Home network which software

November 25, 2010 at 10:17:01
Specs: Windows 7, 4 GB

I have just gone wireless . I am on virgin cable an just brought a cisco wirless-n broardband router , set it up and it connects to the internet , what i need is some advice on what software i need for security and basically to make a home network run safe and secure

I was looking at something like cisco network magic , or something like that

Thanks Terry

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November 25, 2010 at 10:43:12
The router you bought should have firewall capability built into it. What more security did you need? If you need to secure each PC in your home network from the others then enable and use the builtin Windows firewalls in them.

I'm hoping you used WPA-2 encryption and a strong password on your wireless network. You can be more restrictive with your wireless network. Just look through the settings and the manual for more info on what you can do and how to do it.

Having never run into "cisco network magic" before I had to have a quick look. Oh yay, Cisco is reinventing the wheel!

Listen, everything that software does, Windows already does.

Here's what the page I landed on lists as capabilities of cisco network magic:

- Easily add new computers, printers and devices to your network

Hmmm.......enable DHCP on your router and set any new clients to get their TCP/IP information automatically (DHCP) and all you have to do is plug that PC in to the network and Voila! it's joined. With a network printer, you're best off to statically assign the IP address since you don't want that to change.

- Share printers and files among computers in your network running different versions of Windows

Uhhhh gee....Windows already does that. A quick google of "sharing files on windows" will yield more than enough information and tutorials on doing so. It's the exact same process on Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7

- Monitor and repair your network

This is kind of moot in a small home environment. What do you need to monitor?

- Protect against wireless network intruders

See what I said above about encryption and a strong password. Trust me, I do this for a living, cisco's crappy software can't do any better of a job than that.

On a side note, is the router cisco made that you bought so crappy that you also need to run this software? If they (cisco) are any good at building the device, the software is not necessary..........think about it........lol

- View your entire network on the network map

Big deal. I can view my entire home network in my head I don't need software. It's not like where I work and there are hundreds upon hundreds of pieces (ie: network appliances, computers, printers) where a physical map is a handy thing.

All in all.........this is a cash grab.......something Cisco is famous for.

You don't need it.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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November 28, 2010 at 07:50:06
hi Curt, Thanks for the imformation working fine,no need to buy network magic now. Regards Terry.

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November 30, 2010 at 10:01:59
Hi Curt,

I have to take issue with a part of your comment above. I've also seen you post this elsewhere on the forum as well. Your comment ""The router you bought should have firewall capability built into it. What more security did you need?""" is quite misleading. I can think of numerous areas the Windows firewall will not protect you from many of the basic threats that are out there today.

I'll start with root kits and malware in general. The Windows firewall is not going to reduce the impact of someone stealing your information with respect to outgoing ports from your PC. For example, lets just say someone gets beyond your malware detection and manages to gets something installed on your computer. That malware could then very easily (I have seen repeatedly) begin collecting and packaging information to be sent via FTP or http to a server elsewhere. However, had the user at least had 3rd party firewall installed, they could have potentially been notified of outbound communication attempts being made from their PC. Windows XP, nor Vista are good in this area at all and they're built-in firewall is quite a joke in this regard. Windows 7 notably improves in this area but still doesn't allow for the granular notification that a 3rd party software firewall may be able to provide.

With the risk of going far beyond what a typical home user would be willing to install and configure, I'll just note that I would highly recommend someone looking at the plethora of other software security solutions available which can be set to notify you of network access attempts (both inbound and outbound). You need more than just a router/firewall at your internet gateway and the Windows firewall at home to protect you from various threats online. Thinking otherwise just perpetuates the growth of bot networks and the greater potential for information leakage.

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November 30, 2010 at 10:50:51
Meko you do understand the difference between a router firewall and the windows firewall? You are talking software. CurtR is talking hardware.

If you wanted to lecture perhaps the subject of safe computing and how not to invite the bad guys in would be a better choice.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
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November 30, 2010 at 12:48:35
As wanderer pointed out, you're talking about software, I was talking about hardware.

To be more precise, I was talking specifically about preventing intrusion, not malware, spyware and root-kits and such. A firewall can't protect from user stupidity anymore than antivirus software can prevent intrusion.

When it comes up, both here in forum and in real life, I always recommned people use good antivirus software and anti spy/malware software. However, the original question in this thread was not about that topic. The software the OP mentioned was not intended for that purpose either so I'm a little confused as to why you went off in that direction and didn't talk even once about preventing intrusion and monitoring/administering a network.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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