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Need suggestions for Laptop software
Jul. 15, 2006, 07:25 AM
Post: #1
Need suggestions for Laptop software
I'll be getting a laptop for the program I'm going into for University (Information Technology Management), and I was wondering what you would suggest I install.

I'm planning to install ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware since it has "Wireless PC Protection" and "basic" firewalling features without all the junk added (Antivirus, Identity Theft
Protection, Anti-Spam & Anti-Phishing, Privacy/IM Protection and Parental Control). Comparison Chart

(Wireless PC Protection - Instantly identifies new wireless networks for safe, point and click configuration; automatically recognizes any wireless network you've connected to before.)

For the Antivirus, I'm planning to install NOD32.

Is there any software that you've had good experiences with on your laptop, or have heard about? Any other firewall that identifies new wireless networks and is lighter than ZoneAlarm?

Thanks! Cheers

I hope this thread will be a good source of information for those who are planning on buying a laptop, or already have a laptop.
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Jul. 17, 2006, 03:02 PM
Post: #2
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
ah yes, I'm interested in hearin' the suggestions as well...

I sold my laptop about three years ago, so software has changed quite a bit...

For me, at the time, it was Windows 2000, Kerio (I liked Sygate also [both seemed much, MUCH more "efficient" than ZoneAlarm]), and AntiVir (don't remember why I chose it over AVG)...
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Jul. 17, 2006, 06:11 PM
Post: #3
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
Any laptop with an internal wireless card will recognize new available network ap's. Why do you need the firewall to do this?
Any firewall including windows firewall will offer protection. Turn off sharing on any shared folders if you don't want anyone on the network looking at them.
The router that you connect to will also offer protection.

been trying out http://ftp20.enet.com.cn:88/pub/network/...rewall.zip lately. not bad .
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Jul. 17, 2006, 08:49 PM
Post: #4
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
Have you thought about getting a MacBook with core duo processors? My son has one and it is slick.
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Jul. 18, 2006, 08:27 AM
Post: #5
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
Specs of the laptop (which is a Dell Latitude D620):

Quote:PROCESSOR
Intel Core Duo T2300E, 1.66GHz, 667Mhz, 2M L2 Cache, Dual Core

CASE
Starting at 4.41lbs

DISPLAY
14.1 inch Wide Screen WXGA

RAM
1GB, DDR2-533 SDRAM, 2 DIMM

HARD DRIVE
60GB Hard Drive 9.5MM, 5400RPM

MODEM/NIC
56K v.925 Internal Modem; 10/100/1000 Gigabit6 Ethernet network interface adaptor

WIRELESS
Intel 3945 WLAN (802.11a/g) mini Card Latitude

VIDEO
nVidia TurboCache * NVS110 (256 MB)

CDROM
24X CDRW/DVD with Cyberlink Power DVD, for Latitude D-Family

BATTERY
6-Cell/56 WHr Primary Battery

SOUND
High Definition Audio codec, speaker, 2.0W (4 ohms), integrated omni-directional microphone

SPEAKERS
Integrated Stereo Speakers

PC CARD SLOTS
One Type I or Type II

PORTS
Serial, docking connector, 4 USB, VGA, headphone/speaker out, infrared port, RJ-11, RJ-45, AC power

WARRANTY
3 Years Next Business Day On-Site Parts & Labour with Complete Care

I just bought a Linksys WRT54GL router today and flashed HyperWRT (Thibor) 15c onto it. Didn't test out the wireless capabilities yet (going to buy a Linksys adapter for my sister's computer and test it out).

Running very smoothly here, in fact, it only took approximately 5 minutes to replace my old D-Link router with this one.

The wireless card supports 802.11g and WPA2 + AES encryption Smile!
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Jul. 18, 2006, 01:22 PM
Post: #6
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
We've got a D-Link di 624 router; my son can use his laptop anywhere in the house or back yard with it. The Linksys WRT54GL is a router that is popular because you can flash it with other firmware as you have done. It is supposed to perform well. Looks like a nice laptop; have fun.Cheers
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Jul. 18, 2006, 01:42 PM
Post: #7
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
besafe , I've been following this thread and was interested in your firewall recommendation since I hadn't heard of Filseclab . I dl'ed the firewall and it sure does look very nice ; however , the FW does not rate well according to http://www.firewallleaktester.com/tests.php from Wilder's security site . Isn't the router alone sufficient protection ? I think we've discussed this before , hardware vs. software firewalls or using both ; I've always found that the software FW's slow browsing quite a bit . Except for Filseclab . Regards and thanks for the advice .
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Jul. 18, 2006, 02:47 PM
Post: #8
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
Ralph Wrote:according to http://www.firewallleaktester.com/tests.php from Wilder's security site

