cable modem security

gernb

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 6, 2002
102
0
So I think I'm finally stepping up to broadband with a cable modem from Earthlink.

Since this is a constant "on" connection and I don't wanna get hacked, can anyone tell me if it's enough to just have file sharing turned off, or do I need some kind of personal firewall?

I'll be running 9.2 on this machine until protools comes out. Then X. Is there any difference in the need (or lack of need) for security between the two?

Big thanks for any thoughts.
 

8thDegreeSavage

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2002
370
0
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I run MacAnalysis on my G4, but mainly due to me being paranoid. To each his own i guess.
I think under 9 you should be cool, and surfing and using things like Limewire and stuff you should be fine. Eventhough you have an "always on" connection. In the end a simple firewall and anti virus software should be fine.

:D
 

dobbin

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2002
587
5
England
OS X has a firewall built in, but for some reason Apple has not made this obvious or easy to use for the average user (like me!)

You can set it up in the terminal (argghhh no thanks!) or by using a application called Brickhouse which is what I did. You can download this from the Apple site here

Any ideas why there's no Apple utility to take care of this for us?

Cheers,

Robin
 

Hemingray

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2002
2,913
25
Ha ha haaa!
Another great firewall program if you're still using OS 9 is DoorStop. Back when I got Earthlink DSL, it came with a free copy of it. I'm not sure if they do that anymore, though.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
DSL...

I have Earthlink DSL and haven't had any security issues. Then again, I also have one of the new Airport Base Stations going online for me 24/7 as well as providing me with security. I created a closed network at home, for as many systems as I want (8 port ethernet switch connecting to the base).

Just so you know, with the base station, you need 0 additional software to go online, and provide additional security to your system (on top of what the Mac OS already has). I have nasty results trying to use the pppoe dialers available for the Mac when I have tried to use them, which is another reason to use the base. OS X has a lot of the stuff built into it, so I didn't need any dialers, but still... the base does it all for you.

IMNSHO, the base station is worth the initial investment. Considering how most people know someone else with either another desktop or laptop and will eventually either get a second system (if they don't have more already), it's a snap to add more connections. Also, being able to use a network printer is sweet... You don't need to have any other system on in order to use it, nor do you have to f*ck with moving connecting cables around.
 

Rajj

macrumors 6502a
May 29, 2002
692
0
32° 44' N 117° 10' W
If you have more than one computer, then I would suggest getting a router with a switch and firewall built in, you can get one from Compusa for about 80 USD.

A simple antiviris will not be sufficient.
 

Rower_CPU

Moderator emeritus
Oct 5, 2001
11,111
0
San Diego, CA
A router/switch is a great way to stop people from getting into your systems...as long as you keep the firmware updated.

Jaguar has a GUI into ipfw via the Network prefs.:D
 

Hemingray

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2002
2,913
25
Ha ha haaa!
Originally posted by xrhajj
A simple antiviris will not be sufficient.
That brings up another point I've been meaning to ask... has anyone tried Norton Personal FireWall? Is it worth it? Does it do anything special that we can't get through other firewall services? I was thinking of getting it for one of the computers at my office that stores a bit more sensitive information.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Originally posted by Hemingray


That brings up another point I've been meaning to ask... has anyone tried Norton Personal FireWall? Is it worth it? Does it do anything special that we can't get through other firewall services? I was thinking of getting it for one of the computers at my office that stores a bit more sensitive information.
A hardware firewall will be much better, since software ones have been cracked, rather easily too. Even though they plug the holes fairly fast, it will still leave you vulnerable.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
A NAT router with a actual built-in firewall is great if you can afford it, most of these will keep activity logs and may require subscriptions to keep the firewall up-to-date.

Otherwise a cheap NAT router should work to obscure your IP/MAC address of your computer. Though they will call this a firewall and you'll have that word printed on the box to protect you.

