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Firewall Reviews

Firewalls Review

Whenever your computer is connected to the internet regardless of whether your browser is opened your computer is vulnerable to attack by hackers, worms, trojans, spyware and so on.
For those who are utilizing a DSL, Cable Modem, LAN or T1 connection you are open to threats every time you turn your computer on and until your computer is turned off, you have a permanent connection to the internet.
When you are online, you are at risk. It is very simple for just about anybody to come through your internet connection and access your computer.
Unknown email attachments can unleash destructive, malicious code. Data thieves can steal your personal and financial information. Spy sites can follow your Web habits-all without your knowledge. With so much to lose, and with new Internet threats appearing daily, you need the strongest possible safeguards.

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Free Firewalls

Sygate Personal Firewall
Free for personal use, Sygate Personal Firewall provides high security in a user friendly interface, protecting your PC against Trojans, spyware, worms and other known and unknown threats. This FREE personal firewall offers protection from malicious code intrusions, keeping the information on your PC safe and private.

Kerio Personal Firewall free edition
Kerio Personal Firewall (KPF) helps users control how their computers exchange data with other computers on the Internet or local network. For home users, Kerio Personal Firewall 4 is available in two flavors - the full edition and the limited free edition. After installation, KPF works as the full edition for 30 days, after which it becomes the limited free edition.

Primedius Firewall Lite
Free firewall for personal use. Primedius Firewall prevents intrusions, allows or denies programs from accessing the Internet, manages preferences for individual programs, blocks Messenger Popups, emergency Shutdown of all Internet traffic.

SoftPerfect Network Scanner FREE
SoftPerfect Network Scanner is a multi-threaded IP, SNMP and NetBIOS scanner with a modern interface and several advanced features. It is intended for both system administrators and users who are interested in computer security. The program pings computers, scans for listening TCP ports and shows what types of resources are shared on a network (including system and hidden). In addition, it allows you to mount shared resources as network drives, browse them using Windows Explorer, filter the results list and more.

SoftPerfect Personal Firewall FREE
SoftPerfect Personal Firewall is a free network firewall designed to protect your PC against attacks from the Internet or via a local area network. SoftPerfect Personal Firewall offers customizable security using user-defined rules for packet filtering. It supports multiple network adapter configurations. The program is easy to use, comes with a set of predefined rules and it is completely free. Additional features include password protection, logging and more.

Filseclab Personal Firewall
Filseclab Personal Firewall is a personal firewall that allows you to control which programs can access the Internet and at what times. The program also offers browser independent web site access filtering, that allows you to block specified sites or limit access to a list of sites. Additional features include control of ICMP packets, traffic graph display, three security levels and more.

Firewall how it works?

What is a firewall?
Why do I need a firewall?
Is a firewall enough?
What do firewalls protect you from?
How does a firewall work?
What is a software/hardware firewall?

Why do you need a firewall?

Whenever your computer is connected to the internet regardless of whether your browser is opened your computer is vulnerable to attack by hackers, worms, trojans, spyware and so on. For those who are utilizing a DSL, Cable Modem, LAN or T1 connection you are open to threats every time you turn your computer on and until your computer is turned off, you have a permanent connection to the internet. It is very simple for just about anybody to come through your internet connection and access your computer.
Many PC users believe that no one would bother breaking into their anonymous home computer. Unfortunately, this is not true. Every computer on the Internet has its own IP address, a unique string of numbers that serve as a type of identification. Hackers often program their computers to scan random IP addresses and attack whenever a vulnerable machine is found. They don't need to know your machine personally to attack it. At that point they can perform many malicious acts or steal all of your private information. There are hundreds of ways this can be accomplished.

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a guard between you and the internet, this can be either a software or hardware firewall. It regulates access of program between you and the internet. Firewall protection is very useful and very necessary for users who are always connected to the internet. Firewalls work in the background controlling inbound and outbound traffic and notifies the user of any intrusion attempts on their system. In addition to a good firewall you should also install a good virus scanner and keep it up to date with the latest virus information. A virus scanner with a firewall will reduce your risk of being hacked or virused and help keep both you and your system secure.


Is a firewall enough?

