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Nalian
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#81 Unread post by Nalian » Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:07 pm

jonnythan wrote:A router does its job by shielding your computer from the internet. It physically disconnects your computer from the outside world.

You can, for the most part, get a similar effect by running a "personal firewall" like ZoneAlarm on your computer. These programs run on your computer as close to the network interface as possible and screen every tiny bit of data going into or out of your computer to make sure it's legitimate. They do have drawbacks, however. They do make your computer slower because they're analyzing every network packet. They can be annoying because they often ask you questions many users won't know how to answer. But the biggest thing is that, with just a personal firewall, anyone on the internet still has direct access to your computer. You hope that this firewall program will be sufficient to keep those people out, but.. the thing is running on your computer, and these people can still interface directly with your computer. They can probe your ports, poke your firewall to see if they can find any holes, etc.

When you install a router, people cannot interface directly with your computer because there is a literal physical disconnect. No one on the internet can directly interface with your computer *period*. They can only interface with the router itself. This simple fact means that installing a router is a huge boost to the security of your system.

There is one area where personal software firewalls do have a leg up on routers, though: personal firewalls inspect the data *leaving* your computer and can alert you if a program on your computer is trying to access the internet. Usually this is legitimate (Internet Explorer, for example, obviously will be sending internet requests), but sometimes you can have spyware or bots communicating with their masters or home servers without your knowledge. A personal firewall would catch this before they actually got any information out.

Of course, IMO, regular spyware and virus scans will catch the same programs though, so it's not something I generally worry about.

If you have a router installed, there is less need for a software firewall, but I recommend leaving the Windows Firewall enabled anyway.

You still need to perform regular virus and spyware scans, because spyware and viruses generally get installed through malicious web pages or direct user action, not through hacking from the internet.

I also suggest to people that they disable all of the "real time protection" aspects of their "protection" programs such as Norton Antivirus and Ad-Aware and so forth. These programs are of very limited use and *greatly* slow down systems. Norton's "real time scanner" scans every single file your computer accesses every single time you access it. Opening Word, for example, accesses hundreds of files on your hard drive, and Norton stops and scans every one. It can double application load times and make your hard drive thrash twice as much as normal.
Does it still do that? I know they were trying to catch up with Sophos' method (which scans it once, then keeps a checksum on the file so it knows whether or not it needs to scan it again.)

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#82 Unread post by jonnythan » Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:42 pm

Nalian wrote:Does it still do that? I know they were trying to catch up with Sophos' method (which scans it once, then keeps a checksum on the file so it knows whether or not it needs to scan it again.)
It does it the way you describe, essentially. I was certainly exaggerating slightly to get the point across, but the real time scanners *do* slow the PC down noticeably.
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#83 Unread post by roscowgo » Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:12 pm

I look at it, as the more layers you have, the more protected you are. Not because you are actually safe. You aren't. (just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.)

so the average directly connected home user has a layer about like this.

Isp(not really a layer since they are still transparent generally)>computer.(you depend solely on what software you run, what updates you have, software firewall, etc...)

The general setup for routed home users is ISP>Nat Router>computer
Or at least i don't notice many people with a pool of public addresses they can route to their inside home networks.

Nat is good because it uses one outside IP address, and translates what port your outgoing info uses, Thus harder to get into your stuff from the outside. (ex. Internet explorer>port 80 for general web surfing>router which says ok i am going to accept info Back in from the outside on port 80 from the specific address i just tried to go to and thats all.)
That helps limit the Scope of your vulnerability. As with everything else it has it's own troubles and holes. No anti-virus protection. No spyware protection. And of course different routers will have different weaknesses in addition to whatever the protocols weakness is.

Small business i would say
ISP>Hardware firewall>Router with access-lists>switch more possible access-lists>computer that should have at least the latest updates.

Depends on what the business does really. You are going to have different solutions, needs, and contortions for each business. A home flower shop with a credit card reader isn't going to need the same set of stuff as a locally run community website.

Notice i didnt say anything about wireless gadjets in there. Those are a Whole nother can of security worms. Kind of like a suit of armor with a hole over your chest. I currently have no less than 3 unsecured wireless networks within range of my home laptop. 1-2 computers on each one. and its pretty easy to home build Good antennas that drastically increase your range.

