So an opinion on Norton?s personal firewall, I bet they all start with this is simple and protects my computer etc, etc, bla,h blah, and I recommend them to any one. Well sorry to disappoint you all but I think Symmantec is one of the most underhand companies I have come across. You see we are all in a state of flux with the new operating system windows XP. Every company is trying very hard to support their software with drivers that are freely available on the web to update their products. Symmantec are making their customers buy a new product for twice the price and I think this is exploitative. Every one of us who surf the net should use a virus checker and a firewall. This is the equivalent of safe sex, safe surfing. Believe me it is no fun having to rebuild your computer after you have inadvertently down loaded this weeks latest virus or been hacked by next weeks greatest computer whizzkid. Norton Antivirus and firewall provide an easy and comprehensive protection service for about $70 combined. I did the best thing and purchased these products. The service was quick and easy. The download completed and I was happily surfing away with all these messages about how Norton was protecting me from all these Trojan Horses. Wow I thought this is good. Then I did the update and lo and behold Norton antivirus and firewall would not work. Off to the web site I go expecting to find an updated driver, no such thing. So I emailed symmantec and asked ? How about it??. They emailed back and said ? tough shit mate you have struck out, we will refund you only if you have ordered in the last 6 weeks.? Guess what I was 1 week over the limit and Mr symmantec is $70 richer at my expense. Norton 2002 is totally XP compliant and Nortn has some wonderful features such as automatic updating and total protection. But service and support is a little lacking. That is why I am now reliant on AVG virus protection and Zonelabs firewall. They are fre
e and update themselves automatically. When Norton XP drivers are available maybe then I will return to the symmantec fold.
Firewall programs are simply software that makes you feel safe and only protects you from the most amateur hackers. If you have read other reviews in this section then you will see that most hackers use 'Trojans' to gain access to your PC. The people that use these are amateurs and would be accessing your PC to cause damage. Basically 'cyber-vandals'. This program will protect you against these people. The only problem is, it does not protect you against everything and I'm sorry to say that nothing out there will ever be able to prevent against everything. There are thousands of ways for hackers to get access to your PC, although it depends what precautions you take to make sure they cannot access the information on there! If you have important documents, an address book or more importantly, a money program that holds your account details, you must have some sort of software installed to encrypt this information. A quick visit to PC World or the likes will enable you to get this software. This is a good program, just do not be fooled into thinking that only one program can and will protect against every hackers out there. Good Luck!!
I installed Norton Personal Firewall (NPF) on my computer after reading about how the bad guys are getting clever and found a way of shutting down popular firewalls such as ZoneAlarm (which I have installed on my PC), so therefore I decided it would be a good idea to have a back-up, just incase as my PC is connected to the Net quite a lot. The firewall works in a very similar way to Atguard (which was sold to Norton), it has all the same features as Atguard, but with a better user interface. As soon as a program tries to connect to the Internet, a warning will come up, and you have the option of allowing the programs to connect just this once, block it from connecting to the net or you can always let it connect by making a specific rule for the program. A typical rule might be, let this program (such as Internet Explorer) to have complete access to the Net (any port and any address). Maybe you want the program (such as Real Player) to only connect to a certain radio station over the Net? So you would set up a specific port and a specific address (this option is useful as you hear how programs start dialling home and sending info about you, info such as what programs you listen to or watch). Trojans are programs that can harm your PC and your privacy. Once a Trojan gets into your computer, then a person who could be anywhere in the world will have access to your computer, they can view/delete your files, see what you are doing, read your mails, get your passwords etc, basically they can have complete access to your computer and the services you might use. However, NPF (Norton Personal Firewall) can stop all this, it will stop the person from the outside from accessing your computer. It will stop the Trojan from sending out any information from your computer. BUT be vigilant, if NPF pops up a warning that a program is trying to access the Net, and you don’t recognise the program then DON’T allow it to connect to
the Net..!! Other features that come with NPF are privacy features, where you can block cookies, stop harmful web sites from accessing confidential details. It can also stop Active X controls from running on web sites. However, some web sites you might need these to be able to view the full affect of the web sites, fear not, as NPF comes with simple rules where you can allow certain web sites to have full control. There is an auto live-update in which you can get any latest security patches, bug fixes etc. Protect yourself on the Internet. Get a Firewall now. NPF is a great firewall..!! PS “If you are worried about Trojans, then you can also get Anti-Trojan programs such as The Cleaner, which is available from http://www.moosoft.com”
I had heard that a firewall was essential but did not realize how essential until installed. My Pc may have been the target of hackers previously but I would not have known it, it does not matter if you are on the net all day or once in a blue moon. Norton Personal Firewall blocks all hackers by controlling all Internet connections to and from your PC and will warn you of attempted intrusions. Any attempts are detailed in the event log, any ‘Trojan Horses’ will be picked up and the firewall will stop the hackers from using it to access information on your hard drive. You can use firewall to say what applications can or cannot use your details. For example I use Napster, which accesses your hard drive to share mp3’s, firewall picked up on this and I have had to specify that this is acceptable. Personal Firewall gives you the tools that you need to keep your personal information safe. For example if you want your credit card details protected then you will be given a warning if you send your details to a site that does not protect communications with encryption. It will also prevent web servers from retrieving your e-mail address or other information in the background whilst you’re doing other tasks on the Internet. Installation of the software was very easy as it automatically configures itself and it immediately hides your PC from being accessed. The basic settings can be set to “low / medium or high” and advanced users can customize their settings. Surprise surprise since installing the firewall there have been four attempts to hack into my PC and Norton has stopped them every time.
