by December 31, 2001 0 comments

Norton Personal Firewall 2002 protects your system from both incoming and outgoing connection attempts. It works on Windows 98/Me/NT 4 workstations with SP6 as well as Windows 2000 Professional/XP Professional or Home Edition. It acts as a barrier between your PC and the Internet, and protects your system from unauthorized access and Internet attacks. If your machine gets infected by a Trojan or a virus, the firewall also protects the personal information on your PC, by not allowing these programs to connect to the Internet.

The software is easy to install and after you have installed it for the first time, the security assistant wizard walks you through the initial setup process and helps in customizing and configuring the firewall. Once installed, the firewall runs in the background and you can access it from the system tray. You can change your privacy settings from medium to high, block and accept activeX controls or Java applets. You can even block port scan attempts, ping requests from other machines, and Trojans from entering your machine.

This gives you the IP address of frequent attackers

Price: Rs 2,400
Meant for: Home/office users
Features: Security assistant wizard, protects your personal information, blocks trojans and malicious programs from accessing your machine 
Pros: Easy to use
Cons: None
Contact: Symantec. Tel: 022-5960238. Suite # 801, Sentech Centrako, MMTC Building, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (East), Mumbai 400051.

The firewall even lets you scan your machine for Internet-enabled applications and displays a list of applications on your PC that are likely to access the Internet. You can either manually configure these applications,ie, block or permit Internet access or let Norton Personal Firewall automatically configure a rule for them. You can, however, change or modify these settings later to suit your needs. When an application which the firewall can’t identify attempts to connect to the Internet, it alerts you with a pop-up message asking if you want to permit or block access. If you save these settings, it remembers it the next time the same program tries to access the Internet.

The software also lets you check the Internet status that’s the number of alerts you have received and the number of outside programs that have tried to access your system. Like, most other Norton products the Firewall also has a LiveUpdate feature to download the latest updates for the firewall.

We tested the firewall with a few Trojans and it was able to block them successfully. The firewall also sent us an alert with the IP address of the machine and the name of the trojan, trying to connect to our machine. We even tried scanning the machine, which had the firewall installed using a port scanner. The firewall was able to block all the ports on our machine and made them invisible. The machine from which we tried to do a scan got a message saying that the machine is not responding, making it difficult for the hacker to even know if you are online. It was also able to block ping requests from remote machines.

Overall, a useful software to keep your PC safe from Internet attacks and prying eyes.

Neelima Vaid at PCQ Labs

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