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I found the information on your Wiki very helpful indeed. I buy and sell on the web so keeping my home network secure is very important to me. When it comes to firewalls and computer security in general I believe you get what you pay for. The more expensive these applications are, the better the security it provides. They maybe some who would disagree with this statement like some Mac user’s but like most Mac users there’s no pleasing them.
The security software I use on my laptop and at home is from McAfee. The firewall it provides in my experience is excellent. Its always working in the background like most security software checking for malicious programs, viruses and hackers, all outlined in your Wiki as thinks to watch out for.

The Wiki is very well structured and jargon free making it easy to understand. The section on ‘Types of firewalls’ was very interesting as I wasn’t aware of most of the different types of firewalls out there. The diagram clearly illustrates what is protected on a personal basis and a larger network along with details about how the different types of firewalls operate.

Just something to think about, I would like to know after becoming a expert on firewalls, what firewall or internet security software do you use and recommend?

Does it provide adequate security for you and your family?
Do you think that all security software should be free and open source? (I do)

Firewalls- My views by NaseerNaseer, 31 Jan 2008 11:45

Through researching this topic I have read a number of reviews and recommendations which suggest the best firewall on the market. In the main the majority of comments say that ZoneAlarm Pro is the best firewall to use. The comments also stated reasons why it is the best which included the many functions and features that it contains. The firewall protects you from identity theft, provides network protection and blocks spy sites. “It also blocks popup ads, screens e-mail and prevents itself from being shut down or disabled by outside sources” (http://www.consumersearch.com). Many of the reviews I read suggested that the ZoneAlarm system is user friendly and is very easy to understand. You can access a free version of ZoneAlarm, but the advice is to buy the full version as it is much better.

Best firewall to use by Chris MizonChris Mizon, 31 Jan 2008 11:39

A firewall is a device used commonly to aid the protection of a PC or Laptop. The actual process of how a firewall works begins with an attempt to hack your computer. “Once a hacker gets access to your files malicious codes spread through your computer retrieving your personal information that the hacker can use to steal your identity or charge items with your credit card numbers” (http://ezinearticles.com/). When this occurs, the firewall stops this from happening and ensures that no malicious files enter your computer. Also it ensures that any other files that enter your system don’t spread and cause further problems. Hackers also try to access your personal information when you are purchasing goods online e.g. passwords, credit card details. “Firewall software will allow good data in but blocks all bad data from entering your computer” (http://ezinearticles.com/).

How a firewall works by Chris MizonChris Mizon, 31 Jan 2008 11:18

i would agree with that yeah, I find the windows firewall stuff really intrusive, if it isn't set up then they just keep giving you popups telling you that it isn't when as you say, if you are clever about it you can be completely safe with just one firewall. I also find that a lot of programs i use ask me to disable firewall. it makes me cross and it does sort of feel like people are scared into setting up too much protection causing the computer to behave differently

Re: Overload with firewalls by TimWaringTimWaring, 31 Jan 2008 11:03

Does firewall protect or stand as a security for a network? this is a vrital area which need a great attention for all users, subscribers, software developers an all maor categories of network technology. there is a need for protecting data security on network. looking at windows firewall which is previously known as internet connection firewall. It is a protective boundary that monitor and restricts information that travells between computer and network or the internet. This provides a line against someone who might try to access some one computer or network from outside without proper permission. in this case there is need to improve firewall permission

hi ubaid here jus got a few questions to ask nothing major

How does the firewall work?

What are the benefits and drawbacks?

jus some of the things I like to know
cheers

Ubaid Asghar

Do you think that even though one firewall is enough to keep the average home network secure that a lot of home PC users rely on overloading their computers with more security than they need (which often causes programs to conflict with one another) rather than learning how to use one firewall properly?

Do you think this overloading is due to the media scaring the public into buying software they don't need under the pretense that they are all under attack by these evil virtual terrorists that want to do horrible things to their computer or do you think there's another reason behind it?

Overload with firewalls by blaydblayd, 30 Jan 2008 18:17

Home network security

Many home network users leave the default passwords unchanged on their network are at risk from attacks. According to the BBC, research showed that around 50% of users leave the default password unchanged.

