Network security

Here is a muli part question.

1) How secure are the computers (PC's)that are connected to a a boadband router that assigns non-routable IP addresses.

2) Can you disable ports on
 2a) Windows 98?
 3a) Windows NT Server?
 4a) NT 4.0 Server ?
 5a) NT Workstation?
 6a) Windows 2000?
 7a) Windows XP Pro
 8a) Windows XP home

3) When hackers probe you IP address and ports what are their intent.

Thanks

Jeff
jeffg_91911Asked:
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scraig84Connect With a Mentor Commented:
To add a little:

1) Broadband routers typically perform address translation.  Translation will provide a very small amount of security in that it will block very basic scans etc.  It can be likened to locking your car door.  It will deter the casual thief.  However, in both cases these methods will not block anybody who is truly serious about getting in.

2) Ports are opened because you have services that use them.  Shut down the services and the ports close as well.  However, you usually want some people (on the LAN) to use these ports.  A firewall is needed in this case to block access to ports from external hosts.  If you have multiple machines to protect, it would be best to get a small SOHO firewall.  There are a number of vendors in this market - Watchguard probably being one of the biggest.  Cisco also released a 10 user PIX model for about $400.  If you have just one computer to protect, you can use a personal firewall which is software installed on the PC.  Norton and ZoneLabs are a couple of big names here.

3) Like Ahoffman said above - just about anything.  Most often with smaller targets, the intent is to use that machine to perform other attacks to hide identity.  However, they may just want to cause mischief, and get a kick out of trashing your data.

Hope that helps.
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ahoffmannCommented:
1) unsecure at all
2a) - 8a) AFAIK no (except with special Add-on software, like firewalls, which replace most of M$)
3) any, whatever you imagine, and whatever you forget to imagine ;-)
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ymashCommented:
As far as ports locking, you can do that on NT, 2000, and XP. only you don't block specific ports, you open only the ports you need to open. You can do that in the Network control panel. XP has extended features and a built-in firewall.

Some of the broadband routers also have built-in firewalls, they are not the best, but for a home network they are good enough. Linksys has one for about $80. While Watchguard, cisco and others are better, you realy don't need to spend all teh money for a small home network.
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jeffg_91911Author Commented:
Not exactlly the knid of details I was looking for.
But appreciate the help and good points.

Thanks

Jeff
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