How does AOL work within a networked environment?

Posted on 2007-10-15
Last Modified: 2009-12-16
As a network administrator, I know for a fact or network has nothing to do with AOL but I have a user on the network who is convinced they are providing her with Internet service while she is here at work.  I think she is confusing the fact that AOL is her home page when she browses ... with actual Interner service.
Question by:JayMulkey
    LVL 27

    Expert Comment

    You're right. She's wrong. Change her home page. AOL, MSN, etc. would not have access to your network. That would be a nice little security hole. She may be using AOL chat which is free and can work within a networked environment.
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    Hello JayMulkey,

    I can only re-itterate what David said.
    There is no link, as long as you know AOL is not your ISP.
    There are however programs that install that could reset her homepage to AOL.
    Change her homepage to then she should see it's not AOL providing this.


    Author Comment

    Are you aware of ANY communication with AOL which would REQUIRE me to allow access through a specific port?  Aslo, she says she is getting anti-virus protection through AOL.  But when I looked at her computer, she has no anti-virus software running at all (unless I'm missing something.  I looked at add/remove programs).  Does AOL filter email for viruses (is this what she's thinking about)?
    LVL 15

    Accepted Solution

    AOL messenger most definately uses a specific port. (As does any instant messenger)
    AOL typically uses ports 5190 - 5193 (5190 being AOL Instant messenger)
    AOL ICQ also uses 5190
    But those are most definately preferences that can be changed in the application.

    Also going by wikipedia
    531 could also be used by AOL but thats unofficial.

    It's about all I can think of, BUT I do know AOL when they install their "batch" of software it's damned hard to get rid of even after uninstalling via add/remove programs it leaves alot behind thats active.
    AOL in itself (Like any large or medium ISP) will have their own AV for scanning incoming mail that goes to their mail servers. So if your user is talking about that then she can't avoid it and shouldn't try to, it's a saftey measure in her good interests.

    I don't like how you say she has no Anti-Virus you can see via add/remove programs however.
    Look for
    Anything AOL AV or AOL Anti-virus
    E-Trust/CA/Ezi something
    Trend Macro or PC-Cillen


    Author Comment

    She was under the impression that she was receiving anti-virus protection via AOL and, therefore, did not want or need the company program we offer (eTrust by CA).  Bottom line:  she MAY actually get some protection when she's at home by having AOL as her ISP but I still think she needs a program running on her PC here at work.  Yes?

    I'm going to install eTrust now.


    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    Hi Jay,

    She most definately does need an AV running on her work machine.
    Shes got no protection on that machine as it stands.


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