No. You also need anti-virus software, which blocks malignant files from reaching your computer via email attachments, documents, or executable programs. Firewalls don't scan incoming emails or email attachments. Some firewall software programs come with a "suite" of security, including ad blocking, spam filtering, and, of course, anti-virus protection. If your firewall software includes anti-virus software, then you don't need to purchase additional anti-virus protection.
Firewall and anti-virus software aren't foolproof guarantees of security. Unfortunately there is no such thing as can't-fail protection. While hackers and viruses might still invade protected computers, the likelihood of infiltration is significantly reduced by firewall and anti-virus programs. Anti-hacking tip: As a general rule, you shouldn't open any files attached to an email that read EXE or that end with the code .exe. These executable files are popular for hackers looking for ways to piggy-back malicious code into your computer.


What do firewalls protect you from?

There are many routes that hackers can take advantage of to gain access to unprotected systems. An effective personal firewall is designed to secure your computer against various threats from the internet or your connected network, including:
Port intrusions
Hackers are scanning for vulnerable computers to steal data, corrupt data, destroy or to make use of in the future.

Remote Login
This is when somebody can log into your computer to access files to actually running programs on your computer.

Application Backdoors
Some programs contain ways to access your programs remotely. Others have bugs in the program that open backdoors, or hidden access that can allow remote access to these programs.

SMTP Session Hijacking - SMTP(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
This is the most popular way of transferring email over the internet. Hackers often gain access to peoples email address. A person can send unsolicited junk email(spam) to thousands of people using a person's host without them even being aware of this and it makes it very difficult to trace the origin of the emails.

Operating System Bugs
Like applications, some Operation Systems have backdoors, which can allow hackers to gain access to them.

Denial of Service (DDOS)
This type of attack is very hard to control. What a hacker does is send a msg to the victim's computer to make a connection, but when the answer is responded to the computer is unable to find the system. By causing a server to try to respond to these unanswered requests it will cause the system to slow down or eventually crash.

Email Bombs
These attacks are mostly personal attacks. Somebody sends you hundreds of the same email filling up you email account until you cannot accept any more emails.

Many applications allow you to make commands to help you control specific software more easily. Hackers take advantage of this by creating their own macros that will corrupt data or crash your computer.

Viruses and worms
Probably the most well known and still one of the largest threats to computers is a virus. A virus is a small program that will copy onto your system then copy from system to system very quickly. Virus or worms slip in through email attachments and links, weblinks and network or file transfers. These codes can do anything with your computer eg. destroy, corrupt or modify data, render your harddisk and even your operating system useless and then go on to copy itself into other connected systems ( via the internet or your LAN )

Trojans or spywares
After slipping in, they install themselves to collect data ( like visited websites, key presses, email messages, passwords and user names ) and transmits the data back to its command server.
Spam is typically harmless junkmail. Unfortunately some junk mail can be very dangerous if you click on one of the links provided. If click on one of these links you can accidentally accept a cookie that will open a backdoor to your computer.


How does a firewall work?

A firewall is a piece of hardware and/or software that "sits" between your computer and the Internet in order to filter the traffic going back and forth. It acts, as a security checkpoint so that unauthorized data transfer doesn't occur. If this kind of transfer does take place, it could allow a black-hat hacker or a script kiddy to gain remote access to your computer or let a Trojan horse (see Anti-Trojan) exploit your computer. A firewall examines all traffic routed between your computer and the Internet to see if it meets certain criteria. If it does, it is allowed in. If it doesn't, it is stopped. Protecting your computer from intrusion, the firewall keeps your machine from getting burned by destructive intrusions that could result in data loss or file corruption.
A firewall can give you the tools you need to protect your private information while connected to a public network:

You may select which information you would like to protect, such as a credit card number or password. If you attempt to send that number to an insecure site - such as one that doesn't support sufficient encryption -- the firewall will alert you.
Firewalls can also prevent web servers from getting access to other sensitive data, like your address, while you're browsing.
You can also block Java applets and ActiveX controls, both of which may endanger personal information and computer security.
In addition to controlling information, firewalls can let you know if anyone has tried to access that information using intrusion detection that notifies you and analyzes the data for patterns that may point to a weak spot in your security system.


What is a software/hardware firewall?

Software firewall is a program that is installed onto your computer to control access between your computer and the internet.
Hardware firewall is a piece of equipment that connects to the outside of your computer. The Hardware Firewall (Router) Connects to your DSL/Cable modem then to the internet giving you the most protection.


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Question of the Day

• What do I do to disable cookies in Opera?

To disable cookies in Opera 8:
Open the Tools menu.
Select Preferences to open Dialog box.
Open the Advanced tab.
Select "Cookies".
Select "Refuse all cookies" in Normal cookies combo box and/or Third-party cookies combo box depending on your needs.
Click OK.

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