Security, potential cable newbie, etc.

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by SG1, Jul 3, 2003.

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  1. SG1

    SG1 Registered Member

    Jan 16, 2003
    * Hope this is posted to right spot; if not, move me
    accordingly, to the proper place/forum. ;-)
    Am trying to talk myself into cable hookup/extra $,
    for online services; but, I wonder...

    Do I want "additional dynamic IP address," for $60/yr?
    Do I want, or need that? The word "additional" seems to imply that one IP address comes w/cable service(?)

    The best prices w/MediaCom are IF I (already) have
    cable modem, and Ethernet card (NIC). So, can you
    recommend a reliable brand of those two items to buy, and where to shop at?

    And of course, dear to our hearts, is the topic of security: such issues abound, w/cable & the always on
    connection, so...

    (A) Are there such things as cable modems, w/built
    in protection of any sort? OR, must one look to soft-
    ware and/or hardware, for safe surfing? (Am now using ZA's free firewall, among other things, for current
    dial-up). At a guess, I may have to upgrade/buy, more recent ver. of that firewall?

    (B) Anything else, in general, that veteran cable users would tell me about - to do, or not do?

    (C) If it matters one way or another: we have a PC
    with WIN98SE, 256 meg RAM, AMD Duron chip. (Is there place to look at on this PC, to find out what all I may or may not have installed, in case that's germane to the discussion)?

    Many thanks, as always for help & info.
    SG1 (Pat)
  2. Dan Perez

    Dan Perez Retired Moderator

    May 18, 2003
    Sunny San Diego
    Hi SG1,

    Cable modem connections always come with one IP address (almost always dynamically allocated) you usually would not need an additional IP, particularly if you were to use a cable "router"/firewall.

    For security, you really should consider upgrading to a better personal firewall or router/firewall device or both. There are lots of arguments for having both but budgets are good at defeating arguments along these lines :)

    You will want to make sure that you have good virus and trojan and spyware protection. What I am using is

    Antivirus- NOD32 as primary and KAV as secondary (on demand)

    AntiTrojan- TDS3 with KAV serving as a backup scanner

    Spyware- Spybot Search & Destroy, AdAware, SpywareBlaster, PestPatrol

    Firewall- Kaspersky Anti-Hacker as my personal firewall, OpenBSD's pf as my perimeter firewall

    Hazy area- I use PortExplorer which is an excellent complement to any AntiTrojan or Personal Firewall product

    There are lots of products out there and most if not all have good trial arrangements so the best advice is to take advantage of them!


  3. MakoFusion

    MakoFusion Registered Member

    Jun 25, 2003

    First off - Does your area offer DSL as well as cable? Around here the largest cable company and the largest phone company worldwide offer both and with that selection I gotta tell you... Its a sweet deal. The best of both! Be not limited to explore only one side of the broadband jump.

    Cable Setup

    Motorola SB4200 SURFboard Cable Modem
    Motorola SB5100 SURFboard Cable Modem

    Take a look at this cable modem first! I recommend it very highly. Does your cable company prefer a selected modem brand and model... You may be able to get rebates on the modem at the full price! Please check on this policy before you make your decision.

    NIC card
    Any generic brand. ($15.00 or so)

    Linksys Router (Optional)
    Recommended for DSL or Cable. Offers more protection than a conventional software firewall plus it works with Zone Alarm and PC Trillian. If you ever want to network your house, split bandwith between computers, or hook up an online gaming console you will need this. I know your cable company is going to ask you if its for more than 1 computers in which they will charge you more by the month... NOPE!!!! Don't pay more money for what a router can do already. Others replying to this thread can offer you the exact model to get for a Linksys router cause I currently have not bought mine yet.

    You will want only 1 IP address... Why pay more? DSL and Cable are both only 1 IP address. I strongly recommend finding out about proxies and proxy filters such as Proxomitron.

    You call... They come... Do you have a standard cable wire in your room already? They can do sinks through the wall if need be or connect from inside the house. If they start to do this thing where they connect a cable from one room and go around your door frame inside your room along the ceiling where its all messed up... Bleh! Make sure they do it professional like. They can drill holes through the wall and stuff. Minor stuff but my idiot cable person was talking to me about doing this door thing at first. Make sure the person installing grounds the splitter outside your house our you will blow out your modem at YOUR expense next thunderstorm.

    As long as you can watch cable on your TV you can get online. If the cable should go out there is no backup way to get online such as dialup with DSL. But my cable hardly ever goes out so its not a real big deal. In any case no matter how you set your connection up there is something about cable you should know. The cable modem is always the VERY LAST device hooked up before it goes to your cable and your cable company. This modem with a unique MAC address will always be seen by your cable company. In many ways it is almost like a window you cannot close because the cable company knows its you so you cannot truely be stealth on cable. In fact the cable company will always ping to verify your unique MAC address is online so that you stay connected. You WILL see activity always blinking even when you are doing nothing and your modem is online. Those are just the pings from your cable company. The SB4200 has a Standby button which you can press to go from online to offline. Kinda like a quickswitch.

    Never leave your cable modem plugged in with just the power cord. The coaxal cable acts as your grounder if your spliter outside already is. The correct way to plug in a cable modem is cable first, power cord second.

    Software to get...

    Your going to find out about other software for other needs than just these below. Currently this list is a must get first right away for your basic protection needs. Take it one or 2 programs at a time and learn them. Exploring these forums will surely lead you to other programs in time that you will want to explore with.

    Virus Scanner
    I use Norton 2003 as my main with resident scanner always on and McAffee as my backup scanner.

    I would suggest learning about your current firewall very well which in your case is ZoneAlarm. Once you feel confident enough to explore other firewalls take it from there.

    Ad-aware, Spybot Search + Destroy

    In any case protection is an ongoing process. You will find and master 1 program for something and move on to another for a different area of security. There is arguement as to which setup is best but a layered defense is without question recommended by all.

    And now its time for [glow=red,2,300]"My opinion matters so listen up!"[/glow]

    Your new broadband buddy,

    WhiteMateria (Cable Veteran at Arms)

    PS. I will write some a few more tips later.
  4. MakoFusion

    MakoFusion Registered Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    FAQ Session Directly

    Followup Post

    You want 1 IP address

    SB4200 SURFboard Cable Modem
    Compare Shopping (Circut City is where I got mine)

    A: No not really. Linksys router with firewall is a very good setup.

    B: Bookmark this forum to your favorites and come back often. Hopefully we can get you setup to a secure and enjoyable online experience quickly. Make sure they GROUND that splitter outside or you will burn that modem and NIC card out to often at YOUR expense.

    C: Sounds fine to me... As I have said before you and I have systems in commen. I am on Windows 98 SE with 384 RAM. How fast is your processor btw? I am on a P III 666 MhZ.
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