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Country Discussion Topics
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Internet connections
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Keewaydin    Posted 05-02-2003 at 08:21:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I haven't been on for quite a while because of connection problems. I was using AOL for a server and not all that happy with them, too many ads, too much trying to take control. When the cable TV company brought the service to our neighborhood I contacted them to see what it would cost and it's cheaper than AOL with an extra phone line. The wife's been a little unhappy with my tieing up the line so much, so I said go ahead.
The next step was to take the computer in to the TV cable people to have an "ethernet" card put in and this was where the trouble started. They said the computer was old and didn't have any too much internal machine memory.
I took the machine to a computer repair shop I've used before and they told me the hard drive was shot including all the info on it. Fixed that, put in the ethernet card - this is running into money - and said I was OK for the cable connection.
The hookup man came yesterday and did a nice job and so far I'm pleased with it. Work's fine and the cookings getting better at home.
I have a question if anyone out there has had any experience on the matter. I'd like to disconnect from AOL and quit seeing their charge show up every month on my VISA card.
People I've talked to say that once AOL has you they don't want to let go. I can't find any 800 number to call or address to write to, just the monthly VISA charge. I've also heard the rumor that if you try to stop Visa from paying AOL gets provoked and threatens to damage your credit rating.
Any helpful hints from the audience? Much obliged. Mal Jewell, aka "Keewaydin Farm"


MikeC    Posted 05-02-2003 at 10:39:55       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Now that you have an "always on" Internet connection you will need to make sure you have some sort of security such as a hardware firewall. Software firewall is a poor second choice (better than nothing) and running without one is like sitting in poison ivy with no clothes on. You have a semi permanent IP address and are an easy hack. I can even get your IP address from this website if I so choose (of course I won't).

Many inexpensive routers have a firewall built in and have the added benefit of adding additional computers to your "always on" connection. I enjoy looking at the firewall logs in my Barricade and seeing the occasional attempts to access my home network thwarted.


Um...    Posted 05-02-2003 at 14:34:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
His IP is 66.63.81.24...

It posts along with his name, date and time, just like everyone elses when they post...

As for software firewalls being a 'poor second choice', I'd have to disagree...TPF (Tiny Personal Firewall) and ZoneAlarm are pretty idiot proof for most home users, and quite effective against most attacks...Of course...If someone wants into your rig, and has enough time and money...Anything is possible...

However, I doubt that Mal has any national security secrets that would justify the cost/time for someone to break through ZA...

If you can break through ZA, then please contact Steve Gibson and let him know...He says he can't (or did say that the last time I was on his site)...


MikeC    Posted 05-02-2003 at 19:57:16       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The problem is most people have no clue how to correctly configure a software firewall. And a software firewall is already on the computer. That gives a would be hacker a much closer step than a hardware firewall/router that converts an IP address into a non-routable 10. or 192. And a hardware firewall can be locked down far tighter than a software firewall. After all, if I close all the ports except 80, 25 and 110 then I know there is no way access can be had. Most people just allow any activity when a software firewall asks for permission for a program to access the Internet-they have no clue what is being accessed and why.

After many years in the IT field I will always recommend a hardware firewall anytime there is an always on connection. I have seen far too many cases where a firewall would have prevented a problem. I also like to have logs to review and capture IP addresses of anyone trying to access my network. The hardware solution also give the ability to protect multiple computers on a single network instead of having multiple copies of software to install, configure, update, patch, etc.

He did say that his computer is an older machine, so I smell a new machine in the future. Now we have 2 machines in the house (the old one gets used for the kids or grandkids). Both will have access to the Internet with a router/firewall and additional software is not needed on the new machine. Both machines now have the same level of protection with no fuss.


Salmoneye    Posted 05-03-2003 at 02:28:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
I see your point, but I did say 'most home users'...Most home users do not have a LAN that they need a router for...

ZA comes by default with it set to ask permission each time a program tries to exit the machine, and has a logging feature also...


MikeC    Posted 05-03-2003 at 13:28:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I don't know what it is like in your area, but multiple computer households are quickly becoming the norm. Much like televisions in the 50's and 60's compared to today-more than one in a home is common. As older machines are passed down to kids and as more and more people have laptops that they use at both home and work a router makes sense even for most home users. Simply plug in your computer, let the router hand out DHCP and you are connected to the Internet. The benefit is the added measure of security.

You are correct-Zone Alarm does ask if you want to allow a program access to the Internet. However, what happens if you open Internet Explorer and it asks permission for internat.exe to access the Internet? Most people would simply say yes because it sounds like something that would need access to the Internet. They have just opened a door for Backdoor.AntiLam.20.K, a trojan, to phone home. Not a likely scenario? I've seen it and cleaned up similar problems too often.


Oops...    Posted 05-02-2003 at 14:35:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Forgot my name again...

That was me...

Salmoneye


Ron,Ar    Posted 05-02-2003 at 16:15:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think we knew that he he, but I like your brand of humor. And you gotta admit Mike has a nice site and a good looking tractor. Ron


Salmoneye    Posted 05-03-2003 at 02:29:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yah he does...

I just like to argue...

Ask my Wife or my Mother...

;-)


Hey salmoneye..    Posted 05-02-2003 at 14:56:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Regards from Puerto Rico :-)


That you...    Posted 05-03-2003 at 02:31:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
Patria?

How's the weather?

Has to be better than here...


Patria / PR    Posted 05-03-2003 at 04:46:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Of course it's me..

I wonder how many puertoricans are even lurking around here..

As for the weather, it couldn't be better. Two weeks ago we had a week of nasty rain. Right now I'm heading to old san juan to bring Beny-Lou to drawing and painting clases. I'm gonna hang around there and mingle among the bohemians and tourists. :-)


Salmoneye    Posted 05-03-2003 at 06:31:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sounds nice!

We have had a couple days of rain here...Today is going to be nice...When it gets above 40 that is...Sun is shining though...

;-)

Salmoneye


DeadCarp    Posted 05-02-2003 at 09:45:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
About 3 years ago, i got one of their AOL free CDs in the mail, got curious and stuffed it into the computer, and the thing took over! It took my guru HOURS to get most of it out and back to normal functioning.
Since then, i collect those freebies to prevent others undue stress, melt holes in them and try to find uses for them. I must have hundreds. They aren't even good for whirlygigs cuz the shiny part peels off in sunshine. AOL should be sued if they don't go bankrupt first :)


Salmoneye    Posted 05-02-2003 at 09:53:28       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I know a woman that hangs em on a string in the garden to keep the birds out...

I know another woman that swears by them as 'shiners' for ice fishing...

;-)


Salmoneye    Posted 05-02-2003 at 09:35:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
The number is 1-888-265-8008 or go to keyword CANCEL while logged on to AOL...

AOL is the antichrist...

Dump it...


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