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Plusnet Firewall

npike
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: 22-08-2007

Plusnet Firewall

The Wannacry virus infections have encouraged me to make sure I have the latest security patch and virus definitions installed. I also researched a possible firewall and found one on the Plusnet site that was switched off, and I was able to turn it on. I had to pull the cable connection and then re-plug back in, according to the instructions. At that point,my internet connection went dead, but a computer restart solved the problem. Can I ask some questions. I'm on fibre broadband.

1) Is this firewall at the Plusnet servers or does it send a signal to my router?

2) I always thought that having a router provided a hardware firewall, so the one at Plusnet would be unnecessary. Is this true?

3) I've not activated the one on my PC as it usually causes problems.

 

Thanks

6 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,023
Thanks: 1,562
Fixes: 19
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Plusnet Firewall

You can never have too much protection, but you do need to have some idea about what you are doing.  In answer to your questions...

  1. The PlusNet fire wall is on their network servers and it restricts which ports are exposed for inbound connections to your router.
  2. That hardware firewall in the router does lots more than the above - it can control which devices within your network can / cannot connect to the Internet and which devices in your network will accept unsolicited inbound connections permitted by 1. above
  3. A software firewall on your PC more than anything else restricts what can connect out from your machine - this can act as a block to rouge software quietly sending out your personal data.  It also can block other devices on your network accessing your machine

I use all 3 - note that using (1) also has the effect of blocking remote port scans from utilising your broadband bandwidth as 'disallowed' traffic is never sent to your router ... Only to be rejected by the inbuilt firewall.

npike
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Plusnet Firewall

Many thanks for the info.

1) Do you think this level of protection will ensure this wannacry virus will not infect my machine? I understand that opening email attachments (that I never do unless I know who they are from) or clicking on email links is a very bad idea. I understand clicking on site adverts is also a bad idea at the moment. I am reading, though, some conflicting information in the newspapers as to how this virus attacks. Some agencies think it has nothing to do with emails, but can simply find its way to my computer, and in that case, I'm thinking this firewall may help. Would it help?

2) Do we know if Plusnet has taken steps to stop attacks?

 

Although I have Windows XP (I like it and I know my way around it comprehensively, and it's stable and all the drivers work fine), Microsoft released a security patch that I have installed. 

Thanks

Gel
Pro
Posts: 1,387
Thanks: 133
Fixes: 10
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Plusnet Firewall

Continuing to use the unsupported XP (save for MS's surprising recent patch) increases your vulnerability.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 10,023
Thanks: 1,562
Fixes: 19
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Plusnet Firewall

Firewalls in themselves are not going to protect you - they only seek to limit the access paths - not the contents  For that you need both good AV software and anti-spam filtering on emails.  PlusNet's in-built anti-spam is fairly good ... if you have enabled it!

npike
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Plusnet Firewall

Many thanks. Is it therefore important for spam emails not to reach my inbox as all, instead of just not opening attachments or clicking on links? Can this virus get through just by receiving an email?

jab1
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 1,509
Thanks: 268
Fixes: 5
Registered: 24-02-2012

Re: Plusnet Firewall

I would doubt just receiving the email would trigger a virus/trojan, but best practice - i.e. if you don't know the sender, bin it without opening if it arrives in your inbox SHOULD leave you safe.

In close on 15 years on the net and thousands of emails, I've never been infected yet via one.

John