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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I dont know how long Ive been using PCs...I just never got around to better securing my network. That said, I have a few questions that need answered.

What kind of things are there that could help secure my network?

I am hesitent to using a firewall...the last time I installed Zonealarm, I had to call my ISP for help (OOPS). I really dont know how to use them, and if its really worth the hassle to get one. If it is, what specific firewall program would be sufficiant?

I also find my connection extremely slow...and Im beginning to wonder if its really my ISP doing work...So I was thinking of some tools, perhaps some sort of bandwidth monitor/something similer? And maybe some other tools to help determine what my connection is actually doing.

Since I am a bit of a newbie at networking/security, Im just wondering what programs might be usefull, and perhaps some basic steps/ideas on where to start. I would appreciate any alternatives for programs you have to pay for.

Thanks,
Carter
 

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It is important to have a decent firewall [which windows firewall isn't] This one is simple to use and free.. Sygate Personal.
Also this antispyware program from Microsoft is free.. M$AntiSpyware. I've been using it for 4-5 months and its been ok.
Hopefully you will already have an Anti-Virus program installed; if not there are several free ones available at the same site.
 

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You need at least a basic firewall, a good AV scanner, and some spyware protection. FWIW, I've been using only the hardware firewall of my router for years, and I've never allowed any infections to sneak through. Your use of the Internet will dictate how careful you need to be as far as the firewall is concerned.

The AV is important, especially for mail, since that's still a pretty common way to attempt to infect you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Many thanks for the Input.

Well...I have been without a virus scanner for quite some time. Same with the firewall, but I never did take a good look at my network before.I did just reformat my computer a few days ago. The first thing I tend to do after I get Windows running, I install Spybot, update it, activate the resident & the TeaTimer. So as for spyware, there isnt any, and making sure of that, I scanned both with Adaware and spybot, and also backed up my registry. I will also give the MS version a try. Viruses...well I downloaded AVG Free and scanned...nothing found. In short, my PC at the moment is free of spyware/adware and viruses.

I also downloaded and installed that firewall. Surprisingly, its actually much easier to understand than Zonealarm, and easier to set up (it could just be me), and I love that you can monitor Incoming / Outgoing speeds, as well as it listing the programs that are using them.

EDIT: Also, I have noticed since I installed these things, that my connection lags a bit in some games. I was wondering if this is just setting, or perhaps its just the firewall/antivirus acting up with all the data when playing online?
 

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Henry
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My signature has good stuff in it.
 

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"connection lags..."

Everything listed is reportedly easy on system resources with the possible exception of MS/AS. I've read that the Microsoft Anti-Spyware solution can hit system resources a bit heavy, as compared to others.

The other thing that comes to mind is AVG (I use and love). If it goes into a scheduled deep-scan while you're gaming, you'll notice it.

Regards,
JF
 
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