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View Full Version : Is a firewall necessary on a dial-up



22-05-2002, 09:03 AM
Hi people,just a query regarding firewalls,eg zone alarm etc.Do you think it is necessary to have one on a standard dial up account.I know you should have one on a broadband connection,as you will have an IP that is the same for long periods of time,as it is always up if the PC is turned on.Thus a hacker has more opportunity to get in.With a dial up however,your IP changes each time you go on line,and as most people don't leave their dial up on line all the time,there is less chance of bieng hacked.

So,any thoughts on the question?
Peter

22-05-2002, 10:13 AM
There is no need for a firewall on a dial-up(its just a waste of memory). People who have firewalls on dial-up tend to be the ones that get excited when ever a new version or type of software is produced. However if you believe you have spyware or a virus on your computer it could be good to install an evaluation copy. To find out if you infact do have spyware or a virus.

Like you say the IP address on dial-up is not static so someone who is out to get you would have a hard time finding you, and no one would want to try and hack you to gain access to your computer to set up a DOS as your computers bandwidth is too slow to do any damage.

There will probably be people who reply to this and say that i'm wrong, but i guarantee they are the people that get excited when a new version or type of software is produced.

22-05-2002, 11:09 AM
I dont get excited over new software, I do have a firewall, I do have dial up.

It's as the insurance companies say, gives you peace of mind.

If I leave my system on overnight recording 10 hours of streaming audio then I will get up in the morning happy that no ferret from some Japanese or other Asian university has found a way in through an unprotecetd port.

In this day and age it only makes sense to protect yourself in all ways possible.

As regards memory and resources etc, hell, systems are pretty powerful now. Question of priorities as to what programs you have running in the background.

AV and firewall would be at the top of the list!

22-05-2002, 11:23 AM
a new version is out......yipppeeeee ! ! ! ;-)

provided you fix some gapping holes in windows you can live with out a firewall.....just.

while noone will be interested in your bandwidth to attack someone esle they may toast your system for the hell of it.

if you happen to get a trojen or bot it can report back what your ip addy is anyway. so much for renewing ip address. also they can find out by various means such as if you use a messageing program (icq,messager etc)

stopping all the 'spyware' and legit 'phonehome' crap is proberly more important. considering we've had 'phonehome' built into drivers and other progs. not to mention handy for spotting trojens etc.

but don't forget a firewall is only as good as the person is useing it(whats the point of having a firewall if you ok a trojen?)

also with the later firewalls now having script/activeX/java/add blocking they come in handy as a multi purpose proggram.

22-05-2002, 11:51 AM
I don't get excited about new versions of software, as it usually means forking out more money. But I am on a dial up and do have a firewall. I never thought I would need one as I didn't think I would get hacked or people would try to hack into my machine. However I tried a trial version of one and finally decided to purchase one. There are free ones out there that work fine but I like this one.

Anyway I usually have someone scan my ports to try and get in at least 4+ times a day. In fact as I am writing this some one has tried to access my computer 2 times already

My advise would be to get one. A free one is always good and PC World sometimes have them on the CD

:)

22-05-2002, 12:02 PM
Peter,

IMHO a firewall is quite necessary on a dial-up. People gaining access to you or others through your IP isn't the only thing that a firewall stops. A good firewall will stop all sorts of things coming into AND going out from your computer. All you need is for someone to find your current IP (fairly easy to do) and send you massive packets direct to your IP to hang up your system - a firewall can help stop that.

Also if somehow a malicious program gets onto your computer a good firewall will stop that program from sending information out from your computer without your knowledge.

So, I would definitely advise that people should use a firewall even on dialup.

Mike.

22-05-2002, 01:11 PM
I don't use a firewall to keep people out, but rather to keep things in. I like to know what apps are accessing the net while I am online, and have control overwhat can and can't access the net. My firewall also has an adblocker (Outpost) so I don't need a separate app for that (which is what I used to do).

Secondly, I have a home network, and my firewall lets me monitor that connection, and restrict my flatmates use of the internet through me (It is my connection) through clever configuration of the firewall (ie only allow at certain times etc).

So, I may be safe from the outside attackers, but I still have a reason to use a firewall.

G P

P.S. did you here? There is a new version of notepad, I better upgrade!!!

22-05-2002, 04:03 PM
Hello Peter,

To add my thoughts,
I would say it depends, if you only use your internet connection when your sitting in front or close by your PC and are not in the habit of leaving the PC on for long periods of unattended downloading (streaming video, large game files etc)I would say it's not necessary, if you do then err on the side of caution and get one.
If you do decide to run one, make sure you know how to configure it and understand the information it is giving you.

Firewalls are the same as a lot of software, very useful if you know what you are doing of, better left alone if you are not sure ( I spend alot of time putting right systems that people have made a hash of by trying to configure, then give up and uninstalling, Zonealarm in particular without first reading how they should do it)

If you do decide to run one Tiny Firewall would be the I would recommend, it's free for personal use and probably the best of the free Firewalls.