With anti-virus software, people usually have a virus panic and THEN buy the software to clean their system up. With firewalls, it is the other way around. Truly. You install the firewall because you figure it's a good idea, put it onto one of its default settings (such as 'high security'), and then come back to look at the log, and blanche. "People tried to send me WHAT?" "People have been sniffing around my portmap?" " The hell(!) Get out of my system, you hacker SCUM!" A firewall is no substitute for a virus checker (although hopefully it will make it more difficult for hackers to infect your system.) I'll repeat that because it's important ;) A firewall is no substitute for a virus checker. Now, in order to get to the bottom of what firewalls actually do, and what they can protect you against, we need to understand a bit about internet protocols. When data is sent over the net, it is split into packets, each of which has some extra information attached so that the network routers can speed the packet off to its correct destination. You can think of it like a post office, rather than like a phone call. Each computer in the link needs to be able to look at the packet's address and decide what to do with it. So far, so good. But the packet also contains some additional information (port number) so that when it gets to its destination computer, it can be routed to the correct program. This means that you have several browser windows and an FTP window up simultaneously (for example) and the packets don't get confused. If anyone wants to try to get access to your computer, they need to know its address and also find some 'open' ports. The address is easy, many hackers just run scripts (script kiddies) that try every combination in a range of addresses. There are various common methods that hackers also use to crash systems
. SYN flooding (screwing with your TCP/IP protocol), ICMP (ping) flooding, address spoofing (hacker pretends to be a different computer by 'borrowing' its address), etc. The purpose of a firewall program is to restrict access to and from the computers 'behind' the firewall. Some, like Norton, do this by inspecting every packet as it flows through the firewall. The user sets up a profile of which users and applications she wants to be allowed to access the internet and everything else is blocked. In addition, the user can set up which external users should be allowed in via the firewall, and which ports should be allowed to stay open. You do this by setting various _access rules_ into the firewall program. It's like having an inbox filter on your email (something that anyone who is on many mailing lists will be used to!) Anything coming in that doesn't comply with the rules is logged and tossed. The firewall has a stealth setting, meaning that if an unauthorised user attempts to send messages to unauthorised ports, he gets no response from the system -- not even the normal protocol respose, so he won't even know that your computer exists. (Before I am into full panic mongering mode, I'd say that although firewalls are really essential for anyone who as an 'always on' connection such as a cablemodem or ADSL, I think they're useful but not so essential for normal dialup connections.) At home, we have a couple of computers that we connect to the net via a cablemodem. In order to do this (connect more than one computer to the net with one net connection), you need to network the home computers and have some capability for internet sharing on the machine that is attached to the modem. Windows 98 has internet sharing included in it -- it's also possible (and probably safer) to use a Linux or Unix based system on the computer that is attached to the net. Originally, we
9;d tried ZoneAlarm as the server firewall, because it's free. That soon got dropped because it didn't work with the internet sharing. It's probably fine if you only want to use one computer, although it's not very configurable, but wasn't good for our purposes. Hence, Norton. To be honest, I've not had even the slightest problem with this program. It installed itself as sweet as a nut, offered us three choices of default settings (low security, medium security and high security), and happily chugged on with the internet connection sharing. I did freak out when I looked at the system logs a day or so later ("Waaah! Someone tried to send me a Trojan!") but I am reliably informed that this is a normal reaction to having a firewall :) One thing to be aware of is that no firewall is perfect. 100% security isn't something that can be easily picked up and installed. Even 80% security requires rather more fiddling around with rules and operating systems than I have (yet) had time to do. Unix/Linux is likely to be a lot more secure than any Windows configuration, if you can handle the more complicated setup. If you're not interested in military grade security and want a nice simple firewall that is easy for a new user -- but also offers a wide range of advanced configuration options for a more techie type, Norton is a good bet. A few useful links: http://www.infosyssec.net/infosyssec/fwfaq.html (This is a bit unix biased but interesting) http://msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/server/proxy/server072798.asp More on Norton Firewall: http://www.ideacafe.com/tech/software.html la fiend
Now this has made me think twice about buying another Norton product. This program is nowhere near of the quality of other Norton products and if you think that by paying for this software you are getting a good deal please think again. ZoneAlarm is by far the better program here, and that is free! Norton Firewall was on my PC for 4hrs and i had 3+ crashes (does that show something to you?). This thing is such a system hog that it is almost unbelieable. This is a bad product and is not a great thing for Norton to boast about.
Before I start, I know the firewall is not part of the Norton Utilities package but i wasnt sure where to put it as it doesnt have its own section on DooYoo. I already own Norton Systemworks and bought the firewall and installed it today. After a very quick installation it was up and running. For those people that do have Systemworks, it integrates itself with that and with the LiveUpdate function, bonus! Once running, i didnt realise how many times websites want to add cookies on to your system. You can set whether or not a particular website can do this which will obviously save on hard disk space especially if you dont have much space. Every time a program runs that the firewall doesnt know, it asks if you want it to have access to the internet and you can set it up very easily. It already has many rules set up for the main program on your PC for email and web browsing so you dont need to set those up. So far I havent had any problems with it and a well worthy purchase!