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Old 19th July 2008
JMJ_coder JMJ_coder is offline
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Default Windows Firewall

Hello,

My father is using Windows Vista and it is having fits when it first boots up to try to connect to the internet - it takes about five to ten minutes to make a connection. I traced the problem to the Windows Firewall. Seeing how the ISP supposedly has a firewall on their end, do I even need to have the Windows Firewall enabled?
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Old 19th July 2008
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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I don't understand, are you saying your fathers ISP blocks all inbound connections? I highly doubt any ISP is that excessive. (Some do filter a few ports, i.e: port 80.).

How it can be taking "five to ten minutes" to connect is unknown, then again... we know nothing about the setup, you could even be exaggerating things.. (Perhaps he's on dial up?).

Consider doing your father a favour, setup an OpenBSD router for him.. that way you can disable Windows firewall and use pf instead.
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Old 19th July 2008
DrJ DrJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
My father is using Windows Vista and it is having fits when it first boots up to try to connect to the internet - it takes about five to ten minutes to make a connection.
Something is not right with the setup. My wife's Vista-64 computer boots in less than a minute, and when it is done, the Internet connection works.
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Old 19th July 2008
JMJ_coder JMJ_coder is offline
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Hello,

I kid you not. It is a DSL connection. It is fine if you warm boot the machine, but not if cold boot it. If you're quick, you can get the check that the connection is there before Windows Firewall takes over. If you turn off the Firewall, the connection is there. It is not a connection error, it is an issue with the Firewall - something in its settings.

It doesn't take five to ten minutes to 'connect' - it takes five to ten minutes for it to play nice with the Firewall. But, as I mentioned earlier, this is only on a cold boot. If I simply reboot the machine, it works immediately. It started after a one month trial of Windows Live One Care.

The ISP (SBC AT&T DSL) simply indicates that it has a firewall - but no specifics (it could be a simple port 80 filter).

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If you want to donate a router box to the cause, that would be great!
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Old 20th July 2008
BSDfan666 BSDfan666 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
I kid you not. It is a DSL connection.
I guess it could be a problem with the PPPoE dialler.. but, I honestly don't know, it's more likely a problem with Windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
The ISP (SBC AT&T DSL) simply indicates that it has a firewall - but no specifics (it could be a simple port 80 filter).
I don't know, again, no specifics about the setup.. the DSL modem could be doubling as a router, in which case, your fathers computer is using NAT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
@BSDfan666
If you want to donate a router box to the cause, that would be great!
Not a chance, take it out of your own pay cheque... nobody said a router needs to be fantastic, go down to a thrift store and see if they have any old beige box.
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Old 20th July 2008
teckk teckk is offline
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Not a fan of windows firewall. Doesn't seem to do much. No outbound port monitoring. If you like it then try to configure it.

I would turn it off and use something like Zone Alarm. Been using it on windows boxes for years now. Works well. Very configurable.

My 2 cents.
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Old 20th July 2008
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You should never directly connect a Windows station to a live Internet connection (ie don't plug it directly into the DSL/cable modem).

Go to your nearest electronics store, spend $30, and get a home dsl/cable router (or wireless router). Use that to manage the Internet connection.

Then you can disable the Windows Firewall (it causes more problems then it tries to solve).
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Old 20th July 2008
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ai-danno ai-danno is offline
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A few things-

- Your dsl 'modem' ... if it's NAT translating your connection from your home machines to the world, then it's likely got some basic 'firewalling' included (as in not allowing inbound connections except from established outbound-initiated traffic flows)... may want to check that out.

- Your provider's 'firewalling' that occurs within their network- please never trust it. In fact, security outsourced is no security at all... ever.

- Windows firewall in vista is quite a step up from the firewall software included with XP. Be sure that nothing has 'hijacked' it in the sense that it's unnecessarily including tons of rules and exlcusions.

- Vista's performance monitoring is also a quite a step up from XP's version- you may want to get that fired up during the cold-boot delay issues to see if your disk i/o, cpu, or other resources are being hogged up, and if so, by what applications/processes.

- If you have a 64-bit system, running 32-bit Vista can be an issue performance-wise... this is my personal experience with my workplace desktop- switched from 32-bit Vista to 64-bit Vista on my core2duo and the overall system is significantly faster (and it sees the 4th Gig of RAM in my system finally (32-bit Windows will only see 3gigs.))

- My wife's laptop is a Vista system and has multiple issues related to it (and yes it's a 32-bit OS on a 64 bit system, but we're talking other issues)- the best practice we've found is to let the thing run as long as possible with out constantly shutting it down and cold-booting.

Hope these pointers help in some way...
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Old 20th July 2008
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ai-danno View Post
...the best practice we've found is to let the thing run as long as possible with out constantly shutting it down and cold-booting.
I have serenpiditously made a similar conclusion running Vista on a 1.8GHz Thinkpad with 2GB RAM. Booting is simply slow -- either warm or cold. Yes, once authentication has completed, the switch to the desktop is relatively quick, but after that there is a noticable wait before I have real control. There appears to be significant system checking going on watching Task Manager & listening to the hard drive, but I haven't taken the time to further ferret out the fundamental cause. Yes, it is annoying, but not enough so that I have been motivated to do anything else about it.
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