With a NAT router you should be relatively safe as long as you don't turn on any sharing services to expose yourself.
 

gernb

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 6, 2002
102
0
hey

thanks for the thoughts. mostly what i expected so that's good.

i guess i'll wait to see what they give me when they come to install the cable/modem.

if i need to get something i'll probably go with just a simple, cheap router. i love the idea of setting up an airport network...but not sure i want to spend the 400 bucks i'd need to for a base and a card.

how is it that by using an airport i'd be able to keep people off my machine anyway? i think i understand, but if someone can explain that it might sell me on the idea.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Originally posted by gernb
hey

thanks for the thoughts. mostly what i expected so that's good.

i guess i'll wait to see what they give me when they come to install the cable/modem.

if i need to get something i'll probably go with just a simple, cheap router. i love the idea of setting up an airport network...but not sure i want to spend the 400 bucks i'd need to for a base and a card.

how is it that by using an airport i'd be able to keep people off my machine anyway? i think i understand, but if someone can explain that it might sell me on the idea.
You don't need the airport card right away, you can plug into the LAN port on the new base and go online that way. When you want to, you can add the airport card and go wireless later. You can also toss an ethernet switch onto the LAN port and add even more systems.
 

Rajj

macrumors 6502a
May 29, 2002
692
0
32° 44' N 117° 10' W
Originally posted by gernb
hey

thanks for the thoughts. mostly what i expected so that's good.

i guess i'll wait to see what they give me when they come to install the cable/modem.

if i need to get something i'll probably go with just a simple, cheap router. i love the idea of setting up an airport network...but not sure i want to spend the 400 bucks i'd need to for a base and a card.

how is it that by using an airport i'd be able to keep people off my machine anyway? i think i understand, but if someone can explain that it might sell me on the idea.

You don't need an Airport base station, unless you have a notebook, But it is lovely to have :D
 

Choppaface

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2002
1,187
0
SFBA
Originally posted by Hemingray


That brings up another point I've been meaning to ask... has anyone tried Norton Personal FireWall? Is it worth it? Does it do anything special that we can't get through other firewall services? I was thinking of getting it for one of the computers at my office that stores a bit more sensitive information.
I have...it's pretty good. eats less processing power than netbarrier and offers most of the important features. I'd set up the one in OS X but I dont have time to learn the terminal commands.....
 

dobbin

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2002
587
5
England
Originally posted by gernb
hey

i guess i'll wait to see what they give me when they come to install the cable/modem.

Ha! When Telewest installed mine they gave me the URL of a website to download a firewall and told me it was "essential". There were no Mac compatable firewalls at that site. :rolleyes:

He also wouldn't set it up on OS X and insisted I rebooted into OS 9 because he only had step by step instructions for "normal Mac windows" :rolleyes:

Best of all was when he spent 5 minutes under my desk with the modem lead before emerging looking very confused and asked me where my computer was!! :confused:

I showed him my G4 cube which was on my desk next to my display and keyboard! :D

So, the moral of my little story is don't trust what the cable install man tells you about security, as in my opinion they don't know much about Macs ;)

Cheers,
Robin.
 

evildead

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2001
1,275
0
WestCost, USA
One thing you should try...

One thing you should try is going to www.dslreports.com They have a secuity testing feature. YOu give them your IP and they hit you and rate you. I have never gotten anything but a perfect score.

I have used NetBarrier wich I liked and Norton Personal Firewall. The new OS X version of Nortong PW (version 2.0) is great. Its great for beggners and for pros. You can configure it and give rules to each individual ports. I have a Router on my front line but need to forward some ports to diffrent computers on my network. I dont want the ports open all the time so I block them off with Norton when I dont need them turned on. Its simple to use and fairly powerFull ... but its more expensive than some of the other fireWalls that are taked about here.

-evildead
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Re: One thing you should try...

Originally posted by evildead
One thing you should try is going to www.dslreports.com They have a secuity testing feature. YOu give them your IP and they hit you and rate you. I have never gotten anything but a perfect score.
I tried that once on my old base station... they couldn't find me when I gave them the IP of my computer... :D How's THAT for protection??? :D Gotta love some of those Sith abilities ;) :D :eek:
 

evildead

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2001
1,275
0
WestCost, USA
Re: Re: One thing you should try...

