Mcafee Firewall free with AOL

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by AnthonyG, Aug 11, 2004.

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  1. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

    Aug 3, 2004
    I have mcafee firewall which i got free with AOL and im curious and wanting to ask is it any good.
    I am more concerned about things being secretely installed on my computer than any thing else (am having major problems with dialer pop ups while viewing certain pages) and mcafee isnt seeming to stop them from being downloaded to my computer.

    Is that just a problem with mcafee or are all firewalls like this. If not which one should i go for. to stop this annoying problem, or should i just stick with my free mcaffe. I dont mind paying for stuff if it will stop the secret downloads from occuring.

  2. Paranoid2000

    Paranoid2000 Registered Member

    May 2, 2004
    North West, United Kingdom
    Many firewalls will do little to stop "secret downloads" (known as "drive-by downloads") since webpages using these exploit security loopholes in Internet Explorer (which would be allowed access through a firewall on most people's systems). What firewalls can do is provide protection against unsolicited incoming traffic (worms, port scans, etc) and, if properly configured, alert you to any malware attempt to send data out. McAfee did poorly in a leaktest review conducted a year ago (leaktests attempt to bypass the firewall to send data out - see Firewallleaktester's results for a more recent review though it does not include McAfee) so another product may be a better choice if this is your main concern.

    To stop drive-by downloads you need a web-filter that can remove active content (like ActiveX, Java, Javascript, etc) from web pages. Some firewalls (e.g. Kerio, Outpost) do include this but you can also use a specialised web-filter (WebWasher Classic is one that is easy to use but Proxomitron is the most powerful - both are free for personal use) which normally offers more flexibility. However some web pages will not work properly when you disable active content so you need to balance security and convenience.

    One easy option that would significantly increase your security is to ditch Internet Explorer and use an alternative like Firefox (free) or Opera (either register or put up with an ad-pane which most web filters will block anyway) instead. These are more securely designed and any security flaws that are found are far less likely to lead to a Windows system compromise.

    Also run a scan on your system with software like AdAware or Spybot Search and Destroy to remove common adware/spyware and diallers. If problems persist after a scan by these, then consider running a trial version of an anti-trojan scanner like TDS-3 or TrojanHunter.
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