which firewalls are protecting most during wireless connections ?

Discussion in 'other firewalls' started by carioca, Jan 24, 2009.

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  1. carioca

    carioca Registered Member

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    o_O
    hi, wilders security forum buddies,

    I would like to know if I might feel completely protected by using a software firewall when using the wireless connections with my notebook. I meant that I woud not be invaded by hackers? my notebook uses the vista as operational system. which freewares firewalls do you most recommend? I have read if I use the comodo firewall is not enough and someone from comodo forum recommended to use a paying service as comodo trustconnect (vpn-like software) like this post "COMODO firewall would easily protect you from hackers gaining access into your PC, but, like every other firewall, they can't stop hackers from being able to read the info being transmitted from your router to your PC or vice versa (you are at a greater risk of this when in public places). even encrypting it can be easily broken nowadays. the best solution would be to use VPN-like software such as COMODO Trustconnect, which come with a small fee."
    what about the paying ones? which are the best by protecting wireless connection? what about the outpost pro firewall ? I'd appreciate your helpful hints. best regards.

    :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  2. sded

    sded Registered Member

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    What are you protecting from? Generally, you need to use WPA/AES if available to protect the link between your computer and whatever router you are using for wifi. And always use SSL email (like gmail) to protect the link between your computer and your mail server. And be sure that any information from your browser that you want to protect uses HTTPS so that the link between your browser and the website is encrypted. If you are after complete privacy, then a VPN can encrypt your whole link up to the VPN server and relay it from there. Or if your concern is email, you can encrypt it with tools like PGP or more modern techniques for cooperative addressees.
    As far as firewalls, I like Online Armor because it is very easy to deal with multiple networks, and to trust and distrust other computers on the network individually, as well as providing a firewall status display and a complete logging capability so I can see what is going on and what has gone on. Haven't tried Outpost Pro, though.
    BTW, I am a big user of Public Wifi, spent 6 months in Mexico using it, and regularly use it here with unknown sites. And consider a VPN unnecessary since my email is protected and the electronic commerce sites are protected. Even though the computer-router link is not. And have used things like PGP in the past, but those are for much more sensitive information. IAW if it is worth a black bag job at your ISP or your home.
    So the real question is, how sensitive is your information and how much are you willing to spend to protect it?
    BTW, the Comodo quote is wrong if you use WPA/AES and a bit misleading if you use SSL email and HTTPS web connects. And are careful about what you say in the clear. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  3. jmonge

    jmonge Registered Member

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    i am using malware defender's network protection;) do you think is goo?i know it is new in town:D but what do you think?thanks:thumb:
     
  4. 3xist

    3xist Guest

    Hi. :)

    Comodo TrustConnet will be very good for your needs. It's also included in the Comodo Internet Security Pro where it's cheaper, And CIS Pro includes other services as well. You get a 30 day trial with CIS Pro, So if you don't like TrustConnect you can simply just forget about it and look for alternative solutions. :)

    See here for info on Trust Connect: http://www.comodo.com/trustconnect/ You can buy it stand a lone or with CIS Pro with the 30 day trial, etc.

    Cheers,
    Josh
     
  5. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Rule 1: Don't panic (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    Rule 2: the word hacker is overused.

    Reality explained:

    When you use a wireless communication of any sort, your devices transmit signals through the air to one another. These signals can be captured by other devices. Radio transmission it its simple form.

    You have device A transmitting, device B receiving. But you can also have a device C receiving.

    In order to avoid device C (not your pc or router) from being able to read your communications, as they might contain sensitive information, you have two choices:

    1) Use physical isolation, but this is difficult to implement: Faraday cages, scramblers etc. Nor practical for home use.

    2) Use encryption. Your data will still be visible to anyone, but it will not be human-readable. Anyone will still be able to collect your signals, but they will appear as pure garbage.

    This is why we use encryption on our routers. To make the traffic unusable to anyone except people who have the right decryption key. You do this by providing a password / passphrase when authentication against the router device.

    So, you do not need any firewall to protect against someone reading your data. You merely need encryption.

    A firewall is used to filter out unsolicited incoming traffic, regardless of wireless. Any one will do. Even basic built-in XP firewall. Furthermore, most routers double as firewalls, so nothing to worry there.

    However ...

    If you connect to routers you do not know, i.e. airports, cafes, you cannot be sure of these routers are truly secure or trusted. The operator of the router will be able to see all your data once it decrypts it and sends it forward.

    Therefore, you should not do sensitive stuff connected to networks you do not know. Also pay attention to security certificates thrown by websites, to make sure you really are connecting to genuine sites and that you're not being diverted to rouge ones. If you connect to secure sites properly, your data will be invisible, once again.

    Still, you may want to hide all your traffic, including the initial negotiations and such. Therefore, you may want to use VPN software. Operators of rouge access points will be able to only see the IP of the VPN tunnel endpoint, but not what goes inside.

    You don't need to pay money for VPNs. There are free options available.

    And you need only use if you intend to do sensitive stuff in external, public networks, which you should avoid, regardless of the software you use.

    Mrk
     
  6. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    Regarding the connection between your router and PC, by default wireless security is OFF. There are a couple of simple steps that will dramatically improve your wireless security - turn ON encryption and change the default password to access the router's settings. Comodo's statement that wireless encryption can be broken is a half-truth. The older form is called WEP and it can be easily broken, however if you use WPA2-AES with a long, random pass-phrase it cannot be easily broken, not even using supercomputers.

    Regarding TrustConnect that is a good service if you access the internet in open WiFi hotspots, such as Starbucks or airports. However there are free services that do the same thing, such as Hotspot Shield.
     
