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  1. #1
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    Greetings,

    Some stupid questions and need to know...

    I currently have Norton on my computer - can i install another firewall on the same computer or would another firewall conflict with the first one? Would security be enhanced in anyway with another firewall?

    Also, i recently got myself a laptop with a wi-fi connection. My local starbucks has a t-mobile hotspot, which i want to try out. How exactly do i go about logging on and more importantly, how do i check the security aspects are in place and working? For example, i've heard the term WEP (encryption?) when talking about wi-fi, how do i check for this or is this on by default? I'm constantly hearing from horror stories about laptops being open to view and unsecure when connected to a wifi hotspot and its giving me doubts...

    Thanks for any help and advice!

    min8
    www.minimal8.co.uk - minimalist in style

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  3. #2
    Senior Member rosland's Avatar
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    Two software firewalls will most likely come in conflict with each other. The best firewall would be a hardware based one. If you have a router between your computer and the internet connection, the router will work as a hardware firewall. The router assigns IP addresses to the computers connected to it. From the 'outside', only the routers IP adress will be visible. All machines connected to the router will appear invisible to the outside world.

    The WEP encryption is not very strong (strong enough for most household use I guess), and prevents outsiders from connecting to your WI-FI network (i.e. they can't use your internet access, nor access your LAN). Anyone connecting through your access-point will also gain access to your local network. That means all folders and drives that are labeled as 'shared', will be accessible. Intra network services will also be available to the outsider.
    If you're travelling around and pick up a signal telling you there's a network available, the 'connect-dialog-box' that appears on your screen, will ask for a WEP key, if the network in question requires one. If it doesn't ask and lets you connect, then there is no WEP key active.

    WPA (WiFi Protected Access), is the a newer much stronger encryption protocol than WEP. You can read about it through a Google search.
    S. Rosland

  4. #3
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosland
    The WEP encryption is not very strong (strong enough for most household use I guess), and prevents outsiders from connecting to your WI-FI network (i.e. they can't use your internet access, nor access your LAN).
    Right, WEP means "Wired Equivalent Protection", although that's not completely right.
    I'm not really paranoid about this stuff, so my house WIFI is setup to block by MAC address instead of using WEP.
    Look if your router has the ability to filter by MAC address. The MAC address is a hexagesimal string that is unique to the network adapter (a wifi card, a networking card, etc) so you have to allow individually in your routers/firewall control panel which MAC address are enabled to pass. Each time you add a new computer or wifi device to the network you have to enable it's MAC address in the router's CP.
    Like that if someone wants to use your network, he would need to go to your home and robe a wifi card

  5. #4
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    Use WEP with a 128-bit key in conjunction with MAC filtering and stopping SSID broadcasting.

    If your router and wireless card use WPA, use it. It sucks way less than WEP, which can be broken in a few hours, even with a 128-bit key.
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
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