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#84 Unread post by Sev » Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:21 pm

jonnythan wrote:A router does its job by shielding your computer from the internet. It physically disconnects your computer from the outside world.
No it doesn't.
Of course I'm generalizing from a single example here, but everyone does that. At least I do.

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#85 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sat Feb 10, 2007 3:02 am

Last night the tech at Telus also suggested that maybe the NIC card drivers were corrupt, so I went the computer guy on my way home and asked him about this. He said it wasn't likely, but he showed me how to uninstall. Then when you reboot thecomputer, it will recognize them and reinstall. It didn't make a difference.

I bought a new cable for the modem to computer connect. It's shorter. I also switched to a heavier duty phone cord instead of the anorexic one that came with the modem.
My friend came by and had a look through the system and we shut down some running systems that I don't need running.

Something had been using up the RAM and now it is quite a lot better.
He also showed me where the cookies with expiry dates were hidden and got rid of those ones. They don't go away with regular cache clearing.

We ran another broadband test and transfer rate and it is much better.

Some sites still have "issues" though. For example, in my yahoo mail, when I want to delete a message, it sure does take a long time for it to do it. And, I was typing a message,and when I hit "Send", it didn't send. Instead I got the error page. :roll:

Now I have to retype the whole message. :roll:

I don't know what is meant by "real time" scanning. I wasn't aware that my word program gets scanned when I open it.
I guess I better go read a tutorial.

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#86 Unread post by ofblong » Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:51 am

blues2cruise wrote:Last night the tech at Telus also suggested that maybe the NIC card drivers were corrupt, so I went the computer guy on my way home and asked him about this. He said it wasn't likely, but he showed me how to uninstall. Then when you reboot thecomputer, it will recognize them and reinstall. It didn't make a difference.

I bought a new cable for the modem to computer connect. It's shorter. I also switched to a heavier duty phone cord instead of the anorexic one that came with the modem.
My friend came by and had a look through the system and we shut down some running systems that I don't need running.

Something had been using up the RAM and now it is quite a lot better.
He also showed me where the cookies with expiry dates were hidden and got rid of those ones. They don't go away with regular cache clearing.

We ran another broadband test and transfer rate and it is much better.

Some sites still have "issues" though. For example, in my yahoo mail, when I want to delete a message, it sure does take a long time for it to do it. And, I was typing a message,and when I hit "Send", it didn't send. Instead I got the error page. :roll:

Now I have to retype the whole message. :roll:

I don't know what is meant by "real time" scanning. I wasn't aware that my word program gets scanned when I open it.
I guess I better go read a tutorial.
no one should be using yahoo. I am guessing you have yahoo toolbar installed. that should be the first thing you uninstall just like google toolbar or any toolbar like that for that matter. yahoo is spyware itself and yes google is as well but not like yahoo is. yahoo is an invasion of privacy. what johnny said is basically what I said. A router's firewall WILL block you from getting internet based spyware/adware installed but if you install something like yahoo toolbar you are allowing your computer spyware that way. A router doesnt stop spyware that you yourself allowed to be installed by either settings on your browser or settings elsewhere or you hitting "yes" to something. There are programs out there that look for open ports so they can get ahold of your computer and install what they want.
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#87 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:22 pm

I DON"T have a yahoo or google tool bar. I have been using yahoo mail for the purpose of forums.
Do you have a suggestion as to what is better....aside from using my telus email?

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#88 Unread post by Sev » Sat Feb 10, 2007 3:25 pm

gmail? :D!
Of course I'm generalizing from a single example here, but everyone does that. At least I do.

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#89 Unread post by Nalian » Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:00 pm

A router's firewall WILL block you from getting internet based spyware/adware installed but if you install something like yahoo toolbar you are allowing your computer spyware that way. A router doesnt stop spyware that you yourself allowed to be installed by either settings on your browser or settings elsewhere or you hitting "yes" to something.
A router will absolutely not do any of that. What you are describing is called content filtering and it would need to be done by a real time proxy scanner. There are absolutely NO home user products that would do this via a router.

A router can protect your system by not allowing traffic directly in to you. Most often it does this by port filtering. When you request something from the web (on port 80) it will allow information back from that address via a random port that the webserver communicates to the client it will be transmitting over. The router doesn't care what any of that information is - whether its a virus, spyware, adware, or whatever. Routers do not do content filtering.

