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PROTECTING YOUR COMPUTER: FIREWALLS AND VIRUSES


With broadband connections, we recommend using a firewall. You can get a free firewall from Zone Labs here. You can also purchase a firewall from one of several vendors, including the following:
McAfee
Norton
Black Ice

Having trouble retrieving email or getting/staying connected after you're installed a firewall? Click here for how to stay connected or click here for solving email/FTP problems.

Viruses

A firewall prevents others from tampering with your machine or using it behind your back, but a firewall does not prevent viruses. For virus protection, obtain and keep current virus scanning software from such vendors as McAfee or Norton.

Symptoms of viruses vary. If your machine all of a sudden loses internet connectivity, seems incredibly slow and is acting strangely it may be indicative of a virus. Some install software that destroys your files, or makes programs vanish. Some present messages on the screen and then erase themselves. Others install secret "back doors" that send your personal information, including credit card numbers, to sites in other countries. Many make copies of themselves and send themselves to everyone on your email list with a catchy subject line to induce your friends into opening and installing the virus -- and the process continues and the virus spreads to hundreds of thousands of computers.

Some of the ways to avoid viruses are:

  • Obtain and install virus protection software -- and learn how to use it effectively
  • Keep the virus protection software up to date (which means downloading update files at least weekly, and subscribing to the software manufacturer's virus alert mailing list)
  • Scan every piece of software you receive on diskettes or zip disks or through downloaded files (including movies, images, sound files, word processing documents)
  • Never open an attachment to a mail file that you did not expect to receive; even then, scan it with virus protection software before opening it

Remember: A firewall protects you from crackers trying to get into your machine, and virus protection software prevents or disables viruses which you have received. With fast, broadband connections like ours, you need both protections!

 

Problems Staying Connected (DHCP)

Trans-Video.Net gives your computer an Internet (IP) address using a process called DHCP. You are given an IP for a specific period of time (a "lease"), and when the time is half over, DHCP "renews the lease." If the lease is not renewed before it expires, your address is lost and you cannot connect to the Internet until the lease is renewed. Firewalls may prevent the Trans-Video DHCP lease renewal.

For ZoneAlarm users, there are two solutions:

  1. Set ZoneAlarm Internet Security to Medium. This allows DHCP to work while the firewall still blocks damaging access to your computer from the Internet. You also remain protected by ZoneAlarm's application control feature. Only the applications you approve can connect to, or accept connections from, the Internet. You set the Security level for the Internet Zone in ZoneAlarm's Security panel.
  2. Add Trans-Video.Net's DHCP server and default gateways to your Local Zone. This allows you to keep your Internet security setting at High. Here's how to add Trans-Video.Net's DHCP server to your Local Zone:
    1. Double-click the ZoneAlarm icon (in the system tray if it's running).
    2. Click on the "Security" button to view the expanded Security panel.
    3. Click on "Advanced".
    4. Click "Add".
    5. Select "IP Address".
    6. Under "Description", enter "Trans-Video DHCP Server"
    7. Under "IP Address", enter "72.237.56.68" (if there are four boxes, enter the number in each box: 216, 204, 165, and 68)
    8. Click "OK". Now you want to add another.
    9. Click "Add".
    10. Select "IP Address".
    11. Under "Description", enter "Trans-Video Gateway"
    12. Under "IP Address", enter "216.204.170.1" (if there are four boxes, enter the number in each box: 216, 204, 170, and 1)
    13. Click "OK".
    14. Click "OK" again to return to ZoneAlarm.
 

Pause in Checking Email or Pause in FTP Sign-On

For security reasons, Trans-Video.Net asks each computer to identify itself before being granted access to email or file transfer. The IDENT request will be refused by a firewall. This will create a pause in the sign-on process, or a complete inability to get email or upload files. For security reasons, you may want to wait this out. On the other hand, you may want to trust that Trans-Video.Net's request is legitimate, as it is the only server on the cable system.

For ZoneAlarm users, there are two ways to avoid these blockages:

  • Set ZoneAlarm Internet Security to Medium.
  1. Double-click the ZoneAlarm icon (in the system tray if it's running).
  2. Click on the "Security" button to view the expanded Security panel.
  3. Set security slider to medium
  4. Click "OK"
  • Add Trans-Video.Net's DNS servers to your Local Zone. Avoiding the IDENT pause means adding Trans-Video.Net's DNS servers to your Local Zone. This allows you to keep your Internet security setting at High:
  1. Double-click the ZoneAlarm icon (in the system tray if it's running).
  2. Click on the "Security" button to view the expanded Security panel.
  3. Click on "Advanced".
  4. Click "Add".
  5. Select "IP Address".
  6. Under "Description", enter "Trans-Video DNS Server 1"
  7. Under "IP Address", enter "72.237.56.70" (if there are four boxes, enter the number in each box: 216, 204, 165, and 70)
  8. Click "OK". Now you want to add another.
  9. Click "Add".
  10. Select "IP Address".
  11. Under "Description", enter "Trans-Video DNS Server 2"
  12. Under "IP Address", enter "72.237.56.71" (if there are four boxes, enter the number in each box: 216, 204, 165, and 71)
  13. Click "OK".
  14. Click "OK" again to return to ZoneAlarm.
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