XP Firewall

By Maurice ยท 18 replies
Aug 12, 2004
  1. I have just turned on my XP firewall, I didn't know where to access it before, is it efficient, & does it interfere with anything? I was going to install McAfee Virus Scan 7.0, via disc, but a techno advised me that it would slow everything up, how much does it do that, is the effect THAT bad, surely they wouldn't sell thousands of their discs, if it was that much of a pain?

    Anyone's opinion on this would be welcome.

  2. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    Stick with avg
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    A realtime virus scanner does make things slower but with modern CPUs the speed loss isn't that big. And you absolutely need virus protection these days.

    I suppose the Windows FW does the job of blocking traffic. That is if you want a firewall that works (somewhat) without you needing to fiddle with it.
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Banned Topic Starter Posts: 646

    Thanks, guys, conflicting opinions here, 'spose I COULD stick to AVG + XP firewall Godataloss, is it that you think that it WILL slow down everything too much, or do you have other reasons?

    Nodsu, you think that the speed loss wouldn't be that great, bearing in mind that my CPU is an AMD Duron 1800 256 fsb, will this cope with the McAfee, or does it need a more powerful CPU?

    Incidentally, to what does "256 fsb" refer to? it sounds like memory.

    I know, questions, questions, but I haven't gone into as many details as you guys, just a "johnny-come-lately" amatuer old-timer, so bear with me!

  5. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    FSB is Front Side Bus - and it does typically refer to memory but it can also have an impact on other things (and their speed) in your machine. You actually set the FSB on the motherboard - if it can be modified. Modifying the FSB will usually change what speed your processor is running (most common way of overclocking) but many times it will also change the speed of your PCI bus (everything running in PCI slots) and your AGP bus (video card.) Components in these slots are usually not very tolerant to being raised in speed very much.

    BTW - I've never heard of a 256 MHz FSB - they are usually (for recent machines) 200, 266, 400, 533, or 800
  6. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Due to the fact that you use your PC to surf, write emails and etc, I cant see why real time scanning will affect your PC's performance noticeable.

    Unless you are gaming, I doubt real time scanning will slow you down real bad.
  7. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    AVG gives real time protection. Every 'virus' alert I've ever gotten (3 or 4 in total) has been the result of websurfing and immediately blocked by avg. Just keep it up to date and don't download anything funny ;)

    I also like to support freeware.
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Banned Topic Starter Posts: 646

    Well, the gangs all here again, thanks folks!

    Taking the replies in order;-

    LNCPapa, I only assumed that the 256 was to do with memory due to the familiar configuration, 128, 256, 512 etc.,as to the rest of your info, wouldn't go there anyway, it sounds like a definite no-no area to me, thanks for the warning.

    Young & Wild, your info sounds a good reason for installing the McAfee, in other words keep it simple, & it should be OK.

    Godataloss, well my AVG was up & running, & I still got the trojan dropper virus, it put the Smiley Central setup programme in it's vault, presumably because it was that, that let the virus in.
    I deleted it from there, & from add/delete programmes, but the trojan's still there. I do keep it updated, as I do AdAware.

    Today, the chap who built my rig, says that this trojan could be interfering with my Outlook Express, [see my posts on "Email Problems"] where my outgoing mail doesn't always go at the time, but usually goes later, could he be right?
    Nobody is telling me what this particular virus does as it sits there.

  9. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 482

    I don't think you can really blame AVG if it was something you knowingly installed in some fancy-pants software you wanted to impress the ladies ;)

    have you tried disabling system restore-> http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/2001111912274039

    booting into safe mode (press f8)

    and deleting it from there?

    sorry about the poor formatting but I'm trying to sew things up before the end of the day...

    edit- dangling preposition (may god have mercy on my soul)
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Banned Topic Starter Posts: 646

    Do you mind, Godataloss ????, fancy-pants software to impress the ladies, for heaven's sake!, I'm mid seventies, I've got the same number of teeth as the days of the week, & if I sit down, it takes me a little while to get up,.[STAND up, Imean!]
    If Ohio wasn't so far, I'd, I'd, I'd come over there & & &............
    hit you with m-my false leg!!