Google and Yahoo toolbar are not spyware. Spyware is something placed on your system without your permission. Adware is placed on your system with your permission (you are told about it in the click-through EULA). I know that google's toolbar will send data back to google about your browsing habits, but you have the option to turn that off if you wish to. I do not know about Yahoo's toolbar, but I do know that it is absolutly not spyware.

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#90 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:05 pm

I have had this yahoo address for about 4 years and it has been ok. It doesn't get very much spam. What I don't like is having the animated advertising in it. Regular advertising I can live with.

I tried a gmail account and it got far more spam than the yahoo one. I was under the impression that gmail was not supposed to have spam.

My computer is still slow. I think it is time to call in a tech.

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#91 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:19 pm

Well, I think the time has come to call in a tech. It's so slow, it's pathetic.

For example, when I click to open a page here it takes 9 or 10 seconds for the page to open. When I click submit, it sometimes won't submit and I have to click a couple of times.

Sigh.......

How much should I expect to pay for a housecall?

(I hit submit for this and it took 17 seconds and then it went to "This page cannot be displayed...you know the one I mean...so I hit refresh to come back here and add this)

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#92 Unread post by blues2cruise » Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:20 pm

The last one took 8 seconds after the second try. :roll:

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#93 Unread post by Fathertork » Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:52 pm

Had the same problem after installing the new explorer and was about ready to buy a new computer after uninstalling it twice.
I can't tell you what Exactly I did to correct it other than:

1/ ran the virus-spyware software provided by the cable company.
2/ Defraged several times...3 I think.
3/ Scanned the drive "Checked volume for errors"

4/ Unplugging the cable moden as well as the router for 2 minutes before turning back on. Give it a try before spending the money on a techy.

That seemed to do it and the pages were loading again and the computer was back to its normal speed.
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#94 Unread post by ofblong » Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:52 am

Nalian wrote:
A router's firewall WILL block you from getting internet based spyware/adware installed but if you install something like yahoo toolbar you are allowing your computer spyware that way. A router doesnt stop spyware that you yourself allowed to be installed by either settings on your browser or settings elsewhere or you hitting "yes" to something.
A router will absolutely not do any of that. What you are describing is called content filtering and it would need to be done by a real time proxy scanner. There are absolutely NO home user products that would do this via a router.

A router can protect your system by not allowing traffic directly in to you. Most often it does this by port filtering. When you request something from the web (on port 80) it will allow information back from that address via a random port that the webserver communicates to the client it will be transmitting over. The router doesn't care what any of that information is - whether its a virus, spyware, adware, or whatever. Routers do not do content filtering.

Google and Yahoo toolbar are not spyware. Spyware is something placed on your system without your permission. Adware is placed on your system with your permission (you are told about it in the click-through EULA). I know that google's toolbar will send data back to google about your browsing habits, but you have the option to turn that off if you wish to. I do not know about Yahoo's toolbar, but I do know that it is absolutly not spyware.
you need to reread what you just said. A router does stop you from getting spyware/adware/virus's that you dont tell or allow your computer to install because it blocks the ports that those virus's spyware/adware try to connect to your computer on. thats exactly what I said and exactly what you just said.
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#95 Unread post by Nalian » Mon Feb 12, 2007 4:21 pm

ofblong wrote:
Nalian wrote:
A router's firewall WILL block you from getting internet based spyware/adware installed but if you install something like yahoo toolbar you are allowing your computer spyware that way. A router doesnt stop spyware that you yourself allowed to be installed by either settings on your browser or settings elsewhere or you hitting "yes" to something.
A router will absolutely not do any of that. What you are describing is called content filtering and it would need to be done by a real time proxy scanner. There are absolutely NO home user products that would do this via a router.

A router can protect your system by not allowing traffic directly in to you. Most often it does this by port filtering. When you request something from the web (on port 80) it will allow information back from that address via a random port that the webserver communicates to the client it will be transmitting over. The router doesn't care what any of that information is - whether its a virus, spyware, adware, or whatever. Routers do not do content filtering.

Google and Yahoo toolbar are not spyware. Spyware is something placed on your system without your permission. Adware is placed on your system with your permission (you are told about it in the click-through EULA). I know that google's toolbar will send data back to google about your browsing habits, but you have the option to turn that off if you wish to. I do not know about Yahoo's toolbar, but I do know that it is absolutly not spyware.
you need to reread what you just said. A router does stop you from getting spyware/adware/virus's that you dont tell or allow your computer to install because it blocks the ports that those virus's spyware/adware try to connect to your computer on. thats exactly what I said and exactly what you just said.
Heh, no we did not say the same thing. There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding on your part on how viruses, adware and spyware work. I'll break down the most common ways for you.