Alan

22-05-2002, 04:09 PM
Hello Peter,

To add my thoughts,
I would say it depends, if you only use your internet connection when your sitting in front or close by your PC and are not in the habit of leaving the PC on for long periods of unattended downloading (streaming video, large game files etc)I would say it's not necessary, if you do then err on the side of caution and get one.
If you do decide to run one, make sure you know how to configure it and understand the information it is giving you.

Firewalls are the same as a lot of software, very useful if you know what you are doing of, better left alone if you are not sure ( I spend alot of time putting right systems that people have made a hash of by trying to configure, then give up and uninstalling, Zonealarm in particular without first reading how they should do it)

If you do decide to run one Tiny Firewall would be the I would recommend, it's free for personal use and probably the best of the free Firewalls.

Alan

22-05-2002, 05:40 PM
Sorry Roofus I totaly disaggree with you. The other night one IP address tried hacking into my pc 34 times another 20 odd as well as several others. A good Firewall also stops access out of the PC which is one reason I discovered a virus on someones PC. As far as wanting the newest software goes I mainly use Win95 but more and more linux.

22-05-2002, 06:32 PM
Fire walls are a complete waste of time! Or so I thought I?ve never used one till about 2-3 months ago when I tried Kazaa. I had two trojens sent to me over three nights and the firewall picked them up.

Also I play allot of games on line and use Roger Wilco so I can talk to a mate while we play. While playing he lost his connection and he fell from being the server of Roger Wilco. Next thing I know the firewall is bleeping at me saying it has caught a incoming Trojan from IP No. 210.55.32.35,1042. Now when I looked at Roger Wilco it had that ip addy in the box for the host. A bit odd I thought because it wasn?t the ip of the guy that was hosting it. (hes got a static ip addy).

Now I?m on a dial up and have never seen the need to have one but I?m glad I have got one now.

22-05-2002, 06:36 PM
Fire walls are a complete waste of time! Or so I thought I?ve never used one till about 2-3 months ago when I tried Kazaa. I had two trojens sent to me over three nights and the firewall picked them up.

Also I play allot of games on line and use Roger Wilco so I can talk to a mate while we play. While playing he lost his connection and he fell from being the server of Roger Wilco. Next thing I know the firewall is bleeping at me saying it has caught a incoming Trojan from IP No. 210.55.32.35,1042. Now when I looked at Roger Wilco it had that ip addy in the box for the host. A bit odd I thought because it wasn?t the ip of the guy that was hosting it. (hes got a static ip addy).

Now I?m on a dial up and have never seen the need to have one but I?m glad I have got one now.

22-05-2002, 11:19 PM
Hi Peter,

Your probably getting sick of reading, so I will keep this short.

I dont think it matters wether your using dialup or broadband. They ping you all the time, at random mostly, looking for open ports.

My advice: If your not pushed for hard drive space, get a free version of Zone Alarm, instal it, watch what happens for a short while and then make up your own mind. I think you will be surprised by how much activity is going on without you knowing.

Cheers.

23-05-2002, 05:04 PM
My (unprofesssional) advice would be yes, if you're online at all, get and use a firewall.

You may be right that at very low levels of online time, the risks are so small that they don't justify the trouble of a firewall. No idea what qualifies as 'very low time' - my attitude is that the consequences of something going wrong are pretty serious (to yourself and other people) so why take a risk?

If you only drive a car occassionally, your chances of getting killed in a road accident are a lot less than someone clocking 100,000 km a year. Does this mean you won't bother wearing a seat belt?

My limited understanding is that the risks from external intrusions come from scanners - automated programmes which scan the internet looking for open ports. The hacker isn't after you personally. Not sure how these are followed up, but if they find an open port on your machine, they won't send a message back saying 'this guy is on dial-up, his connection is slow and his IP address may change by the time you try again, so don't bother with him.' They'll try to get in through your open port(s).

I'm on dial-up although often am online for long periods (eg overnight downloading)(yes, I know I should be on broadband). Getting a dozen or more 'Intrusion detected' notices a night isn't unusual. Last night there were only half that but two were aimed at BIOS ports - serious stuff. Even if most intrusions are accidental and benign, why take a chance on the one that isn't?

A firewall also gives you control over what goes out - useful for controlling apps with a life of their own (eg RealPlayer which is alsways trying to dial home). It might give you a warning if something nasty has got into your machine and wants to replicate or post your credit card details (though stand to be corrected on this).

Light use implies a freebie firewall like Zonealarm (which I use)- try Steve Gibson's site www.grc.com for more info and reviews.

Point taken that you need to set it up properly - otherwise you might have no protection and a false sense of security. You might need to look at your general setup if you're worried about resource use.

(btw - I'm not interested in software for its own sake either - I've got a PC for what I can do with it not to it.)

26-05-2002, 12:15 PM
Yep.