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How Do I Research The History Log?


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#1 honu1

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 06:34 PM

I recently had a very bad experience with trying to get my CPU to stay running. After taking it to Staples, I had more problems than ever. I ended up taking it to a local shop that only deals with computer repairs+custom jobs. The person who worked on my CPU had 28 years of experience with servicing computers.
This person ended up having to reinstall Windows as it had become so corrupted. I was told that all I needed for a firewall was Windows Defender. My ISP is Comcast+it is supposed to offer firewall protection also.
I read thru the tutorial here about Windows firewall, but still have some questions. I know how to get to my history log, but don't know how to set any parameters. I am noticing that there are potentially unwanted behavior warnings, but Defender has not notified me when I could be at risk. The tutorial also stated to research the port the traffic is coming in on, but in my history log, there aren't any references to ports.
Can someone here please help me sort this out?
I am also still not clear on a hardware firewall versus a personal one. I only have one computer+am not connected to any others in my home.
Is it better or necessary to purchase a firewall program?
The person who worked on my system stated all I needed was Windows Defender+removed my free version of Zone Alarm. I really didn't understand how to use Z.A. anyway, but I want to keep my system safe.

Thanks in advance for any+all feedback in this matter.
honu1
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#2 frankp316

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 07:32 PM

Windows Defender is not a firewall. It's a spyware checker. There is a Windows Firewall in XP but most experts believe it's ineffective because it only monitors incoming packets. So you should probably install a softwall firewall like Zone Alarm if you like it or Comodo. Be sure to uninstall the Windows Firewall when you install another firewall. Windows Defender runs in real time but isn't considered to be very effective. Add some additional spyware protection like Spyware Blaster, AVG Anti Spyware & Super Anti Spyware. You didn't say anything about anti virus but the guy who told you that Defender is adequate protection is telling you the wrong thing. As for what your ISP is offering, that's pretty much what I have from Rogers. It's a Norton product with firewall, anti virus & anti spyware at no extra cost. I downloaded it from the Rogers website. Maybe Comcast is offering something similar but I also have additional spyware protection and I run AVG Anti Spyware & Super Anti Spyware as on demand scanners weekly. You should only have one anti virus & firewall or there will be conflicts.

#3 honu1

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 09:57 AM

Thanks for your input. I also have AVG Free Version (latest version). So now, is there a potential conflict with both AVG+Defender running at the same time?
I still would like to know the answer to the port question I asked tho.
Thanks
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#4 frankp316

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 11:50 AM

Defender & AVG Anti Virus don't conflict. I don't use the Windows Firewall so I don't know how to do what you are asking. And I think you'll find a lot of folks here don't use it and have replaced it with something else.

#5 quietman7

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 12:18 PM

The Windows XP firewall protects against port scanning but has limitations and it is no replacement for a robust 3rd-party two-way personal firewall.
  • The XP firewall is not a full featured firewall. Normal firewalls allow you to specifically control each TCP and UDP port but XPís firewall does not provide you with this capability. Instead, it takes a point and click approach to enabling or disabling a few common ports.
  • The XP firewall does a good job of monitoring, examining and blocking inbound traffic but makes no attempt to filter or block outbound traffic like most 3rd-party personal firewalls.
  • Thus, the XP firewall does not identify which programs attempt to initiate outbound network or Internet communications nor does it block the traffic when suspicious activity occurs.
    • This feature can be helpful in preventing many types of malware attacks that may attempt to open ports or communicate with outside servers without the user's knowledge or consent. It also means that if your system has been compromised, a hacker could use your machine as part of a distributed denial of service attack.
  • By default, Windows Firewall rejects all incoming traffic unless that traffic is in response to a previous outgoing request. If you're running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Firewall is turned on by default. If you Firewall is not turned on by default, then your using an unpatched OS and need to update your system to SP2.
A hardware firewall is really a software firewall running on a dedicated piece of hardware or specialized device (routers, broadband gateways) that sits between a modem and a computer or network. A hardware firewall is based on "Network Address Translation" (NAT) which hides your computer from the Internet or NAT plus "Stateful Packet Inspection" (SPI). It can provide a strong degree of protection from most forms of attacks coming from the outside (incoming traffic). Hardware firewalls are easy to configure and can protect every machine on a local or home network. A hardware firewall typically uses packet filtering to examine the header of a packet to determine its source and destination addresses. This information is compared to a set of predefined or user-created rules that determine whether the packet is allowed (forwarded) or denied (dropped) on particular ports. They tend to treat any kind of traffic traveling from the local network out to the Internet as safe which can be a security risk.

With a software firewall you have customized control and can specify which applications are allowed to communicate (outgoing traffic) over the Internet from your computer. Programs that are not explicitly allowed to do so are either blocked or else the user is prompted for confirmation before the traffic is allowed to pass. Software firewalls generally offer the best measure of protection against Trojans and worms but they are harder to configure and must share resources with other running processes which can decrease system performance. Many software firewalls have user defined controls for setting up safe file and printer sharing and to block unsafe applications from running on your system.

Using two software firewalls on a single computer could cause issues with connectivity to the Internet or other unexpected behavior. Further, running multiple software firewalls can cause conflicts that are hard to identify and troubleshoot. Only one of the firewalls can receive the packets over the network and process them. Sometimes you may even have a conflict that causes neither firewall to protect your connection. However, you can use a hardware firewall (your router) and a software firewall (Kerio or ZoneAlarm) in conjunction. For more information see "The Differences and Features of Hardware & Software Firewalls".
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#6 honu1

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 07:41 PM

Thanks,quietman7.
I appreciate the info you gave me, but I really don't understand it all. I'll read thru it again+also the tutorial here at B.C.
There's so much to learn, isn't there?
Thank's again for your time,effort+most of all patience helping a novice :thumbsup:

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#7 quietman7

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 09:03 PM

Your welcome. :thumbsup:
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