Viruses/adware/spyware infection way #1: Infected website. You go to the website and through activeX, javascript, etc, it will infect your system. In the case of spyware, often it is a bad browserhelperobject (ie mainly problem) that will do the spying and ad display. A router will do nothing to stop this. You have requested that webpage, and because the router does not check the content (content filtering) it will allow any page you have gone to, to load. This means if you have a router and visit a website like this, you will get a virus unless your anti-virus solution is on the ball. This scenerio covers pretty much all spyware infections.

Virus #2: You receive an infected email. You open this, it infects your system. A router will do nothing to stop this. You told your email client to go fetch your mail, and your router allowed this traffic through..again not checking the content of what you asked for. And again, unless your anti-virus solution..blahblahblah. You get the gist.

Virus #3: Someone on your local broadband network is infected. This means someone on the same broadband network as you (e.g. comcast, verizon, etc) is infected and is blasting out the viruses over ports 139/445. A router WILL stop this traffic from coming in.

Adware #4: You download a program that claims to provide a service for you (keeping track of your username/passwords on websites like gator, etc) and while it does what you ask, it also installs adware to pay for its services. This is legal because the EULA it asks you to accept for the install tells you about this. A router will do nothing to stop this.

Routers do, as you stated, stop direct attacks against your machine from the outside. However I can tell you with 100% certainty that the vast majority of viruses and do not infect people via that method, and spyware does not utilize that method either.

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#96 Unread post by jonnythan » Mon Feb 12, 2007 5:57 pm

ofblong wrote:you need to reread what you just said. A router does stop you from getting spyware/adware/virus's that you dont tell or allow your computer to install because it blocks the ports that those virus's spyware/adware try to connect to your computer on. thats exactly what I said and exactly what you just said.
You are not understanding the function of a router and network address translation, or you are not understanding how malware typically gets installed.
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#97 Unread post by Nibblet99 » Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:42 am

To summarise, essentially most spyware, adware, viruses come straight through Firewalls, as they are attatched to an item you're computer has requested (eg part of a web page)

The only thing that will protect you here is real time virus protection filtering

Disabling real time filters, means viruses have free reign to propagate onto your system until you manually scan for them, more and more of which are starting to get sophisticated and actively target anti-virus software like norton. So should you do a manual scan later, it can already be too late.

There are many many ways to speed up windows, but disabling real time virus scanning is just not an option from my point of view. If you're computer is still too slow with virus protection (assuming all unnecessary services are disabled, virtual memory increased, hard disk defragmented, seperate disk for applications, etc), Suck it up, or buy a better computer.

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#98 Unread post by blues2cruise » Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:33 pm

My computer is only 1 year old. It is a decent system and when I first got it and first got the high speed connection is was blazingly fast. It has just been the last few months that it has been so slow.

When a person spends the kind of $$$ I spent for this system, I should not have to "suck it up".
Which is why I have tried to troubleshoot.

I will be calling a tech to take a look.

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#99 Unread post by jonnythan » Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:27 pm

No computer made in the last 10 years should have trouble saturating the fastest of consumer internet connections.

Networks moved past 10Mbps many years ago because they could easily surpass that, and 10Mbps is faster than 99% of broadband connections. Any computer from the last 5 years or so can saturate a 100Mbps connection.

Basically, it's not that the hardware is incapable..
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#100 Unread post by Shiv » Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:14 pm

Just don't buy a new system because the internet is slow. My uncle did that and was pissed that his internet didn't speed up. Your computer specs have little to nothing to do with the speed of the internet. What does affect it has already been mentioned (malware/viruses/spyware/etc.)

So as the most extreme measure, do a format, but don't waste your money on a new machine. Try the tech thing if you don't know how to get rid of the various problems.

By the by this is in response to this:
Had the same problem after installing the new explorer and was about ready to buy a new computer after uninstalling it twice
Just wanted to clear up the new computer thing not working bit. There's a lot of people that think a new computer will solve their problems and, to an extent, in the end it does. But only because they got a new hard drive (read: clean hard drive) with that new computer and it'll slow down again in a few months.
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