not the internet, a home network and lets say this is wireless. OK Some Wireless access points and routers do allow a good deal of security and MAC address filtering and wep, but lets fact it, to configure these can be a pain and not the easiest of tasks - certainly not as easy as a walked through "wizzard" that sets the thing up for you, updates itself weekly at least and that you can usually turn on and forget.

Now we have wireless we are constantly broadcasting our data to all our neighbors. Some spotty kid with noting better to do finds your network and worse, that you have "left the door open". That book you wrote that now resides in your docs folder now takes on a whole new meaning when banded about the neighborhood, as does those letters that you have written to the bank asking for a larger overdraft etc. Basically, all the information that you would never want your neighbor to see is there.

No, I will always use a firewall and use it as another safety measure. Those that choose not to may not worry but then again, would they leave their personal diary or bank statements on the coffe table when next door pops round? I doubt it.

  Marky_Bhoy 21:38 08 Jan 2004

This is similiar to my thread 'Security issue with home network'.

You might want to read it.

  Kitz E Kat 21:54 08 Jan 2004

Gandalf, i do respect you , however i differ on the firewall thing....

A quick search on Astalvista ?????

Hmmm , must have been very quick!!!

Any advice i have seen there always says USE a firewall, like ALWAYS, you want we can meet there and trash it out!!!!!!!!!!!

Never seen a debate on using a firewall , debates on which one , but not on , not using one...

Me i use norton but i had a quick look a sygate and it looks good and its a freebie!!!!

I also have a router with a firewall ...

Script kiddies are the worry , and with more and more people going for ADSL and BB , its plain mad not to have one...

The chance of you being hacked are slim, but hang around Astalavista for a bit and you will go racing to get one .... hell take two their small!!!

PS , Astalavista is a great site for anybody with an interest in computer security , i recommend it to anyone, you got to pay but it's worth it..

Eh that's my two cents worth..

Like i say Gandalf i do respect you , its good that we differ makes for an interesting world!!!

Laterz d00dz :-)

Kitz E

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