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Preventing Security breaches - Windows XP and Broadband.

Posted on 2004-09-15
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Hi,

I have a computer running Windows XP home connected to the internet using BT Openworld ADSL broadband. Currently the PC is connected to a Broadband modem via USB.

As soon as it is allowed to connect the pc comes under attack from a barrage of virus etc. and I am looking for ways to prevent this happening. So far I have installed Service Pack 2, Zone Alarm Firewall and Norton Anti-virus. I have also disabled Windows Messaging Service and am running Adaware.

Would replacing the USB Modem with an all in one Broadband Modem/Router/Hub be worthwhile, allowing me to use VPN/NAT? Are there any other chages I could make to increase the computer's security?

Many Thanks,

AT.
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Question by:Attack_Trax
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alandc earned 400 total points
ID: 12227991
Yes, if you are behind a NAT router you will have less problems with network based attacks from viruses from all your filthy neighbor's computers. They will hit on your router (sometimes called Broadband Gateway) instead and leave your PC alone.  It will also help if you are surfing on Kazza because the attacks will be directed against your NAT router providing you with a first level of defense firewall.

Personally I would not get an all-in-one modem & hub but instead a modem (you may not need to replace yours if it doesn't have a CAT-5 LAN jack) then add a Broadband Router (to the WAN jack) which will act like a HUB for ALL your internally connected PCs (connected to the individual LAN ports).  Your total costs should not exceed $100 if you shop carefully and dont' get suckered into wireless tech.  (Wireless will open your vulnerability again unless configured with yet another router for local LAN protection.)

NOTE: If you replace the modem you may need to get reprovisioned - call your phone/cable company for details. If you are currently renting your modem this could save you lots of money. And my final advice -- use surge protection because a jolt coming through either they phone, cable, or electric lines can kill every pc, lan, modem, router, etc. in one fail swoop. Protect EVERY point of entry with good grounding and surge protection.

BTW, don't sweat VPN - it doesn't apply to your situation. NAT - Network Address Translation - your router, yes. VPN - Virtual Private Network tunnelling, no.

Here are some links to the technology you need (I have no affilation with expansys-usa but use them because they market products to the UK).

D-Link DI-604 Broadband Gateway (UK)
http://www.expansys-usa.com/product.asp?code=105246

D-Link DSL-300T ADSL Modem
http://www.expansys-usa.com/product.asp?code=110630

The reasons I would not buy this
D-Link DSL-504T ADSL Router
http://www.expansys-usa.com/product.asp?code=110629
which combines the functionality of the two above is because you are locked into one product. You cannot switch to cable. You cannot upgrade to add wireless, etc. If you do install wireless you should install it between your local router and your modem which is impossible when you combine the two into one product like this!
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