The home networks which are attacked get redirected to a bogus webpage; this is done by re-writing the address book within the hardware of the network which points victims to the scam sites. These bogus websites use the default passwords and JavaScript technology that is enabled on 95% of computers which changes a router’s Domain Name System (DNS) settings. The DNS servers could redirect users to counterfeit banking, email, or government websites which collects personal details like account numbers, usernames and passwords or even install malicious software. This attack is called “Phish Pharming”. This can be avoided by changing the administrative password as research shows that around half of router owners never change the default password.

Reference:

BBC NEWS, Home network security scrutinised - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6367691.stm [online][cited 29/01/08]

Home network security by PrePre, 30 Jan 2008 13:14

When discussing security mechanisms across the internet, another technology that can also be considered is Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

VPN is becoming a growing technology for organisations to allow data to be sent between corporate networks across an internet connection, which is secure and saves on cost without the need for either a dedicated line or any other expensive WAN technology.

According to Habraken (1) a VPN is “a secure, dedicated, point-to-point connection over a public IP internet work, such as the internet”. Habraken further explains that this control session between the client and server is called a “Tunnel”.

Irving (2) states that this “tunnel” connection between the VPN server and client enters a “predetermined encryption mode”, allowing data to been sent and received between the two in an “encrypted format”, whereby once data is received by the server, it is decrypted and passed on to the organisation.

According to Gallo and Hancock (3) tunnels are managed by Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocols (PPTP). PPTP is an extension of Point-to-Point protocols and is the mechanism that enables the “encapsulation” and “uncapsulated” of data frames between the remote client and the server over the internet.

According to Gallo and Hancock (3), aside from firewalls, PPTP is another security mechanism for secure transmission over the internet.

Bibliography

(1) Habraken, J. Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Networking. Indianapolis, QUE Publishing. 2004.
(2) Irving, P. Computer Networks. Exeter, Learning Matters Ltd. 2003.
(3) Gallo, M., and Hancock, W. Networking Explained. Woburn, Digital Press. 1999.

Virtual Private Networks by markiemark81markiemark81, 26 Jan 2008 18:27

The 4th type of firewall which is Stateful Multilayer Inspection (SMLI).
SMLI is a combination of the three other firewalls (packet, circuit and application),
filtering data through three levels (IP and TCP and Application), not just one (IP or TCP or Application).

This technology is more secure and offers better protection however it is
also complex which makes it hard to configure to maximise its potential,
a fully configured packet or application firewall will probably provide better
protection than a poorly configured stateful firewall.

You ask, if its so good why then is it not used more in place of the other three?

The first reason i have already given and that is the complexity of the technology,
without a good understanding of networks it will not be possible to fully configure
the firewall to its potential, this rules out the general public therefore ruling out the
home networking market.

The second reason is the costs, it is a costly investment, not worth the implementation
for home networks and probably not for a small business, there is the cost of staffing
someone who is capable of controlling and configurating the firewall.

Comparison table

Type Speed Flexibility Intelligence
Packet v.good v.good low
Application low low v.good
Circuit low low low
Stateful good good good

Links

http://www4.ncsu.edu/~kksivara/sfwr4c03/projects/SteWoodall-Project.pdf

http://web.cs.wpi.edu/~rek/Adv_Nets/Summer2003/Firewalls.pdf

Re: Further Information by abwchiuabwchiu, 26 Jan 2008 13:20

Organisational Security
By applying the rule “prevention is better than cure”, the installation of a firewall should be an integral part of an organisations security arrangements, but is only one aspect of network security. By reducing risk of infection, blocking unwanted callers, and not allowing others to internally view your network, the organisation is defending access to all information. The setting up of firewalls (both internally and externally if both the Internet and Intranet are used), Anti-virus software, Spamware, Spyware, and quarantined areas will all ensure that your company has the highest level of protection and should be placed on all equipment to include routers and proxy servers. All technologies are at risk!

Firewall
Each packet of information (broken down chunks of data) that is transmitted across a network is sent to a firewall, and is only allowed through if it is deemed to contain only acceptable data. The level of permission is set by the organisations system administrators. By authenticating the owner and making certain that network resources are used in accordance with a prescribed protocol, then the packet can be passed to its intended destination, or can be refused entry and destroyed!

References

Gallo, M.A. & Hancock, W.M. Networking Explained (1999) USA: Digital Press

Irving, P. Computer Networks (2003) Exeter: Learning Matters

Tanenbaum, A.S. Computer Networks (1996) USA: Prentice-Hall Inc.

