Advice on Firewalls?

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by Kathyhl, Sep 18, 2004.

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  1. Kathyhl

    Kathyhl Registered Member

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    Right now I'm running Z/A-5, and have still been having random problems. I say random because I've just had my Win98 re-installed, deleted some programs I don't really use, un-installed Norton and am now using Avast as it's not the resource hog that Norton is, and my errors and illegal functions are still coming in no particular pattern at all. I do however mostly see them when I'm using my e-mail client, trying to get to my control panel, or have clicked on my icon on my desktop to go to windows explorer. I've just received notice from Z/A that my yearly renewal is coming up, so I wondered if anyone had any thoughts on a light firewall that is also good.

    Thanks,
     
  2. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

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  3. puff-m-d

    puff-m-d Registered Member

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    Hi Kathyhl,

    I moved your thread from the Look 'n' Stop forum to the other firewall forum. Your question will get the proper attention here as it does not pertain directly to Look 'n' Stop.
     
  4. Kathyhl

    Kathyhl Registered Member

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    Thank you Puff-M-D, I just wasn't really sure, but glad you headed me in the right direction.

    Nadirah, I am going to d/l that because of what I've read everyone else saying on here, however, what does this mean?

    "you just have to make sure you uncheck server rights for any application's first time connecting to the net, since Sygate does give all applications server rights by default."

    I'm thinking it means giving all sites an ok? (could certainly be wrong here!)

    Thanks

    :)
     
  5. TheSnowGuy

    TheSnowGuy Guest

    Kathy

    from your brief comments regarding your problems...it seems un-likely that the problems are firewall related....furthermore, knowing firsthand your experience with firewalls...my suggestion would be that unless you have gained more experience since last we talked...that you should keep it simple and un-complicated..........
    Don't make mistakes that many Users do....if you are going to install another firewall get prepared beforehand not after installing......either learn how to make proper firewall rules or learn where to obtain a good set of rules for the particular firewall of your choice......sure you could just install a firewall and use the pre-set rules....an then learn by trial and error....not the best of ideas....
    Locate some websites with instructions on firewall rule making...bookmark those sites.....perhaps download a free rule based firewall and practice offline making rules....see if that suits you..if not...then consider another firewall.....all firewalls are not suited to all people.....whats right for you may not be right for me...so don't follow the herd.....secure you pc..an forget the emotional groupies...use the firewall right for Kathy.....
     
  6. TheSnowGuy

    TheSnowGuy Guest

    Kathy

    Whoa..slow down....SERVER is related to applications..not websites.......NEVER GIVE ANY APPLICATION SERVER RIGHTS.........there is SERVER or CLIENT........use Client.......

    Careful Kathy......you can learn this...if you take your time...
     
  7. TheSnowMan

    TheSnowMan Guest

    Kathy

    The above was my last post on this subject.....no doubt Nadriah can assist you further......
    wishing you well
     
  8. Kathyhl

    Kathyhl Registered Member

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    Thank you so much thesnowguy :) . How right you are about me learning something before I jump into it. Right now I'm just gripping at straws. I've had my PC in and re-installed my Win98, it works perfectly at the shop, but when I bring it home I get errors and illegal functions, I take it back, and it runs smoother than silk and twice as fast, then bring it home and here I am with problems again. The tech has no idea, and I would be the last one to have any ideas, so I'm just trying to do some things that the tech had a problem with, and one of them was a conflict he said he had with Norton and Z/A. I knew Norton was a resource hog, so had no problem dumping that, but now I'm thinking maybe I should try something else besides zone alarm. Who knows, maybe my pc just doesn't like the room it's in, that was also mentioned by one of the techs. He said for some reason he could never explain, his pc always had problems in one room, but worked fine in the others, and it wasn't a grounded problem. I may wind up just learning to live with these minor irritations, but it does frustrate me when my pc shuts down, then gives me the blue screen of death, then lets me use it again :( .

    Thanks everyone for helping.
     
  9. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    Short of having AC power issues in your home (not likely), the root cause of the problem is the user and/or the lack of RAM. It's also possible that you have a program with resource leaks. Note that W98 has a fix amount of system resources. Bad applications will not release system resources, even after they are closed. I would not open more than three applications at the same time under W98.

    A machine with W98 is at least 5 years old. You need a minimum of 128MB RAM but no more than 384MB. Launch MSCONFIG and click on the Startup tab. Uncheck ALL items except for your antivirus and firewall programs. Reboot PC.

    ZA 4.5 is more stable than 5.x, plus it is much easier to configure than the other firewalls. Do not install other firewalls unless you have a good understanding of basic firewall setup.

    If the PC runs well (twice as fast) at the shop, then you need to go back and show them how YOU operate the PC. You're probably clicking a set of keys or launch some programs that trigger the problem. I doubt if anyone on this forum can isolate this problem for you.
     
