SHCC WYSIWYG Article from November 2001

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This article appeared in the November 2001 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Cable Modem Firewall and Virus Protection

by Jerry Carson

Q :  A friend said that with my new cable modem I should get a firewall.  Is this true?  What do you recommend?

A :  Yes, you should have a firewall and virus checking software!  Now that more users have cable and DSL connections, they are spending more time online. It's fairly common to leave the computer turned on all the time.  I know I do.  And I must confess, I've been bitten by hackers.  Last month, the nimda virus made it's way onto my home network.  It took considerable effort to find all the occurrences and remove them.  Don't let this happen to you.

First, get a virus checker.  They are all about the same, just make sure they allow free updates and checks email.   Most viruses come in through email and a virus scanner is no good if it only looks for old viruses.  I use    AVG 6.0 from

Next comes the firewall.  This will be a little trickier.  The firewall has to protect you from things you don't want, but allow you to do everything you want to.   That's asking a lot from a piece of software, so have patience. I chose SPF from just because I had used some of their software before, and it was free.  There are others, like Zone Alarm, from which is also free, and supposed to be very good.

Setting up a firewall on a single computer system is fairly easy.   When you have a home network, like I do, it becomes more complicated because you need to allow users on your network to do things you don't want users outside of your network to do.  Read the documentation cover to cover.

Once you have it set up, you need to test it.  There is another free service from Shields Up! which can test it.   It is located at:

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