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#1 wovaki

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 08:40 PM

Hello SWI Forums!

I have been hearing a lot about how wireless networks are really unsafe.
I'm new to wireless and everything, I have been stuck with dialup until recently, but now wireless seems to be everywhere...is it really unsafe to connect my computer to wireless hotspots?

I have ZoneAlarm free firewall, shouldn't that protect me?

I really appreciate any replies!

Wovaki

#2 TheJoker

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 08:27 AM

ZoneAlarm should work fine for you. Two other excellent free firewalls are Outpost Firewall Free or Online Armor Free. Either one would be a good choice. There is a tutorial on understanding firewalls at http://www.bleepingc...tutorial60.html and a tutorial for Outpost Free at http://www.outpostfi...9658#post179658

When you install ZoneAlarm, I recommend that you UNcheck the optional install for Spy Blocker as it's from the questionable search engine Ask.com. You can read more about Ask.com here.

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#3 TheJoker

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 09:56 AM

I should add that you should be certain that you are using AES (WPA2) rather than WEP, and that yes, hotspots are less secure than you own connection. I would not connect to any hotspot unless you are using a good rules based firewall like the ones previously mentioned.

Free Tools for Fighting Malware
Anti-Virus: avast! Free Antivirus / Avira Free AntiVirus
OnLine Anti-Virus: ESET / BitDefender / F-Secure
Anti-Malware: Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware / Dr.Web CureIt
Spyware/Adware Tools: MVPS HOSTS File / SpywareBlaster
Firewall: Comodo Firewall Free / Privatefirewall
Tutorials: How did I get Infected? / Internet Explorer Privacy & Security Settings
If we have helped, please help us continue the fight by using the Donate button, or see this topic for other ways to donate.

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#4 wovaki

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 11:56 AM

Well I already have ZoneAlarm installed, and I have for a while. Previously I have had very little experience with wireless connectivity. But now there are a few wireless hotspots around where I live, including a couple open ones.

I have ZoneAlarm's settings all set to the maximum (says other computers can't detect/connect my computer on the network).

But I just wanted to make sure, because I have heard wireless is unsafe, even when using encryption and I wanted to find out from a trusted source.

Also, I was looking at switching to Comodo's free firewall, because I have been having problems with my Firefox and a article on Firefox's website said that ZoneAlarm may cause this.

Thanks!

#5 TheJoker

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Posted 12 July 2009 - 07:59 AM

I have ZoneAlarm's settings all set to the maximum (says other computers can't detect/connect my computer on the network).

That's exactly what you want, regardless of the firewall that you use.

Also, I was looking at switching to Comodo's free firewall, because I have been having problems with my Firefox and a article on Firefox's website said that ZoneAlarm may cause this.


Also, I was looking at switching to Comodo's free firewall, because I have been having problems with my Firefox and a article on Firefox's website said that ZoneAlarm may cause this.

Two excellent free firewalls are Outpost Firewall Free or Online Armor Free. Either one would be a good choice. There is a tutorial on understanding firewalls at http://www.bleepingc...tutorial60.html. I would look at Online Armor.

Free Tools for Fighting Malware
Anti-Virus: avast! Free Antivirus / Avira Free AntiVirus
OnLine Anti-Virus: ESET / BitDefender / F-Secure
Anti-Malware: Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware / Dr.Web CureIt
Spyware/Adware Tools: MVPS HOSTS File / SpywareBlaster
Firewall: Comodo Firewall Free / Privatefirewall
Tutorials: How did I get Infected? / Internet Explorer Privacy & Security Settings
If we have helped, please help us continue the fight by using the Donate button, or see this topic for other ways to donate.

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#6 wovaki

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 08:41 AM

Sorry, but I'm really paranoid when it comes to my PC security. I have used Comodo before but when I had to move to vista, Comodo wouldn't work. I was told Comodo was better than ZoneAlarm.

I am sort of skeptical about new security programs I have never tried, and I really liked Comodo when I used it. But I wanted to make sure that it has all the security features that are needed.

Thanks

#7 wovaki

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 11:36 AM

Alright, please disregard my above post.

I have installed Online Armor Free, and I have a couple questions.

1. I can't find any settings to make it so that other computers on the same network can't detect my computer.

2. This firewall blocks both incoming and outgoing traffic, right?

3. Could you please tell me if I am more secure with ZoneAlarm or with Online Armor Free?

4. Do you know of any websites that compare firewalls? Sort of like what they have with anti virus programs.

I noticed on ZoneAlarm that it was regularly blocking a "high rating" threat, so I want to make sure that this firewall is blocking that as well.

Thanks!

#8 TheJoker

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 08:02 PM

The firewall will block both incoming and unless you have authorized the program, or it was authorized with a preconfigured rule for a known application, it would block it.

For which would be the better software firewall, ZoneAlarm or Online Armor Free, it's which ever is more convenient for you to use. Properly configured, they should both provide the same level of security. You could test your configuration here:
http://www.pcflank.com/
https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2

I don't use Online Armor myself, so I can't tell you exactly how to configure it to prevent detection of your system from another system on your network, but I would expect it to already be configured to prevent that unless you authorized a trusted connection.

There are not any good firewall comparison sites that I'm aware of like there are for antivirus programs. There is this site for a poll, but it will only tell you what people that responded were using, not what actually tested better in a comparison. You also have to be careful of some comparisons, as in who was paying for the comparison to be done.

Free Tools for Fighting Malware
Anti-Virus: avast! Free Antivirus / Avira Free AntiVirus
OnLine Anti-Virus: ESET / BitDefender / F-Secure
Anti-Malware: Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware / Dr.Web CureIt
Spyware/Adware Tools: MVPS HOSTS File / SpywareBlaster
Firewall: Comodo Firewall Free / Privatefirewall
Tutorials: How did I get Infected? / Internet Explorer Privacy & Security Settings
If we have helped, please help us continue the fight by using the Donate button, or see this topic for other ways to donate.

MS MVP 2009-20010 and ASAP Member since 2005





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