    God, what am I saying?, most of the physical attributes are correct, but I can still give any female from 20 to 50 a good run for their money [as long as THEY have all their own teeth]

    Well now that nonsense is out of the way, I have had Smilies for a couple of years, & got no virus when I d/loaded it then, so I had no idea that *&^$+#>@*+# thing was lurking this time.

    The system restore etc you suggest, I might get my techno who set up my PC to do that for me, not venturesome enough to do it myself, I'm bound to **** it up, & make it worse than it was in the first place!!

    Excuse all the rubbish here tonight,....in a funny mood! As for you apologising for your formatting being poor, have you checked mine, it's rubbish!!

  11. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Oh, good Lord, I've almost wet myself laughing so hard from reading that last post. Thanks Maurice. :)

  12. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    As for the realtinme scanning..

    A realtime virus scan looks through common executable and library files every time they are accessed.

    This usually means that you get a slight increase in program load times, some more performance hit when you are manipulating many binary files and serious loss of performance whne you try to do something with big executables (like the SP2 redistributable (grr!)).

    Note that only binary files (.exe, .dll etc) are affected. Managing your enormous collection of legal music and "artistic" pictures will not suffer.

    Any CPU doing over 500MHz can handle realtime virus scan without a hitch. The amount of memory consumed by the AV scanner is another matter though.
  13. guruboy

    guruboy TS Rookie Posts: 26

    If you were running without a firewall before, then yes, the XP firewall is somewhat efficient. I'm going to assume you're talking about the Service Pack 1 firewall here, and not the Service Pack 2 firewall. The SP1 firewall is better than nothing, but not nearly as good as the SP2 firewall and other software firewalls. However, if you want to be truly protected, I believe that a software firewall is not going to protect you. It would be in your best interest, if you are on a broadband connection, to invest in a router with a built-in firewall. A hardware firewall is going to have more options and more security features, as well as be easier to use, than any run-of-the-mill software firewall.

    The ability of an anti-virus program to run properly depends solely on the user. That said, certain anti-virus applications are more user friendly than others. As others have said, I would stick with AVG Antivirus. The program has a small memory footprint, is very good at keeping up with updates (provided you've set the update schedule properly), and is rather hassle-free to use.

    In regards to your question about a company selling thousands of discs if their product is a pain, have you ever come in contact with a Norton product? :)
  14. Maurice

    Maurice Banned Topic Starter Posts: 646

    Wow, talk about coming to the aid of the party, thanks again, guys!

    Masque, glad you liked it, you're in your fifties, so don't they sell incontinence pads over there for your age group?
    Got to make the posts light-hearted sometimes, & I "talk" to TS more than I do my few relatives!!

    Heck, Guruboy, you going for gold or somethin' ?, one day, & 18 posts already, I've been a member for a year now, & haven't reached 300 yet!, anyway, welcome to Techspot, isn't it a great site?, I've had SO much help with problems over the year,....have you looked at the gallery yet?, a real eye-opener,....me? I'm an old timer, who only got into computing 18 months ago, still learning! [have a look at my profile!]

    As regards to your comments, I agree with you on both counts, but am not on broadband, it isn't available in a lot of areas, & when it is, it's quite expensive, how about where you live? [the location you give in your profile is ambiguous, to say the least, but you don't HAVE to explain it], anyway, welcome to Techspot, at your rate of posting, you'll soon go up through the rankings.
    PS;- your comments on Norton, not sure, does that mean that you think they're good or bad?

    Nodsu, I can always rely on you for constructive comments, as to size of CPU, have a look in my profile, will mine handle AVG OK?
    I'm not sure which of the two XP firewalls I have.
    For your info, I have no music files whatever, & only about two dozen items in "My Pictures", er, "artistic pictures", what ARE you suggesting??, I leave that to you youngsters, I've got to consider my blood pressure!, going back on the subject of the memory consumed by my AV scanner, I'll have a look at my pie-chart, should be OK though.

