Need some advice from the computer gurus. - Page 2

Need some advice from the computer gurus.

This is a discussion on Need some advice from the computer gurus. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; LINK to lots of freeware anti-virus software. LINK to 450 freeware utilities. Get Firefox too, it keeps a tidy ship for me....

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  1. #16
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    LINK to lots of freeware anti-virus software.

    LINK to 450 freeware utilities.

    Get Firefox too, it keeps a tidy ship for me.


  2. #17
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    A great place to check for mostly free stuff (it clearly lets you know if something is shareware or costs vs free) is www.majorgeeks.com. It has all the free stuff mentioned here organized and easy to find, plus you can read reviews and ratings of all the stuff before making a decision.
    eschew obfuscation

    The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD

  3. #18
    VIP Member Array maclean3's Avatar
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    Why a laptop? Portability and weight savings primarily. I want something I can use from the comfort of my recliner and throw in the car when we take road trips. Because of multiple back and neck surgeries I'm pretty limited on the time I can sit up at a desk and the amount of weight I can carry around without paying dearly for it. As far as cost, I got close to the system specs I wanted for about 75% of the cost of the same NIB system and for my needs, the portability and weight savings are far more important than a slightly higher spec'd out desktop with much greater weight.

    Ergonomics? I only use three fingers to type with - all you high speed multi-digit users is just showin' off, admit it! Seriously though, if I could really type I can see where that might be a problem.

    Most of the freeware and shareware titles mentioned so far are already planned additions or being looked into. I've also been wanting to check out Firefox and Mozilla for some time now but I don't like installing programs on other people's computers - especially my wife's ... never piss off a redhead ! Now that I'm getting a replacement for mine it's something I'm going to try out though, thanks for the reminder.
    Jack

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean3 View Post
    I've also been wanting to check out Firefox and Mozilla for some time now but I don't like installing programs on other people's computers - especially my wife's ... never piss off a redhead ! Now that I'm getting a replacement for mine it's something I'm going to try out though, thanks for the reminder.
    Jack
    I've been using Firefox for a long time. I haven't used the new IE7, so I can't compare it to that, but I like it a lot better than IE6.
    eschew obfuscation

    The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD

  5. #20
    Member Array BlueMerle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SammyIamToday View Post
    Don't waste your money on a software firewall. They don't really do anything worth note, just be smart about your web browsing. Use a non-IE browser (Opera is great) and watch what you click yes to.

    Software firewalls still allow packets to get to your box and block it logically not at another network point. At which point imo, it's pretty sub-par protection since your actual machine is still being touched. Since you'll be on dial-up at first, you'll have the strength of a different ip address every time you connect and the slow connection speed should make you a small target for hackers (although most people are very small targets anyway despite what the security industry sells you). Buy a good anti-virus and be smart. When you do upgrade to broadband, make sure you get a router that uses NAT. That increases your security a lot. Better yet is a router that includes a firewall and uses NAT.

    As far as getting word and excel individually I didn't even know you could do that. I guess it would be better in the long run since you don't want the whole suite, but it might cost a little more money on the whole. I get office via work, so not up to speed on what it costs. Of course there is always pirate bay.
    Gotta disagree with you on the Software Firewall statement. The fact that a packet reaches your computer means nothing. Neither the originating computer or the packet itself have any idea that it reached your computer. It's only when your computer responds that the originating computer (application) becomes aware that your computer is actually there. If your computer doesn't respond then it is in fact "invisible"!

    A good software firewall will prevent your computer from responding but perhaps more important it will stop malicious code on your computer from calling home. Something that no home routers will do without extensive modification to the existing rule set. And you would have to know ahead of time which apps to block. A software firewall will do this out of the box.

    IMHO a good software firewall is as important as a good router with the ability to NAT. Every home user should have both and know how to use them at a basic level at least. Putting a fence around your house does no good if you leave the gate open.

    For my money the free version of Zone Alarm is a very good option. The Pro version is even better.

  6. #21
    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rallyman View Post
    Gotta disagree with you on the Software Firewall statement. The fact that a packet reaches your computer means nothing. Neither the originating computer or the packet itself have any idea that it reached your computer. It's only when your computer responds that the originating computer (application) becomes aware that your computer is actually there. If your computer doesn't respond then it is in fact "invisible"!

    A good software firewall will prevent your computer from responding but perhaps more important it will stop malicious code on your computer from calling home. Something that no home routers will do without extensive modification to the existing rule set. And you would have to know ahead of time which apps to block. A software firewall will do this out of the box.

    IMHO a good software firewall is as important as a good router with the ability to NAT. Every home user should have both and know how to use them at a basic level at least. Putting a fence around your house does no good if you leave the gate open.

    For my money the free version of Zone Alarm is a very good option. The Pro version is even better.
    I have a disk of tools right now that can detect a software firewall. Then I can try different exploits to get past them. They don't do jack. As far as stopping programs from calling home, sure they do do that, but you can just as easily check what processes are running and keep tabs on your computer without another program taking stuff out of your RAM.