  10. Kathyhl

    Kathyhl Registered Member

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    Thanks all of you. I'm also thinking it's mainly the user, but I will try, try and try again, until I succeed. Good learning experience. Also, I have some work now checking up on firewalls, how they run and which one might just be something I might understand and would want to try.

    Thanks everyone, You're all so great :D
     
  11. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    The scenario you describe sounds to me like you might have an infection somewhere. Have you scanned your complete system lately? If so, what did you scan it with? With which antivirus program? With which antitrojan program? Also, have you run a full scan with Spybot S&D or a similar program?

    Are you connected to the internet via broadband (cable or DSL)?

    ZoneAlarm 5 is a known trouble-maker on some machines. However, Sygate is NOT all that *light* either. Moreover, I agree with snowguy -- don't start switching firewalls until you have eliminated other possible causes.
     
  12. jag1967

    jag1967 Registered Member

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    Kathy
    Just to clarify your situation: your machine works fine in the shop but when you take it home, you get problems?

    The answer from the tech guy that it is a room problem is vague and not helpful. Unless it is a ac supply problem, or some bizarre interference, this doesn't make much sense.

    Have you tried using it in another part of the house (on a different mains ring), or at a friends house?
    Would it be possible to get the tech to come to your house?
    I would first try to eliminate the possibility that it's your home enviroment that's causing the problems

    After that, closely look at what you do with your pc at home. Do the problems begin when you start up certain applications? Are you doing the same things at home and in the shop?
    Try to identify when the problems begin to appear at home. Is it for example at boot up? If not, does it happen after some time when the machine is just idling? Or say when you go online or start up your word processor? If you have cable, try disconnecting it and see if you get the same problems

    hth
    jag
     
  13. TheSnowGuy

    TheSnowGuy Guest

    KATHY

    Well Kathy, you are getting some excellent advice already from the posters......now just go slow and heed their advice an you should be just fine. As NOD_ stated..its not likely anyone here can solve your problems completely....but in time you will learn how to resolve problems yourself...just stick with it......you can do it.
    a couple of suggestions.....drop into safemode....there do a scandisc....if you do not know how to get into safemode post saying so an perhaps someone here can guide you........
    next......install MAXMEM.....which is a memory manager......it comes pre-set...leave it as is..........use it each time you use your computer......even when not using the internet......
    next...consider installing zone alarm 2.6 freeware......its old but should offer you all the protection you need for what you most likely do.......its doubtful that you need anything more complicated..........ZA 2.6.........am sure someone here can post a link to this version............
    next..go to the freetools section here at wilders..download "newdefrag"......use it...its faster than what came with your puter.........
    Since you were not awear of what a server/client is......you should always remember....NEVER ALLOW ANYTHING TO ACT AS A SERVER.......
    Kathy, if you are using some type of messenger...don't allow it as a server.........never!! Also, messengers can be used to attack computers....as you are using the messenger.....ZA 2.6 will help prevent this......
    Yours is an older computer....treat it as such.....don't install every program that comes down the pike......... your firewall..anti-virus...spywareblaster....adawear or spybot.....(an you can use a messenger) should hold you secure for now........keep it slim and trim for now an see if the problems continue or go away.....don't try keeping up with the folks here with newer computers......your 98 will server you well...if you treat it correctly.....

    normally I never ever suggest a particular firewall to anyone......in this case..because of your older computer and lack of experience the suggestion of ZA 2.6 was made...........for no other reason.......its just to buy you some time to learn more.
     
  14. TheSnowGuy

    TheSnowGuy Guest

    Kathy

    As previously stated I wont be offering any comments.......I am not on my own computer/connection....an only passing through for now.....others here can without doubt give you some great advice...
    So take care Kathy......an take your time.....what you are experiencing really is not that unusual.....it happens...........so don't let it get to you.
    Good Luck


    TheSnowGuy/The Snowman
     
  15. Etsnuffy

    Etsnuffy Registered Member

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  16. Kathyhl

    Kathyhl Registered Member

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    Thank you all so much for your help and advice. Etsnuffy, thank you for the site, I did go and d/l z/a 2.6. Thesnowguy, what great advice, it's going to take me awhile, but I'd like to get through all of it a little at a time, if for nothing else, to learn more and be able to make wise choices in the future ;) Thank you so much once again.
    Jag1967, I do know when most of the problems occur, and when I took it in to the shop, I was the one going to the programs that always caused me problems, as they also thought it was a good idea for me to show them, but alas, it still ran smoothly. I have yet to move the PC. It was in my husbands office, but I finally had him put it out here in the frontroom where there's more light and room.
    Bellgamin, I ran Spybot S&D, SpywareBlaster, AD-Aware SE, Regclean, plus a complete Avast scan, and they all have come up clean. One strange thing that did happen this morning when I turned on my PC however, was all my mail settings were changed. I was flabbergasted, there were #' in my e-mail address, plus the loopback ip was in both the areas where my outgoing and ingoing info were suppose to be, so I changed those back and received my mail ok. Certainly don't know why that happened o_O Oh btw, I have cable.