    Thanks all, Maurice.
  15. guruboy

    guruboy TS Rookie Posts: 26

    Possibly! I don't know - I just love computers.

    I have, and yes it is!

    I'm a tech support specialist who got into the IT business about a year and a half ago, although I've been working with computers for about 10 years. I like to focus on hardware and network security.

    Broadband is indeed available where I live, and I have my own small network. is the default IP address for many routers, Linksys in particular. I'm actually located in Colorado, in the US of A.

    I've had both good and bad experiences with Norton. I find that I don't use their products due to the fact that I can find better products that do much more (a hardware router properly configured, case in point, will do far better than even a well-configured setup of Norton Internet Security). I don't really have a preference either way - the comment was meant as a joke. :)
  16. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    If you are worried about a firewall, D/L and install the free ZoneAlarm, also available on most PC-magazine CDs.

    Once set up it is a nobrainer, and definitely much better than the skimpy XP-firewall.

    Other free alternatives include Agnitum Outpost and Sygate.
    Stay away from Tiny's firewall.
    (and also stay away from anything Norton, they positively HOG your system).
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Banned Topic Starter Posts: 646

    Guruboy, you certainly are meticulous when setting out your replies, I'll take them one at a time;-

    Going for gold; just some fun on my part, you gave the only answer you could, I think.

    Gallery, glad you like it, might we see you &/or your rig on there one day soon?

    Wow, your own network on broadband, incidentally,if you can find a post, think it must have been on "Meeting Spot", someone put a question, "how old were you when you built your own rig", or words to that effect, I followed it up, quite a list, some built theirs at the age of nine, I'm betting that with your love of computers, as you say, you were quite young when you built yours, as far as I know, no-one in England builds theirs until they are 16 or 17, they are very likely in the minority.

    As to your occupation, like a lot of young people today, they go for it, & it's obvious to me that you will go far, you're certainly NOT on the first rung of the ladder, & I wouldn't like to guess which one, because by the time I had guessed, you would have moved up a few more!, good luck in all you do.

    Your location, hope you didn't think I was prying too much, I sort of guessed that you lived in The States, it was your rig that kinda gave it away, there are quite a few TS members that do, & a fair few in Colorado,.....did you know that TS has over 14,000 members? not all of them "active", I'm told.

    Norton comments, should have known that it was intended as a joke, by the smiling "smiley"! Er, don't mention SmilIes, that's how I got my Trojan, trying to d/load Smiley Central, yet two years ago, when I got my first rig, I got it, complete with their great task-bar, no problem, I have the infected file in my AVG vault, until I find a way to get rid, tried several websites, 'spect I'll try by going into safe mode one day.
    Silly question, is it safer to leave it in the vault, only I deleted it from there once, only for the same trojan to announce itself again, & the infected file to reappear in the vault.
  18. guruboy

    guruboy TS Rookie Posts: 26


    It's not that surprising. I'm betting a lot of other people on TS have a better setup than I do.

    Well, thank you for the kind words! I'm a lead tech, but I'm hoping to get out of Tech Support and into the IT Administration side. I'm currently working on starting my own business.

    Yes, it is. Leaving it in the Virus Vault has it quarantined from contact with the other parts of your computer. That way, once you go into Safe Mode per the instructions of the other TS members, you'll be able to get rid of it without too much trouble.
  19. Maurice

    Maurice Banned Topic Starter Posts: 646

    Thanks, Guruboy, "I hear what you'e saying", as they say, & yes, I'll leave it in the vault.
    On another tack, I've been having a lot of trouble sending emails, just a few minutes ago, I phoned a support number, & it was sorted out in minutes, on-screen, seems my ISP subbed out their service to another Company, & cocked up the codes for outgoing mail on Outlook Express, this has been bugging me for weeks, some emails went, others stuck in the outbox, sometimes for more than a day, now it should be OK, hooray!!

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