    Software firewalls were created for people that don't know they don't need them.

    Edit: Some links. http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1840 Possible examples of exploits.

    A guy who agrees that they suck for protection but likes them for dialing out. http://www.thepenguinmafia.com/archives/85 Still an example of knowing what your computer is doing.
    Last edited by SammyIamToday; March 27th, 2007 at 11:41 AM.
    ...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller

  7. #22
    Member Array BlueMerle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SammyIamToday View Post
    I have a disk of tools right now that can detect a software firewall. Then I can try different exploits to get past them. They don't d.o jack. As far as stopping programs from calling home, sure they do do that, but you can just as easily check what processes are running and keep tabs on your computer without another program taking stuff out of your RAM.

    Software firewalls were created for people that don't know they don't need them.

    I'm not looking for a fight, I just disagree. What you suggesting is that the everyday user become familiar with all the processes running on their computer and they learn how to create new rule sets in their router. If they could do that I wouldn't have a job. Not reasonable IMHO. Software firewalls were created so that people like me with years of experience in IT don't have to putz with every single thing that comes along, and so the everyday user doesn't have to know how to putz with those things.

    Here's my IP: 64.241.37.140 Give your tool set a shot! A properly configured s/w firewall along with a properly configured NATing router will be able to defeat 99.99% of all automated attacks. And the truth is that 99.99% of all attacks are automated.

    Is there anything that will prevent all attacks, short of never allowing the box on the wire? No, there isn't. Anymore than there is anything that will prevent a determined thief from breaking into your house.

    IMHO, the everyday user needs a good s/w firewall along with a good NATing router. YMMV

  8. #23
    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rallyman View Post
    I'm not looking for a fight, I just disagree. What you suggesting is that the everyday user become familiar with all the processes running on their computer and they learn how to create new rule sets in their router. If they could do that I wouldn't have a job. Not reasonable IMHO. Software firewalls were created so that people like me with years of experience in IT don't have to putz with every single thing that comes along, and so the everyday user doesn't have to know how to putz with those things.

    Here's my IP: 64.241.37.140 Give your tool set a shot! A properly configured s/w firewall along with a properly configured NATing router will be able to defeat 99.99% of all automated attacks. And the truth is that 99.99% of all attacks are automated.

    Is there anything that will prevent all attacks, short of never allowing the box on the wire? No, there isn't. Anymore than there is anything that will prevent a determined thief from breaking into your house.

    IMHO, the everyday user needs a good s/w firewall along with a good NATing router. YMMV
    Fair enough, I can agree with that I suppose. If you have no interest in learning about your computer then it's probably the best bet, but it's still a not needed program if someone spends the time to educate theirself.

    It's also not very hard to look up processes via google and find out what they do and how they should be running.

    I won't be running a tool against your IP, that's against company policy. That and I don't know if Panera will prosecute or not. Not really worth the effort and risk for potential e-peenage.
    ...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller

  9. #24
    Member Array BlueMerle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SammyIamToday View Post
    I won't be running a tool against your IP, that's against company policy. That and I don't know if Panera will prosecute or not. Not really worth the effort and risk for potential e-peenage.
    Agreed! And that is the very reason that, for the most part, the only people that will run a direct attack are script kiddies, who don't realize how easy it is to trace these things. The pro's use automated attacks in part to make it easier to hide and also because it's faster and easier to find the unprotected box. A s/w firewall does a terrific job against the automated attack. Coupled with a good NATing router and you are as close to bullet proof as is possible.

    I agree with you that the same level of protection can be achieved without a s/w firewall, but I don't think that the vast majority of people will put in the time or effort to do so. That is why I would always recommend a s/w firewall. JMO

  10. #25
    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rallyman View Post
    Agreed! And that is the very reason that, for the most part, the only people that will run a direct attack are script kiddies, who don't realize how easy it is to trace these things. The pro's use automated attacks in part to make it easier to hide and also because it's faster and easier to find the unprotected box. A s/w firewall does a terrific job against the automated attack. Coupled with a good NATing router and you are as close to bullet proof as is possible.

    I agree with you that the same level of protection can be achieved without a s/w firewall, but I don't think that the vast majority of people will put in the time or effort to do so. That is why I would always recommend a s/w firewall. JMO
    In essence I agree, I'm just like to understand the things I use very well. So, I had to know the computer stuff and I suppose I assume others do too.

    I do exploit stuff inside of our network to test things, but not outside. That's a big no-no.
    ...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller

  11. #26
    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    Actually, while OpenOffice isn't MS Office, it's kind of better. We use MS Office at work (USAF) and I use OpenOffice at home. I have no problem transferring files back and forth as long as I save them as word or excel files. In fact I've been able to open supposedly damaged files that wouldn't open at work.

    Just my two cents.
    TSgt. Lickey

    It takes a college degree to break'em;
    and a high school education to fix'em!

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