Originally posted by AlphaTech


I tried that once on my old base station... they couldn't find me when I gave them the IP of my computer... :D How's THAT for protection??? :D Gotta love some of those Sith abilities ;) :D :eek:
... if you were behind a router like a base station. (forany one that didntknow) ...........


The world cant see any computer behind your router unless you let it. Adding a router to your network adds another layer of security for anyone conserned about aways-on internet. You can get a pretty good one for under $50 and you can share your interent connection with other computers in your home if you were so inclined. Plus.... you get to the next level of geekyness... "I run my own network at home"


-evildead
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Re: Re: Re: One thing you should try...

Originally posted by evildead
The world cant see any computer behind your router unless you let it. Adding a router to your network adds another layer of security for anyone conserned about aways-on internet. You can get a pretty good one for under $50 and you can share your interent connection with other computers in your home if you were so inclined. Plus.... you get to the next level of geekyness... "I run my own network at home"
I haven't opened up any ports on my new base station, and only tried that once with the old one. I don't file share from any of my systems, so it's a non-issue for me.

As for level of geekdom... I've been there for years. I started making my own LAN when I built my first peecee, and put two Mac's onto it too. I had an old powercenter pro clone and then my first PowerBook G3 on it. I made the peecee into a server, so that I could see how things really functioned, and fix the things winblows f*cks up.

Now, I just use the latest peecee for games, and any real work gets done on my new TiBook... :D THAT is one svelt laptop. The game system isn't too shabby either...
 

evildead

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2001
1,275
0
WestCost, USA
Re: AlphaTech

Running things like ftp, web, carracho, hotline, and AIM (file transfers) require that your forward your ports. I do all of the above.

LAN geek! I have set up networks for work and school but only untill recently at home. I have a Wireless network at home with 3 Macs, 1 WinBox, and WinNotebook. I have had braudBand for a while now but never got arround to getting the hardware to set it all up. I finnaly got some time and did it. Now Im a geek at work and and home.

My girlfriend teases me about being a geek... but she says she loves me anyway :)
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Re: Re: AlphaTech

Originally posted by evildead
Running things like ftp, web, carracho, hotline, and AIM (file transfers) require that your forward your ports. I do all of the above.
Well, I've never had a problem getting files via Sputnix. I haven't tried to send files via AIM, since I have a fast enough connection that email is just fine for me. ICQ seems to allow it better then AIM, but both can be buggy as all hell.

I bet she likes you because you are a geek... if her computer (if she has one) ever goes wrong, who do you think she will call to fix it???
 

evildead

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2001
1,275
0
WestCost, USA
Re: Re: Re: AlphaTech

Originally posted by AlphaTech

I bet she likes you because you are a geek... if her computer (if she has one) ever goes wrong, who do you think she will call to fix it???
Yeah... I come in handy sometimes. Her mom loves it too. I have fixed their computer and set things up like DSL, several times. I recently showed her how to use Dreamweaver so she could make a webpage for a school project. I'm giving her an iMac so I can try and make her into a Mac geek. Before we started dating she once defeneded me when a guy called me a geek. She said "I think smart is sexy" After that.... I had to have her. :)
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Re: Re: Re: Re: AlphaTech

Originally posted by evildead
Before we started dating she once defeneded me when a guy called me a geek. She said "I think smart is sexy" After that.... I had to have her. :)
Why you LITTLE!!!!! DOH!!! lucky sonofabiatch.. :p

I need to find a woman open minded like that ;) :D :eek:
 

evildead

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2001
1,275
0
WestCost, USA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AlphaTech

Originally posted by AlphaTech

I need to find a woman open minded like that ;) :D :eek:
They are out there.. you just have to keep looking :) I really lucked out. She is smoking hot too! If you saw her on the street you would never think she would go for a geek. She is way out of my league. She has done some modeling before and she is very smart. She is starting Graduate school in the fall. She's 21 and I'm 22. I'm a UNIX enterprise system admin and a computer science student (very geeky). We have been to gether for about a year and a half.

If I find a girl like her, anyone can :)