    Nod, I do have 128 MB of RAM, and I did go in and uncheck everything but my antivirus and firewall, so I'm ok with that. And as I said previously, when I took my pc in the shop, I was the only one to run it, and they watched everything I did. The problem areas at home, were no longer problem areas at the shop.

    I'm thinking being as it's not the obvious, I will eventually have it put back in the office and see how it runs in there. After all, we probably could use a dining room table again :rolleyes:

    Thank you all so much for your input :)
     
  17. nod32_9

    nod32_9 Guest

    If you've unchecked everything but the AV and FW, then you should be okay with websurfing and office works. Perhaps you can list ALL the applications that you've installed in this PC.

    Note that USB cable modems (a favorite among cable installers) can be very buggy! The use of a 10/100 PCI network card is preferred, especially with older PCs. Try the PC for a few days with the minimum startup items (i.e. AV and FW). I would also connect only the mouse, keyboard, and modem to the PC. Provide as much details as possible (pre and post event) when you encounter the next fault.
     
  18. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    So far so good, but none of the stuff you listed will do an adequate scan for trojans, backdoors, worms, etc.

    It sure sounds like an infection to me.

    In which case, if you don't already have a router, I urge you to get one. Once you have a router installed, then all you need is a simple, light, free firewall whose main job will be little more than checking your outgoing stuff. Good candidates are ZA 2.6 or Outpost FREE.
     
  19. Kathyhl

    Kathyhl Registered Member

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    Hi Bellgamin, you're right, what I ran probably wouldn't find the big monsters those sick individuals find it so amusing to send out for free. I have used Trend Micro quite a bit in the past, but not since I've gotten my PC back from the shop, so that I will do right after I post this. I have also downloaded Z/A 2.6, but have paid for V5 for another 20 days, so I'm going to try and still accomplish a good search for the problem, and if I find nothing, I'm going to check with Z/A about their bugs in V5. V5 for the most part has really been working ok for me, that I'm aware of, but if nothing has been accomplished on their end to satisfy the customer, I'll uninstall Z/A-5 and install 2.6 at the end of my year.

    In regards to the router, I had one, Belkin, and after talking with their techs and downloading all the programs to try and make it work on my other PC just about 100 feet away, it still only caused me a headach, so I winded up dumping it.

    Thanks for your support,

    :)
     
  20. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

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    Hello Kathyhl

    For an adequate anti-Trojan scanner you can get ewido. It is free and works quite well and is very user friendly. You can find it here.

    Let us know how it goes! :)
     
  21. Equisetum

    Equisetum Registered Member

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    Dear SnowGuy (or anyone who knows),

    You mention " Locate some websites with instructions on firewall rule making..."

    I recently installed Outpost and would dearly love to know more about rule making. So how do I go about locating these websites? TIA--
     
  22. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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  23. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    here are a few sites on rule sets for firewalls here here here here
    check the last link first.

    hope these help
    bigc
     
  24. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    Q- I think Kathy is running Win98, whereas I THINK Ewido only runs on Win2K & XP. If I am correct, using Ewido on her box could cause problems, right?
     
  25. Tassie_Devils

    Tassie_Devils Global Moderator

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    Hi Kathyl :)

    Well, no doubt about it you have received some great advice in here, as I have been reading the thread as it progresses and I am loathe to add more re firewall, apps, etc. as you have a lot to digest, but just to add one comment regarding part of the above quote.

    The only reason I am doing so, is because of a similar problem I had a good while back and it turned out to be so simple, fixed in 10 seconds. :D

    First, when you said it ran just fine at the shop, bring it home, and it ran like a dead dog with errors, etc., did you actually take it back more than the first time to the tech, and each time it ran just fine, until you got it back home?

    I had exact same deal here, and so I thought it was not just my box [as I am presuming that, like most people, only the box was taken in, not keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.]

    Anyhow, I thought must be a problem with either of those, as the box ran fine at shop and when got home, reboots, errors, then my tech rang me with an idea he had.

    He knew I ran a multiple 6 point power adaptor, [bought from his shop] like most people, you don't have a row of power points to plug all your leads into, and he thought it could have been that as it has an inbuilt Power Surge Protector in it.

    So I unplugged all the leads, plugged directly the monitor, box only leads into available wall sockets I had and ran fine. Soon as I tried the power adaptor, it just rebooted itself as usual, and errors, etc.

    If you are running a multiple power point adaptor especially with power surge protection, it may be as simple as that. I bought a new one and no probs since. Spent the best part of a week sorting this. :(

    He said sometimes, a small surge can cause it to trip out in milliseconds, enough to cause probs, but not enough to have no power, and it will continue to give power like nothing is wrong, but you needed to hit a 'Reset' button on the power board, [DOH] and it should have been fine, but I still got a new one, and just used the old for my work shed and power tools. :)

    Just a simple thought. :)

    Cheers, TAS
     
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