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peekoe
11th September 2007, 11:21 AM
Hi all, I've just switched from PC to Mac, and have heard that virus protection is not needed, but how about a firewall for broadband? Is there any additional software that is needed to protect Macs when online?

Thanks for your help.
Michelle

gameon
11th September 2007, 11:27 AM
goto
system preferences
sharing and theres a firewall tab
turn on

your modem / router should also have a built in firewall

JimWOz
11th September 2007, 11:55 AM
The system preference firewall accesses some of the features of the built in Unix IPFW firewall, that is embedded within OSX.

A more powerful user interface for IPFW is the shareware Flying Buttress (formerly known as Brickhouse).

(A Unix geek could set up firewall rules just using the Terminal application, and not need a user interface like Flying Buttress.)


Another useful tool which monitors outgoing connections only is Little Snitch.

spargo
11th September 2007, 12:22 PM
Hi all, I've just switched from PC to Mac, and have heard that virus protection is not needed, but how about a firewall for broadband? Is there any additional software that is needed to protect Macs when online?

Thanks for your help.
Michelle

Welcome Michelle..

have you read through this discussion thread yet on which apps to use (http://forums.mactalk.com.au/showthread.php?t=30462)? might be some good starter info for you..

there's plenty of info around here, just do a search (http://forums.mactalk.com.au/search.php) and read on..

enjoy!

peekoe
11th September 2007, 01:07 PM
Thank you all for your help! I didn't know about the built in Firewall. I'll check that out tonight when I get home. I'm with Telstra for broadband, and something I found really weird when I plugged my Mac in was that I was instantly connected to my broadband, whereas with my PC I had to enter a WEP key. Kind of worried me a bit, as I thought anyone living nearby with a Mac could use my broadband as easily as I did.

Thanks for the info about other apps too - I'll be doing a lot of downloading I think :)

Currawong
11th September 2007, 01:18 PM
What kind of modem are you using from Telstra?

peekoe
11th September 2007, 01:30 PM
It's a Motorola, and I'm on the Home Wireless plan. I'm not sure the model number, and am at work so can't look at the moment, but it was the one they were giving out with Home Wireless around this time last year.

Beast5500
11th September 2007, 01:43 PM
I use NetBarrier.

spargo
11th September 2007, 02:41 PM
Have you previously had to type in the WEP key on the Mac? If yes, then it may have remembered it when connecting again, whereas the PC may not have?

The simplest explanation may be the right one.

Currawong
11th September 2007, 02:54 PM
You might want to check that encryption is being used, for safety. Sounds like the Motorola is a router, so you don't need firewall software. Learning about what firewalls actually are is probably more useful.

peekoe
11th September 2007, 04:00 PM
Have you previously had to type in the WEP key on the Mac? If yes, then it may have remembered it when connecting again, whereas the PC may not have?

The simplest explanation may be the right one.

No, I only bought the Mac on Saturday - took it out of the box, plugged it in, and it asked me what connection I wanted to connect to, so I clicked Motorola, being my connection, thinking it would then ask me for the WEP key, but then I was automatically online. I had my PC laptop open at the time, and I thought maybe it was grabbing the connection from there somehow, but have used it all day yesterday with the PC off, and it's still online as soon as it turns on. Weird. I haven't called Telstra about it yet, as I'm worried they'll do something to stuff up my account.

Squozen
11th September 2007, 04:27 PM
Download this widget:

http://www.macwireless.com/html/support/airport_radar/

When you run it you should see a padlock next to your wireless network name if it's encrypted.

I'd bet your Motorola has lost the WEP key, and even if it hasn't, WEP can be broken in about a minute. You want, nay, NEED WPA encryption on the router.

peekoe
13th September 2007, 12:48 PM
Download this widget:

http://www.macwireless.com/html/support/airport_radar/

When you run it you should see a padlock next to your wireless network name if it's encrypted.

I'd bet your Motorola has lost the WEP key, and even if it hasn't, WEP can be broken in about a minute. You want, nay, NEED WPA encryption on the router.

Thank you Squozen for telling me about this widget! I downloaded it last night and found what the problem was. My computer had connected to someone else's broadband also called Motorola. When only one called Motorola came up, I assumed it was mine, but after looking at the widget, I saw there were two - one secured and one unsecured. So I obviously connected to the wrong one accidentally. Oops! I'm glad I picked it up after only a couple of days as I'd hate to use up all their limit.

Thanks again everyone for your help :)

thorevenge
13th September 2007, 01:06 PM
It might be an idea to let that person know their wireless is unsecured.

Some might find this offensive and illegal, but connect back to that wireless and find the router. Log into it (it's probably just the standard login that came with your router) and find their username. It'd also be likely to be their email address.

Then email them and let them know :)

peekoe
17th September 2007, 10:30 AM
It might be an idea to let that person know their wireless is unsecured.

Some might find this offensive and illegal, but connect back to that wireless and find the router. Log into it (it's probably just the standard login that came with your router) and find their username. It'd also be likely to be their email address.

Then email them and let them know :)

Thanks for the tip on how to do that - I'll give that a go tonight. As of yesterday it was still unsecured, as it is still popping up as an option for me to connect to. I live in a townhouse complex of 50 units, so there would be a lot of people who could accidentally connect to them - I just hope they have unlimited broadband, as I downloaded a lot of updates before I realised!

Galumay
17th September 2007, 11:21 AM
LOL!! thats got to be the best argument for a secured network in that environment i can think of!!

i dont bother because my location means that no one is close enough to get on my network.

as far as the firewalls go there is no real need for firewalls and they tend to cause more issues than they are worth, the NAT on your router will be sufficient generally.

Graham
17th September 2007, 12:01 PM
One useful utility is a thing called 'Little Snitch' which allows you to determine how you want to handle outbound connections from applications. It's handy if you're paranoid about apps phoning home.