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Firewall Questions


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#1 Jimzhr

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 01:00 PM

I have Norton AV2006 installed on WindowsXP. I also have a Linksys Router.

Yesterday I turned off all Norton protection and installed AVGFree7.5. Initially I had some problems with my email program. My IncrediMail program was not connecting with my ISP. I kept getting an AVG error message but those problems seem to have worked themselves out and the mail seems OK now.

It's been so long since I thought much about it that I am not sure what my firewall status is. I checked and found the Windows Firewall not up so I activated it. Does anyone know if my Norton program has a firewall running somewhere? I don't think so because I can't find any mention of it. also, is my Linksys router acting as a firewall?

I don't think I should be running more than one firewall at a time so need to shut off the Windows firewall if there is another one up somewhere. My intention is to let AVG anti-virus do its thing for a couple of days so I can see if I like it. If I do, then I will uninstall everything related to Norton. Already I see one inconvenience with AVG and that is the inability to schedule regular system scans which is available with the pay version only. Norton does this for me in the middle of the night and AVG does it in the morning during "prime time" while I am using the computer---everything then slows down.

Hope all this makes some sense and someone out there can enlighten me. Thanks in advance, as usual!!

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#2 acklan

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 02:11 AM

Unless the feature has been elimitnated from AVG free. You can schedule AVG free to run one full scan every 24 hours. If you want to tailor the scan you would need to pay from the full version. I have version 7. AVG Free features
Try SyGate 5.5 PFW It is free and very effective.

Edited by acklan, 29 October 2006 - 02:12 AM.

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#3 quietman7

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 03:22 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.

1. The XP firewall is not a full featured firewall. Normal firewalls allow you to specifically control each TCP and UDP port but XP’s firewall does not provide you with this capability. Instead, it takes a point and click approach to enabling or disabling a few common ports.

2. 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.

If you choose to use a 3rd-party firewall, you need to disable the Windows firewall. Running multiple software firewalls on a single computer 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.

A hardware firewall is really a software firewall running on a dedicated piece of hardware or specialized device (router). It can provide a strong degree of protection from most forms of attacks coming from the outside. Hardware firewalls are easy to configure and they can protect every machine on a local 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 can specify which applications are allowed to communicate 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.

Norton Antivirus has a built in firewall called Internet Worm Protections (IWP) for inbound traffic similar to Windows Firewall but uses both "common rules" and secondary rules. If you have a program that receives data from the Internet, then by default, Internet Worm Protection blocks the incoming traffic, unless you create a rule to allow the program. If your using NAV then read "Turning on or turning off Internet Worm Protection in Norton AntiVirus".

Norton Internet Security and Norton Personal Firewall come with more advanced firewall features. IWP will be disabled automaticly, or turned off if you install NIS or NPF.

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#4 Jimzhr

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 12:03 AM

Once again, thanks for all the info! I have been using AVGFree for a couple of days now and it seems to work just fine. I intend to install either Kerio or ZoneAlarm unless I hear of a better firewall and then uninstall everything Norton.

#5 quietman7

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 05:15 AM

If you choose to remove Norton, be sure to read the discussion topic "How To Remove Your Norton Products".

Good luck.
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#6 sultan_emerr

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 08:26 PM

Once again, thanks for all the info! I have been using AVGFree for a couple of days now and it seems to work just fine. I intend to install either Kerio or ZoneAlarm unless I hear of a better firewall and then uninstall everything Norton.

Instead of ZoneAlarm, I would take a look at http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com = "Comodo Firewall, rated by PC Magazine Online as an Editor's Choice, constantly monitors and defends your PC from internet attacks. It's easy to install and use and passes the industry's most stringent firewall "leak" tests. Unlike some other 'free' firewalls, this is not a stripped down version but is the full, completely functional product. This free solution comes complete with continual updates that are free forever."

or Jetico Free Personal Firewall = http://www.jetico.com/index.htm#/jpfirewall.htm

Or get the Free
Ashampoo Firewall 1.00 = Freeware =
http://mail.vnunet.com/cgi-bin1/flo/y/etxf0Hd7VN0TOo0DMlI0Ee



The most important thing to keep in mind, regardless of which anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware and firewall you use ( http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/default.mspx ) is to keep it UPDATED, just as it is important to make sure you have all windows critical and security updates. + =
http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/...t.aspx?ln=en-us

#7 acklan

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 08:56 PM

Just curious, but have you used Ashampoo Firewall? I have heard of it but have never used it.
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#8 scratcher

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 09:20 PM

Just curious, but have you used Ashampoo Firewall? I have heard of it but have never used it.


I once spent around $100.00 or so buying a suite of Ashampoo programs all of which I have since thrown away.

Whether their software has improved since then I don't know, but IMHO it wasn't much good a few years ago.

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#9 sultan_emerr

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 10:41 PM

The download site for Ashampoo Firewall says that it has a 4/5 user rating, but it doesn't say how many users rated it.

Edit: Also see = http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,17184945~start=40#end

Edited by sultan_emerr, 08 November 2006 - 05:06 AM.





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