Breaching the Firewall by suzannehaslamsuzannehaslam, 24 Jan 2008 16:37

When discussing security mechanisms across the internet, another technology that can also be considered is Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

VPN is becoming a growing technology for organisations to allow data to be sent between corporate networks across an internet connection, which is secure and saves on cost without the need for either a dedicated line or any other expensive WAN technology.

According to Habraken (7) a VPN is “a secure, dedicated, point-to-point connection over a public IP internet work, such as the internet”. Habraken further explains that this control session between the client and server is called a “Tunnel”.

Irving (2) states that this “tunnel” connection between the VPN server and client enters a “predetermined encryption mode”, allowing data to been sent and received between the two in an “encrypted format”, whereby once data is received by the server, it is decrypted and passed on to the organisation.

According to Gallo and Hancock (1) tunnels are managed by Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocols (PPTP). PPTP is an extension of Point-to-Point protocols and is the mechanism that enables the “encapsulation” and “uncapsulated” of data frames between the remote client and the server over the internet.

According to Gallo and Hancock (1), aside from firewalls, PPTP is another security mechanism for secure transmission over the internet.

Virtual Private Networks by markiemark81markiemark81, 24 Jan 2008 14:28

A firewall works by filtering out all incoming and outgoing packets of data dependent on how you configure your firewall. A firewall resides between your private network and Internet connection. Sat here it can prevent hackers getting into your network as they will have to go through an extra level of security.
There are different types of firewalls one is a Packet Filter, this looks at incoming and outgoing packets and accepts or rejects them dependent upon a pre-set set of rules. Application Gateway is another type of firewall used for specific applications such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol )and Telnet ‘A system used to access other computers across the network or telephone networks - hence the name tel-net’. [online] http://www.icthubknowledgebase.org.uk/index.php?id=glossary&glossary_id=95&tx_a21glossary%5bback%5d=firewalls&cHash=3ce57af0a1. Circuit Level Gateway is used for applications such as TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) once you have established the rules packets are able to flow freely between both connections and finally Proxy Server where the proxy server takes control of the messages when they enter and leave the network hiding the true IP address and giving out an administration address.
A firewall is the start of protecting your system you need to have robust security in place to ensure your system is watertight. There has to be trade off between security and usability as you do not want your firewall to stop all incoming traffic.
According to http://www.icthubknowledgebase.org.uk/firewalls ‘small offices and homes with an ADSL connection to the Internet, ADSL Modems with built-in firewalls are a good bet’.

The IC Knowledge Base (online) cited January 2008 [http://www.icthubknowledgebase.org.uk/]

The IC Knowledge Base (online) [http://www.icthubknowledgebase.org.uk/index.php?id=glossary&glossary_id=95&tx_a21glossary%5bback%5d=firewalls&cHash=3ce57af0a1]

Further Information by Paula_TPaula_T, 22 Jan 2008 18:51

Ok, I connect using a USB ADSL modem, which has to be connected manually once the PC has booted up, unlike some cable modems which connect as the computer starts up.

Is this what you require, or something different?
James

Re: which firewall? by JamesCopeJamesCope, 17 Jan 2008 17:25

Hi James
Before I give any suggestions, would you mind telling me how you connect to the internet?
Thanks
Cerys

Re: which firewall? by Cerys71Cerys71, 16 Jan 2008 23:06

Hi just wondered if you could answer a couple of questions related to your chosen subject of "firewalls". Firstly how does a firewall protect your PC? (explain the process). Secondly which firewall would you advice to use?

Thanks

Christian Mizon

Firewall advice by Chris MizonChris Mizon, 10 Jan 2008 16:32

Hi Cerys, Could you suggest a good firewall for my home computer, I currently only use the standard windows XP one, could you suggest a better one for me to use? and how much do you think it would cost me?
J

which firewall? by JamesCopeJamesCope, 10 Jan 2008 16:22

Testing to see if this works

Discuss the first page by Cerys71Cerys71, 27 Nov 2007 19:15

HI James
I used an existing Wikidot theme rather than an external style sheet

Check out the other themes Preview themes here

If you see one that you like you can change your own by going to the Site Manager Page and clicking on Appearance. Here you can access the available themes, modify navigation tools or add a new theme.

Cerys

Re: Quick Disscusion by Cerys71Cerys71, 25 Nov 2007 21:01

nice site-style, have you used a external style sheet?

Re: Quick Disscusion by JamesCopeJamesCope, 22 Nov 2007 16:22
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