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Connecting Directly To The Internet & Ip Address


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#1 Juha

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 08:27 PM

Hi,

First of all I think I've put this question in the right place because I didn't know where...

I was reading an online article and said "...use a router or a firewall. If you connect directly to the internet, then your IP address can be used by others on the network to attempt to connect directly to your PC and exploit any vulnerabilities"

What is meant by 'connecting directly to the internet'? Dial-up connection? And how can others use my IP address to connect directly to my PC?

Thanks

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#2 Orange Blossom

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 11:31 PM

No, dial-up connection is not what is meant by "direct connection". That is only the method you use to connect. Let me create an analogy here.

Suppose your computer is your house, and the outside is the internet. You can 'connect' with the outside foot, bicycle, car, etc. (dial-up, cable, wireless, DSL etc.). The doors and windows are the ports, or openings that allow you to pass out of the house (computer) to wherever you want to go outside.

Now, let's suppose the openings to your house have no barriers, doors or windows. People passing by could enter your house and do bad things. That would be equivalent to a direct connection.

Now if you put up windows, solid doors, curtains and the like you have put up a barrier or a firewall to keep people from seeing what is going on inside your house and hopefully from doing damage. With only a firewall, someone could peek inside when you open a door or window (port) to go out. A router does a piece of magic whereby the potential peekers would look through the opening, but see something else instead; the router warps the opening as it were. You are no longer connecting directly to the internet.

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#3 Juha

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 03:49 PM

Hi, O.B. Thanks for the reply,

What is the equivalent of not having doors and/or windows in the computer world. In other words, when would I be connecting directly to the Internet. Suppose I didn't use a router or a firewall, does that itself mean I am connecting directly to the Internet? Since Dial-up isn't a direct connection, in what case is it?

#4 garmanma

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 06:24 PM

Connecting directly to the internet means your computer is hooked up by cable directly to your DSL modem, with no hardware firewall (router) or software firewall, monitoring traffic both in and out. Hopefully, you should have XP's firewall on, by default.
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#5 Juha

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 06:54 PM

Thanks Mark. I get it now... But just one more question! Why isn't Dial-up a direct connection when it is connected 'directly' to the phone line?! Or is it unless you have a software firewall installed?

#6 garmanma

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 08:17 PM

A dial up connection, from the modem card in your computer through a phone cable to the telephone service provider is a direct connection. There is nothing in between to act as a firewall
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#7 Orange Blossom

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 08:22 PM

Wouldn't an active software firewall such as Kerio Personal Firewall make that connection indirect? I would think the connection were direct only if there were neither firewall nor router.

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#8 Juha

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 08:29 PM

Thanks once again, Mark & O.B. for the informative replies.

#9 garmanma

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 09:25 PM

Wouldn't an active software firewall such as Kerio Personal Firewall make that connection indirect? I would think the connection were direct only if there were neither firewall nor router.

Orange Blossom :thumbsup:

Yes, either hardware or software provides a "WALL" or filter if you will to prevent unwanted traffic
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