Confused about firewall

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by Jeff, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    I access the internet through a home wireless network which connects through
    a router to a cable modem. The wlan (just 3 PCs running XP Home) is
    protected with WPA encryption and each PC has XP's firewall turned off but
    has ZoneAlarm free in effect (as well as virus checkers, malware checkers,
    etc.).

    But I am confused about what to put in the Zone Alarm's "zones" because I
    noticed that on one PC the only things in the zones area are:
    a) the network adapters which are listed as being in the "Internet Zone"
    b) the loopback adapter which is listed in the "Trusted zone".
    **None of the ip addresses of the other two PCs are listed nor the router
    gateway ip.

    Yet on another one of the networked PCs, the ip addresses of the other PCs
    are listed! I think that happened because I noticed in the alert list that
    some attempts to contact them had been "blocked" by ZA and since they were
    known ips I added them to my "trusted zone".

    So I am confused! Are the additions of the ip addresses of the networked PCs
    into the trusted zone necessary or unnecessary? Harmful or irrelevant? Why
    would ZA have blocked some attempts to contact my networked PCs while
    obviously letting the huge majority to go through (since the network works
    fine).

    Just confused <grin> and any help would be appreciated.

    Jeff
     
    Jeff, Mar 20, 2006
    #1
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  2. Hi

    Bear in mind that though the same word Security is used to describe Secure
    Internet Connection and Secure Wireless from a Computer functioning
    perspective there is No relation between the two.

    Wireless Security has Nothing to do with securing the Internet Connection.

    Wireless is just a replacement for a Wire and thus can be intercepted by
    people in the neighborhood attaching them self to your Signal and use your
    LAN and your LAN's Internet Connection. To avoid Local Tapping there are
    Wireless Security measures. These measures are unique to the Wireless
    components, and have to be used even if there is No Internet Connection.

    Cable/DSL Router Hardware NAT and Software Firewall/AntiVirus/AntiSpy
    applications are the ones that protect the Internet connection from being
    invaded/infested, and preventing your LAN computers (Wired and Wireless)
    from transmitting out to the Internet privileged information.

    All the computers (as a Network) would have basic Internet protection by
    using a Cable/DSL Router. In addition, each computer on your Network that
    has access to the Internet should have its own Internet Connection
    protection regardless of whether it is Wired or Wireless.

    Many Software Firewalls by default to block the Local (LAN) traffic as well.

    In order to share Files and other resources the Software Firewall has to be
    tuned to let the local computers passage Free through the Firewall.

    May be this can Help, http://www.ezlan.net/faq#trusted

    Successful Sharing involves some general consideration in Network settings,
    http://www.ezlan.net/sharing.html

    As well as specific adjustment of each computer according to what is allowed
    to be shared.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;304040

    Jack (MVP-Networking).
     
    Jack \(MVP-Networking\)., Mar 20, 2006
    #2
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  3. Jeff

    Jeff Guest

    Dear Jack

    Thank you very much for the explanations. You are correct I did not
    distinguish clearly in my mind the 2 different aspects of Security. This
    helps.

    The reason I was looking into the subject is that although I have not
    detected any problems with a PC accessing specifically shared files on
    another computer in my home wlan, one PC (the one that has the minimal ip
    entries I listed) has had intermittent trouble accessing the internet. Do
    you think that may be because the gateway or router ip is not specifically
    listed in the trusted zone of that PC? Especially that PC sometimes connects
    with the internet fine and then seems to be in the "server not found" mode
    until I reboot it after which it connects well for a while. I was ready to
    go out and buy a replacement cable modem since I was told that that may be
    the sign of a cable modem going bad. However I always suspected a
    configuration or timeout problem might be at fault though the intermittent
    nature of the problem stumped me.

    Jeff
     
    Jeff, Mar 20, 2006
    #3
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