cool! thanks for the ranking link!
(ps - also confirms my "beef" with Zone Alarm "freebie"...)
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Jul. 18, 2006, 04:35 PM
Post: #9
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
I wasn't as impressed with Jetico as I am with Sygate Personal Firewall v5.6 (although SPF is a bit "old")...
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Jul. 18, 2006, 05:22 PM
Post: #10
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
Ralph Wrote:besafe , I've been following this thread and was interested in your firewall recommendation since I hadn't heard of Filseclab . I dl'ed the firewall and it sure does look very nice ; however , the FW does not rate well according to http://www.firewallleaktester.com/tests.php from Wilder's security site . Isn't the router alone sufficient protection ? I think we've discussed this before , hardware vs. software firewalls or using both ; I've always found that the software FW's slow browsing quite a bit . Except for Filseclab . Regards and thanks for the advice .

I've gotten a bit less paranoid since my days of using TPF which would block all those leak tests. Application layer control is good but it can be quite tedious and hard to set up. It gets a bit annoying making decisions over and over again. The thing about leaktests is that you need to execute them for them to work. I usually just run with router alone and an AV app running but like to try out firewalls occasionally. Tried out comodo last week but found it causing problems with my av's email scanner. It's been a while since I worried about application behaviour. I tend to worry more about how the firewall affects performance and also find Filseclab to be good in that regard. I think most of us don't install iffy programs and don't really need to worry so much about leaktests. Sometimes I think some firewall makers specifically design them to be able to block certain leaktests in order to score well; I don't know how most of those would do in the wild (except TPF).
I use Spywareblaster, a-squared, SS&d, online scanners,resident AV,The Proxomitron,various pc cleaning apps to keep my pc clean of debris. I was using an application control app for a while ( I can't remember the name of it) but it just gets to be a pain after a while. It wasn't worth it to me to continue using one just to pass leak tests. IMO common sense and good surfing habits are more important than leak tests right now. I will most likely try all the firewalls on that link you gave but I doubt they will stay long.
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Jul. 18, 2006, 06:15 PM
Post: #11
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
Me, I'm just using Proxomitron and NOD32 as my real-time "protection" applications.

Really hard to decide on a good software firewall, but my new router provides sufficient protection.

I find most HIPS and Application Control programs to be a big nuisance.

We're not that different, you (besafe) and I Wink

I guess you kind of "outgrow" software firewalls once you implement a hardware firewall.
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Jul. 18, 2006, 10:05 PM
Post: #12
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
I use Look'n'Stop as a software firewall still. It's pretty small and seems to work pretty good.

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How 'bout you sideburns, you want some of this milk?
This fading text is pretty cool, eh? I bet you wish you had some.
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Jul. 19, 2006, 01:59 AM
Post: #13
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
When going to public sites with your laptop, turn on the windows firewall and don't allow exceptions; it will give good protection.
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Jul. 19, 2006, 12:24 PM
Post: #14
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
i recommend SpeedswitchXP 1.51 http://www.diefer.de/speedswitchxp/

SpeedswitchXP is a CPU frequency control for notebooks running Windows XP. It is a small applet that sits in the system tray and allows dynamic switching of the frequencies of mobile Intel and mobile AMD CPUs.

i found out about this program on the Spybot forums because my Compaq Presario laptop was crashing when i was doing a scan.
i installed SpeedSwitch and set the CPU speed to maximum battery. this lowered the maximum CPU speed which prevented the shutdown due to the CPU overheating. it could help running games also.

i also recently installed TrueCrypt and used it to create a secure Firefox profile as outlined here http://freeandsafe.blogspot.com/2005/09/...le-to.html
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Jul. 19, 2006, 11:47 PM
Post: #15
RE: Need suggestions for Laptop software
SpeedswitchXP is very good. My son's old laptop always had overheating shutdown problems that were alleviated with it.
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