  7. carioca

    carioca Registered Member

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    :thumb:
    hi, Mrkvonic,
    I noticed you're a linuxer as I am. I am the debian sidux brazil administrator. visit the sidux brazil at http://www.sidux.com.br. thanks for the reply. it was very instructive.best regards.
    :cool:
    thanks for all buddies here for the high level replies. it was super! best regards.
    :D

     
  8. cutedeedle

    cutedeedle Registered Member

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    Mrk --
    Can you suggest free VPNs in the USA? I have the same need -- out in the world with my little netbook, using public wifi. I have WinXP fw turned on, using Sandboxie for surfing, but would feel safer using a VPN, preferably free.
    :D
     
  9. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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  10. carioca

    carioca Registered Member

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    o_O
    I'm quoting what cutedeedle said: "using Sandboxie for surfingdoes". sandboxie also offer a good sort of protection concerning wirelless connection? Is It a good solution to be isolated to the wireless internet and not be picked up by someone else like a neighbor nearby. Is it only a kind of a spare protection? thanks for the hints. best regards.
    *puppy*
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  11. cutedeedle

    cutedeedle Registered Member

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    :thumb: Thanks! No way to try it from home but next time I'm out and wireless I will.
     
  12. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    I don't believe Sandboxie will protect your wireless connection. If the connection is not secured then others can access the internet through your router. If your router user name and password are not changed from the defaults then others can easily access the router settings and change them for their own purposes. Sandboxie isolates stuff coming into the computer through the internet connection, so you have some protection from malware infection. That's very useful, but completely different.
     
  13. TKHgva

    TKHgva Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I am new to the forum and a novice in computer security matters. I am thirsty for knowledge and wish to understand how things work. I'd like to understand more if you get time.

    Can you kindly verify my understanding of your quote:

    What you are saying is that if we connect to internet through a network (private & public), our device/computer is transmitting signals as well as all the data we may send via the internet highway.
    Depending on the security of the network router, which we can't verify if it is a public one, our device and data sent through the internet is either encrypted or unencrypted.
    Let's assume we're on a public network that's unsafe / doesn't encrypt : this means that our device and data sent over internet are fully readable by a third party. Correct?

    You then mention entering a secure website, let's say Paypal or bank for example. You mention that the data transmitted to and from this secure site will then be invisible, because it is trusted and secure (provides valid certificates).
    So it means that trusted websites run their own encryption once we enter them. Is this correct?

    At what point is encryption activated on a secure website?
    - Does encryption begin immediately when we enter the the hompage of the website and accept the certificate?
    - Or does encryption begin only once we login with username and password?

    Finally, how can we cross-check/verify certificates?
    I use Opera browser. Do browsers have a database of certificates that's updated daily or something similar?

    I'm curious about how all this data is travelling in cables or over our heads in the hemisphere, how it's encrypted and possibly intercepted by either individuals or other interested parties with exceptional hearing sense.
    I'll follow your advice not to go on a bank website while in public network though.

    Thanks in advance for your time.

    PS
    Can you kindly recommend a website where I can find info on signal transmissions, how they work and similar topics related to your post? That way I can search for myself and hopefully avoid asking too many basic questions to advanced users on this forum. Thanks.
     
  14. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Answers:

    "Depending on the security of the network router, which we can't verify if it is a public one, our device and data sent through the internet is either encrypted or unencrypted."

    You can tell if the network router is encrypted or not, but you can't be sure about who is running the router and what they do with logs, if they run their own DNS etc ... all sorts of potential problems.

    "Let's assume we're on a public network that's unsafe / doesn't encrypt : this means that our device and data sent over internet are fully readable by a third party. Correct?"

    Yes.

    "You then mention entering a secure website, let's say Paypal or bank for example. You mention that the data transmitted to and from this secure site will then be invisible, because it is trusted and secure (provides valid certificates). So it means that trusted websites run their own encryption once we enter them. Is this correct?"

    In a nutshell, yes. Once you enter a secure site, it identifies itself to you with its certificate, which is supposed to be signed by a trusted third party. If your browser accepts the connection, then it will try to use the max. encryption level possible supported by both sides.

    "At what point is encryption activated on a secure website?
    - Does encryption begin immediately when we enter the the hompage of the website and accept the certificate?
    - Or does encryption begin only once we login with username and password?"

    It begins before providing credentials, naturally! Once you enter the site, the encryption is established.

    "Finally, how can we cross-check/verify certificates?
    I use Opera browser. Do browsers have a database of certificates that's updated daily or something similar?"

    Browsers have their list of certificate authorities and can download periodic updates. But it is always a matter of who you trust, in the end.

    "Can you kindly recommend a website where I can find info on signal transmissions, how they work and similar topics related to your post? That way I can search for myself and hopefully avoid asking too many basic questions to advanced users on this forum. Thanks."

    Well, university websites, their communications / electronics departments lectures ... wikipedia, too.

    Mrk
     
  15. TKHgva

    TKHgva Registered Member

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    Thank you for taking time in replying. My understanding of computer security/privacy defence is improving by the day with this forum.
     
  16. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    That's the idea ... :)
    Mrk
     
  17. aniku

    aniku Registered Member

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    i still belive that ZA - ZoneAlarm protect's most but i can have wrong.
     
  18. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Ok which is easier openvpn or Hotspot Shield? And do they both work with Vista64? And do they take any configuring? I'm clueless about VPNs. Also Hotspot Shield was just updated 02/17/2009 & openvpn 10/01/2006. And do these slow down my connection at all or much? Is it ok to use anywhere or just free or public wifi?

    Edit:Just found that Hotspot Shield is not compatible with Vista 64-bit.
    http://patricksoon.blogspot.com/2008/01/how-to-watch-hulu-in-canada-hack.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
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