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Author Topic: Personal Firewall Software  (Read 20111 times)

Offline Simon

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2003, 08:00 »
Interesting experiment Dave.  Personally I have found the Sygate Personal Firewall very effective, and, once configured, no hassle.  It's also free, but there is a Pro version also available.
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Offline Tony

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2003, 10:46 »



Having read all that, I then spent a hour reading, digesting and then unbinding the network  client.  With my Firewall off, I then took the tests.  Here are the results for the Test My Shields tests:


So how do you do that then Dave,  like Simon sez a very interesting post, well done mate.
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Offline chorleydave

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2003, 15:37 »
I didn't really do anything except for follow Steve Gibson's step by step instructions at
http://grc.com/su-rebinding9x.htm.

I had been reading through the site, following the links, when I read his concluding remarks:

Quote
Although I'm a BIG fan of Personal Firewall products, as you'll see on page 7, "Personal Firewalls", the tremendous power of these straightforward "component unbinding" techniques has allowed you to disable an unwanted and unneeded capability from your system. This solution is superior to depending upon some other product or technology to "suppress" that unwanted capability. That's an important distinction in the realm of robust security.

AND, if neutering your system's networking is not possible because you do still need to share files across the Internet then full security will require the suppression of unwanted networking capabilities. The following two pages, "Evil Port Monitors" and "Personal Firewalls" detail your options and discuss pitfalls.


As I don't share any files and I had plenty time on my hands, I went back, read through again and got on with it.  I still have Sygate installed on my system, so if I start to feel insecure, I can always re-enable it. :)

For anyone thinking of having a look, the instructions only apply to Win95/98 and NT.

Offline chorleydave

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2003, 16:35 »
This Gibson configeration certainly seems to do the trick.  I've just tried another test at stealthtest.com and this is the result:

We are now scanning your computers NetBIOS information, please wait.


Was unable to connect to your computer.
No shares or Sharing is not enabled....

Offline Simon

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2003, 17:38 »
Handy to know, especially if you don't like Firewalls - thanks Dave.   ;)
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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2003, 21:34 »
ChorleyDave, all you have done is disble Microsoft Networking (NETBIOS). The NETBIOS port is only ONE port out of thousands (65535 or 65536 can't remember) that can be exploited to pass information from your PC back to a cracker or other cybercriminal.

I think you should go back to the grc.com site and to a full port probe, or better still try the tests at www.pcflank.com and then you'll see why you need to switch on your firewall again :o

Offline Clive

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2003, 22:09 »
I'm pleased to say that my router passed that test with flying colours.  ;D

Offline chorleydave

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2003, 22:11 »
Hi, Adept. Hope you had a good holiday.  Looking at your picture, you don't appear to have caught the sun.  Were you in the boozer for the duration?

 ;D ;D ;D ;D

Thanks for the URL for PCFlank.  I've been trying to find the site all week, having deleted the URL in error last time I gave my Bookmarks a spring clean.  Unfortunately, the tests didn't make much sense.  The quick test alerted me than Ports 137 - 139 were open, but the advanced port test says they are closed!  Having visited several over the past couple of days, I'm begining to think that these security sites are a bigger gimmick than some of this so-called security software.  Nevertheless, I re-enable Sygate, but if anyone knows of an alternative extremely light but effective firewall, I'm all ears.

Offline Simon

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2003, 22:18 »
What do you not like about Sygate, Dave?  It's the best free one I've found, and I've tried most of them.
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Offline chorleydave

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2003, 22:36 »
It isn't Sygate that's the problem, it's me.  It's the best free one I have tried too, Simon.  The problem with me is that if I have something running, I like to know what it is doing, and unlike anti-virus software which can be installed and forgotten about, except for checking for updates every week, I find firewall alerts to be as intrusive as the phone continually ringing during the Cup Final.  In the past, I must have spent weeks of my life attempting back traces, particularly when I was using Black Ice Defender.  Now I either turn alerts off, or try to ignore them, but to me that defeats the whole purpose.

Yep, I know I'm a bit mad.  :o

Offline Tony

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2003, 22:36 »

What do you not like about Sygate, Dave?  It's the best free one I've found, and I've tried most of them.


You seem smitten with Sygate Simon, not tried it myself, tell me please what does it do better than ZoneAlarm [free]

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Offline Clive

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2003, 22:46 »
Apart from when I walked into a lamppost, I think the old adage "what the eye dosn't see, the heart doesn't grieve" has served me well Dave.  ;D

Offline Simon

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2003, 23:19 »
Tony,

I haven't tried ZA for ages, so to be fair it may have changed, but I found it quite intrusive, with constant alerts and flashing system tray icons.  There was also something else about it I didn't favour, but I can't remember what that was now.  I think it was mainly the alerts that put me off.

Of the free ones I have tried (ZA, Outpost, Tiny), and also Norton 2002/2003 I have found the Sygate one to be the most hassle free, and it hasn't stopped me doing anything I want to do.  Outpost didn't get on with WinMX, Norton 2002 was OK, but 2003 wouldn't allow PC Banking, or Pals chatroom, and seemed over complicated to configure.  I was getting permission requests for each and every web page, even after ticking the 'allow all the time' box.  Tiny was just horrible, from what I remember.

I'm not saying that Sygate is the be all and end all of free firewalls (I actually have the Pro version), but it's the one I have been happiest with.
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Offline Tony

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2003, 23:43 »

Tony,

I haven't tried ZA for ages, so to be fair it may have changed, but I found it quite intrusive, with constant alerts and flashing system tray icons.  There was also something else about it I didn't favour, but I can't remember what that was now.  I think it was mainly the alerts that put me off.



You can turn the 'alerts off' Simon, as I agree they are annoying, got mine off. And it only asks permissions for applications you have not given the green light for regards connecting to the web. As long as I can remember it has always been like that, mind you my memory is not what it used to be Clive.  ;D
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Offline chorleydave

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Re:Personal Firewall Software
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2003, 23:54 »
It's quite a while since I used it, but the only problem I had with Zone Alarm Pro was that every time I started my PC, even to simply type a letter, it tried to connect me to the internet.  Outpost used to simply stop working on its own accord, while Norton slowed me down so much that I was continually switching it off just to be able to surf.  Black Ice Defender has so many features (or gimmicks depending on how you look at it) that I spent a month doing nothing else but playing with it.  I didn't even try Tiny after reading  horror stories about it in the Newsgroups.  Therefore, for now, its Sygate or bust.  

Hopefully, in the not too distant future, someone will develop something that puts your PC in stealth mode and then lets you forget about it.  I don't want anything else.  My anti-virus, anti trojan and Adaware does the rest.


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