ISP Provided Firewall/Security Software

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by Code_Blue, Oct 3, 2007.

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  1. Code_Blue

    Code_Blue Registered Member

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    Does your ISP provide a free or discounted firewall/suite and if so, do you take advantage of the offering?

    My story: Comcast is my ISP and they offer McAfee. I used McAfee in the past and swore I would never do so again do to system slowdowns and compatibility issues. But after going through a few computers over the years and now having a Vista laptop, my options were suddenly limited. I heard what you guys frequently suggest about trying software and going with what works for your unique setup and I found that McAfee actually works very well on my system.
     
  2. Stem

    Stem Firewall Expert

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    For free.
    No chance,.. full of holes. The firewall issued, was with hard_coded rules for its own apps. Not for me.
     
  3. Code_Blue

    Code_Blue Registered Member

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    Stem,

    If you of all people had said "yes I use my ISP's freebie" I would have been...surprised to say the least.

    For those of us that are still way down the learning curve with respect to fine tuning a firewall, the ISP offering can seem a tempting option, especially if it plays well with our existing system/software. Is that risking a false sense of security scenario or is choosing the offering and learning to tweak it(to use my own example of McAfee) a viable option?

    Tom
     
  4. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I'm not Stem, so pardon my 2 cents, but I would say that in most cases that I've seen, the ISP offering is usually pretty feeble, and that you would be far better off browsing the forum here and trying out some of the well known alternatives to that.
     
  5. Stem

    Stem Firewall Expert

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    Hello Tom,

    There is no less chance of conflicts from an ISP firewall, to a free or paid firewall found.

    An ISP firewall is usally one from a 3rd party vendor, that is changed to suit the ISP.

    My own ISP told me to never have a router, or any other firewall than the one provided, as this would cause me connection problems,.. I did have problems untill I removed their connection software~ 20 minutes after taking use of their service.
     
  6. Code_Blue

    Code_Blue Registered Member

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    No pardon needed, I appreciate the feedback. I have three different setups on our three computers. Most of my choices came after reading discussions on this board.

    Stem:

    A couple of years ago I removed the Comcast connection software because of performance issues that I thought might be caused by it and in fact that was the case.

    I was not aware that security software would be altered to fit the ISP's needs/specs, but the more I think about it the more sense it makes that this would be the case. Does this alteration generally result in a compromise of what might have been better protection if the original software out of the box would have been used instead?
     
  7. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    Code-Blue,
    While Stem is the Expert I am sure, his comments are curious to me. He has made a blanket statement without specific details. For example is McAfee FW hard coded to suit the ISP or is there settings that can be changed by the user. Further the "out of the box setting" by my ISP is standard we have been told falsely by McAfee support that it should remain there or we will have problems. Yet I have moved mine to stealth without any connectivity problems what so ever.

    You do not have to be a FW expert to understand that if you have to change your code to suit every ISP or AOL it will become costly. You must have a product that is stream lined to maximize your profit.

    Perhaps he can explain his position a little further on this.

    I have been told the same thing he has, by ISP tech support from Comcast. Now a days it appears that Comcast is outsourcing the security tech support. As I hear that Comcast Tech Support is deferring to McAfee Support for security related issues.

    One final point if you were to take what Stem has said all the way out to it's logical conclusion on firewalls. The McAfee Firewall I buy off the shelf at Walmart is different then the one offered by Comcast in it's suite...sure default settings maybe different, but I believe we are getting the same firewall...

    ...but I got an open mind on this so I hope he will reply :doubt:
     
  8. Diver

    Diver Registered Member

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    Issues mentioned above aside, it is a good idea for ISP's to give away security software. What happens a lot is a new pc gets into someone's home or office with a trial version of Norton that expires in 90 days, and does not get extended or replaced. A recent survey showed a high percentage of computers had AV software that was at least 1 month out of date. Every computer I have ever cleaned up had an out of date AV. Give your clients a free AV and there is some hope it will stay up to date. Face it, it may be an AV you think is a dog, but it is better than anything that is out of date.

    I have come to the conclusion that ISP's need to to more, a lot more to cut down on the malware. Most scan email now, and that has dramatically decreased the number of email transmitted malware. Perhaps they need to scan all traffic. certainly they should be more aggressive about shutting down bots.
     
  9. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    Yes, I agree Diver. I have family members that are a perfect example of what you described. I got them off the expired TrendMicro and gave them my ZAP 4.5 key and AVG Free set them up and trained them to do a Spybot check at least every few weeks.

    I don't get any more phone calls on the security just other expired trial software. :rolleyes: "Oh you mean I can't use that anymore"
     
  10. Diver

    Diver Registered Member

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    Merc,

    Life is a trial. You just don't know when it expires. That is why it is so valuable.

    Of topic, I know, but...

    -Ron, a diver who needs to find some seawater an get deep fast.
     
  11. YeOldeStonecat

    YeOldeStonecat Registered Member

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    It's better than nothing...for the masses out there. However..I never install any of their software, prefer to hand select my own better quality products.
     
  12. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    That is a good idea. My PC is old and I also figure they have to have something that works on old PCs to avoid tech calls. Like you said for the masses. When I get a new system I will certainly use hand picked mix and match of what I want. That is if everything has not gone Suite by then :oops: .
     
  13. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

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    My ISP provides Postini for e-mail.That's it.
    Probably wouldn't use anything else anyway.

    I think it is a good idea to provide security programs for the masses though.
     
  14. rdsu

    rdsu Registered Member

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    I only trust on the security that I made and mantain...
     
  15. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,
    Luckily, where I live, people are so rude and demanding that Internet is very cheap, even if prices are US-comparable. Apart from the very cheap infrastructure, My ISP (also cheap) offers me Kaspersky AV for USD2.5 a month, plus support, but I have not taken it. I don't need it. They also provide anti-spam and such for email, at USD3 a month, but I'm not using their email, why should I bother with an inferior 50MB inbox when I have my own site, 5-10 gmail accounts and 5-10 yahoo accounts ...?
    Mrk
     
  16. Stem

    Stem Firewall Expert

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    Hello mercurie,
    You would need to take time to look at the implimentations of the firewalls provided. I have looked at only 5 at this time, and find them to give Hard_coded rules to their own applications. This has the possibilty of the ISP making inbound, think as you will on that.

    Checking on such is not easy, simply because such firewalls are only given to the relavent ISP users, and need to be activated via ISP. This in itself gives me problems.
     
  17. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    I think I understand what you are saying.

    I have OutPost on machine 2 which of course is not ISP provided. It is on the DSL connection and I get a some requests. Next time I see it I will write it down and perhaps you can explain it to me.

    You will understand my question when I get the OutPost request again. I recognize it as Verizon something or other so it is not malware. I have both rejected it and excepted it. So it is harmless, except from a privacy standpoint it would seem.
     
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