alpha shield firewall

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by fosl, Dec 29, 2007.

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  1. fosl

    fosl Registered Member

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    Hello all,

    I have vista and have been fooling around with several software firewalls for the last several months. I have had problems with pctools firewall plus, webroot desktop firewall and comodo firewall v3. I also used a linksys wrtg54 router that had a "powerful SPI firewall". Well, the software firewalls caused all sort of problems and the router just cant keep the computer connected to the internet. So now Im just using the built in Vista firewall. I got a gift for the holidays called Alpha Shield. Its a hardware firewall that claims to be hackproof and provide strong inbound protection. I have not hooked it up yet. Can anybody recommend this hardware firewall or should I give it to someone else?
     
  2. Diver

    Diver Registered Member

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    I don't know whats going on with your router, but I suspect your internet connection problems are from a badly configured firewall that is preventing DHCP from assigning your computer an IP address, especially if the problem went away when using the built in Vista firewall. However, there are many other possible mistakes one could make with any of these very intrusive fiewalls.

    I suspect the hardware firewall gadget you have is fundamentally no different from your router so far as protection from the internet is concerned.
     
  3. fosl

    fosl Registered Member

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    Thanks Diver. That may be the case. With Vista firewall, my internet connection works good. The box that Alpha Shield came in says it installs in less than a minute. I think Ill give it a try. Sounds simple enough!
     
  4. Kapiti

    Kapiti Registered Member

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    Hello Fosi,

    I've been using an Alpha Shield unit for some years in tandem with software FW's without a problem. Only reason I still use a software FW is for outgoing protection. The one downside to the Alpha Shield is the cost, this doesn't apply in your case:)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqgFD59swsg
     
  5. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    From the reviews I've read, the alpha shield just drops incoming connections. It just gives itself fancy names like AlphaGAP and RPA etc to make it sound secure.
     
  6. LoneWolf

    LoneWolf Registered Member

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    I've been using AlphaShield for a couple of years now along with a software FW for added protection. I have ran without a software firewall testing at GRC shields up and all ports were stealthed.
    I just sleep better at night with both. (software and hardware FW)
    If you have broadband/dsl, a nice added feature in AlphiaShield is the abillity to disconnect/reconnect to the web with the touch of a button. Yeah I know, you can just pull the plug to your internet connection, but this is more convenient. So yes I can recommend it.
     
  7. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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  8. clocks

    clocks Registered Member

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    Does this really do much more than a router?
     
  9. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Taken from their insulting "hell, fire and brimstone you need this or you are doomed" sales pitch:

    I would not touch it with a 10 foot patch cable! Maybe it works but that statement is bs.
     
  10. Stem

    Stem Firewall Expert

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    Hello fosl,
    I would say, plug it in and use it. It will give you protection from unsolicited (application layer) inbound, so any services will be protected from scans/ unsolicited.

    Without actually testing I cannot comment.
    From looking at the Alpha shield, the only real advantage (without testing) would be the fact that the hardware cannot be compromised, mainly from my point of view that mis-config or such as uPnP from the PC cannot open ports within the device.

    Probably insulting to you and others who know how to deal with the OS services, and have at least some knowledge on the filtering on these.
    I would at minimal, agree that such a statement from a vendor is possibly misleading. (based on their comment:... would someone with an home alarm, all doors locked, really need a doorman outside to watch?)

    fosl,
    You have an Alpha shield, then use it.
    I would not advise everyone to go out and buy one, but neither would I advise anyone to go out and buy a router if they only have one PC.
     
  11. jrmhng

    jrmhng Registered Member

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    I've read a few reviews and most of them give it a so-so rating. Nothing revolutionary and not something I'd spend money on. But if it is free, then why not.
     
  12. fosl

    fosl Registered Member

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    Well, Ive got it all hooked up and running. It is indeed very simple to install. There is no way to configure it that I can tell so no way for me to mess it up. Seems to be working OK with no internet slow down or loss of connection. Nice to have since it was free, but I dont think I would spend anymore than $30 or so if I were to spend my own hard earned cash.
     
  13. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    I ran to town and picked up an Alpha Shield at Radio Shack for $19.97. It really seems to work well and there is no detremental effect on web browsing I can detect. $20 for a real hardware firewall is not a bad price at all. You can download the Alpha shield configuration utility at their web site.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  14. Delgado

    Delgado Registered Member

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    Ive often seen Alpha Shield talked about-is there anywhere that it can be purchased in the United kingdom?
     
  15. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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  16. midway40

    midway40 Registered Member

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    If you got it for 19.95 you have done great. The company website offers it for 119.95 and Fry’s for 69.95. I wonder if RS got the price wrong and left a one out, lol.
     
  17. clocks

    clocks Registered Member

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    Still wonder if this really protects more than a router. One review I read said you were better off just buying a router, as the protection was the same.
     
  18. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    What,s the main difference between Alpha Shield and a Router?
     
  19. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    For their home unit, Unique GAP and RPA technology, according to this
     
  20. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    Depending on the router possibly nothing. My router has a firewall which can be configured to not respond to "ping" (stealth), SPI (stateful packet inspection) and the option to turn off Upnp among a number of other features. Alpha Shield ads say there's nothing to configure and it never needs updates. I prefer having a router which CAN be configured and updated. Since I paid less than $40 for my router the idea of paying $69> for Alpha Shield does not strike me as a good deal. The Radio Shack price of $20 is about right.
     
  21. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    Here is a quick answer on whether a router or Alpha Shield firewall has the better protection. I have done a lot of research on AS and it is without doubt more secure than a router. A router depends on software "firmware" and where there is software there is the ability to defeat it. Where as with alpha shield there is no software to be corrupted by malware or a hacker.
     
  22. midway40

    midway40 Registered Member

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    For a single computer household like mine, this would be more what I need for a hardware firewall than a router. At present my computer is connected directly to the ViaSat Surfbeam modem (satellite).

    Our local Radio Shack does not carry it however.
     
  23. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    You can order it online and have it delivered to your local RS. The AS is not online orderable to your house. but it will ship to your store.
     
  24. midway40

    midway40 Registered Member

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    BigC, I looked into that but it stated "In Store Only" and "Online: not available, quantities are limited, may be at a store near you [link]" When I clicked on the link the nearest store is about 60 miles from here and I cannot take off down there during this time.

    Thanks anyway :)

    [I still wonder about the price though. With my luck, I would get down there and they tell me that the price advertised was wrong and it is 119.95, lol]

    BIG EDIT: Never mind I see what you are talking about now. Thanks! :)

    ANOTHER EDIT: It asks for you to put the item in the Shopping Cart first but this option doesn't appear when the item is "In Store Only". I guess you cannot have these particular items done that way :(
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  25. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    Nope, I ask them at the store and they said they got a special bargain and are just passing it on.
     
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