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Plusnet firewall

Muttley62
Grafter
Posts: 130
Registered: ‎22-03-2013

Plusnet firewall

I have Kaspersky Internet Security and my router also has a firewall.  Is there any point in having the Plusnet firewall turned on as well?
12 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Plusnet firewall

Yes, depending on what ports etc. you are using. It stops unwanted downstream traffic reaching your modem/router which counts as usage, never mind the possibility of DoS or other attacks or just the Router being so busy dealing with the unwanted traffic it slows your wanted traffic.
Check out the Advanced settings of the Plusnet Firewall.
Also some accounts have Safe Surf which if you don't use P2P or Usenet is also worth a look to block some other ports.
Razer
Grafter
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Registered: ‎17-11-2012

Re: Plusnet firewall

If I'm understanding this right, if I use any of the firewall settings it will prevent me from getting my email and may prevent me playing my online game. Or is it that 'unsolicited' connections are blocked and if my email application or browser try to connect to email, and my game tries to connect to the servers and other players then those incoming connections will be allowed?
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Plusnet firewall

No it will NOT block your email, since when did your email use port 25 incoming unless you are running your own server? It doesn't affect browsing, the Low setting works fine for most people, it's the unsollicited incoming traffic that is blocked. As far as Gaming is concerned, I'm not a Gamer so I can't be specific, but it will probably depend on what ports the game uses and whether you are hosting - the simple answer is suck it and see. If you want something more specific w.r.t. Gaming, probably best to ask on that board.
Razer
Grafter
Posts: 1,398
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Registered: ‎17-11-2012

Re: Plusnet firewall

I question because, for example, the setting 'Block common ports' blocks all ports below 1024. That would include the IMAP and POP ports for email. It says: "This setting blocks all traffic to common ports (ports numbered lower than 1024)." which, because of the precise wording, I can't help but read to mean that it will block all traffic, meaning email coming in, being traffic, will get blocked. I also use port 1000 on my game, so I can't help but think it will affect that too.

As for asking things in the gaming section, experience tells me that's largely abortive in the ghost-town section it is, sparsely peopled as it is with those who seem only to be able to ask questions rather than answer them. I prefer to come here and ask the knowing tech-heads like you! Wink In any event, I probably will 'suck it and see', but I still have to ask to understand. I don't much like wandering in the dark when I can't see. That's why we have Bright Sparks here! (second hint-hint lol).
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
Thanks: 443
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Plusnet firewall

Haha  Smiley Have a read of this page https://portal.plus.net/support/security/firewalls/broadbandfirewall.shtml
If you change the firewall settings, you'll need to login to your (modem/)router to drop your PPP session then Reconnect for the new settings to take effect.
Razer
Grafter
Posts: 1,398
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Registered: ‎17-11-2012

Re: Plusnet firewall

OK, thanks for that AO. The page is still not clear to me (or I just don't get it). I probably will just have to have a go with it to see how it works, then I may better understand.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Plusnet firewall

Quote from: Anotherone
Also some accounts have Safe Surf which if you don't use P2P or Usenet is also worth a look to block some other ports.

I have it at the back of my mind that Safe Surf doesn't work. When I go to the page you've linked it says "Your Surf Access is currently Restricted" but I have no trouble using Usenet which it is supposed to block.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎18-02-2013

Re: Plusnet firewall

Quote from: jelv
Quote from: Anotherone
Also some accounts have Safe Surf which if you don't use P2P or Usenet is also worth a look to block some other ports.

I have it at the back of my mind that Safe Surf doesn't work. When I go to the page you've linked it says "Your Surf Access is currently Restricted" but I have no trouble using Usenet which it is supposed to block.

It only blocks some ports, i used a torrent program the other day it worked like a charm.
I also used a vpn to bypass opendns *.13 in about 5 minutes without even putting much effort into it  Grin

Here are the ports on mine.
Current Status: Your Surf Access is currently Restricted (Before any changes you’ve made to Safe Surf will work you need to disconnect and reconnect your broadband connection).
Safe Surf will block these common ports:
PortApplicationTCP 412
DirectConnectTCP 1214
KazaaTCP 4661 - 4662
eDonkeyUDP 4665 -4666
eDonkeyTCP 5498 - 5501
HotlineUDP 6257
WinMXTCP 6699Win
MXTCP 6346-6347
GnutellaTCP 6881-6889
BitTorrentTCP Port 119
UsenetPlease note: We can’t guarantee that Safe Surf will block all Peer-to-Peer and USENET traffic. Some Peer-to-Peer applications can be set to use a different port if the common port is blocked.
IE useless Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
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Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Plusnet firewall

Well I'm glad you managed to use a Torrent program the other day 30FTTC06, that doesn't mean Safe Surf is useless
My bold
Quote from: Anotherone
....... Safe Surf ......... is also worth a look to block some other ports.

Quote from: Safe
Please note: We can’t guarantee that Safe Surf will block all Peer-to-Peer and USENET traffic. Some Peer-to-Peer applications can be set to use a different port if the common port is blocked.

I don't see anywhere that it claims to block any other ports than those listed and indeed warns that other ports can be used.
That doesn't mean that there aren't benefits form blocking unwanted traffic on specific ports.
Quote from: jelv
I have it at the back of my mind that Safe Surf doesn't work.

It clearly warns it can't be guaranteed to block all Usenet traffic. If you have some proof that Safe Surf doesn't block the ports listed could you please provide it, then if need be we can take the issue up with Plusnet.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,720
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Plusnet firewall

I searched around but couldn't find anything. It might have been somewhere else (e.g. tbb, PUG or p.s.c-f) or I might be mixing it up with something else, but I've got a niggle at the back of my mind that we'd been told by someone at Plusnet it didn't do anything these days. I'd wondered if by posting someone else might remember.
Have you proved it works by having something like a P2P program that works/stops working when you turn safe surf off/on?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Muttley62
Grafter
Posts: 130
Registered: ‎22-03-2013

Re: Plusnet firewall

I have tested my current configuration with "Shields UP" and everything is reported back as OK so I think that I will leave the Plusnet firewall turned off after all.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
Thanks: 443
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎31-08-2007

Re: Plusnet firewall

Quote from: https
Low
This offers good general protection. It will stop the majority of Internet intrusion attempts from being successful.
It allows the more common Internet traffic through to your computer or network.
Note: If you are wishing to run VPN software, you need to select this mode, the 'High' setting will not allow VPN connections.

If you do not use any of the ports blocked by the low setting then IMHO you are daft not to make use of the extra protection.

Quote from: jelv
Have you proved it works by having something like a P2P program that works/stops working when you turn safe surf off/on?

I rather think that is probably a pointless approach in view of what the safe surf page says. If I had time at the moment then some thorough testing with Shields Up or similar, to check the ports listed would be the best method, but I'm afraid it will have to wait.