Internet Security 2000
Ease of Use:
Pros: Extremely easy to configure.
Cons: Too much in one package?
I downloaded the Try-buy version to give this tool a test
drive. I was rather discouraged by the size: 47MB. Now, that
takes some time even with a cable modem. Once the whole thing
is downloaded, installation is easy enough, answer a few
questions regarding SystemWorks integration and Anti-Virus
software and you're off. The software requires a reboot, after
which I do recommend running a LiveUpdate to get the latest
updates. I used the defaults that came with the LiveUpdate to
get me started. Unfortunately, the LiveUpdate requires yet
Opening the configuration window will first
display the status screen. It will tell you about all sorts of
activity; the number of blocked/accepted accesses, Privacy
blocks and other more or less useful information. From here
you can enable or disable the entire package.
The Security screen allows you to set how
paranoid you want to be. The medium setting works fine for me,
it gives me the best of both worlds: Security when online
while not getting blasted with warnings all the time. There's
a neat little globe down in the system tray that will let you
know if something weird is going on. If there has been a
violation of the security policy, a red exclamation point will
be displayed over the globe. Assuming you have logging on, you
can go back and see where the violation came from (IP address
and port information). There's also the option to customize
the settings to you liking.
The Privacy screen lets you specify what
information you want to give out when browsing. Again, the
medium setting is a good way to go. NIS will warn you when you
are about to transmit private information across the Internet,
and cookies are not blocked. You can also customize these
There are two more configuration screens;
Parental Control and Ad Blocking. I will not comment much on
these, other than say they are there, if you are a parent, you
can use this to keep your teenagers from looking at material
that you deem unfit. The Ad-blocking feature is nice if you
don't want to get this annoying banner-ads all the time. Saves
you a few seconds on your download as well. With a fast
connection, I don't give a hoot.
Now, this is a "personal firewall".
Digging into the configuration screens, you can specify
exactly what type of traffic to allow or disallow. You can
create rules specific to host, networks or the universe. Very
flexible, highly configurable, and it absolutely works. I ran
a simple port-scan, and all the scans were logged, the ones
resembling Trojan scans was properly shown as such. The
program has an "intuitive learning" feature which
creates access rules as you use your programs. I decided to
test it, and opened Half-Life for a game of TFC. Connected
with no problems. Checked the firewall rule-base afterwards
and there was two entries for Half-Life, one for incoming and
one for outgoing. I don't know why it created two, one rule
allowing incoming and outgoing traffic would suffice.
Very good package. Absolutely recommended if
you have a 24/7 connection and are worried about someone
getting to your computer or using your computer for DDoS
attacks. So, if I like it so much, why only a rating of 4?
Well, I round down, and it didn't correctly set up the rule
for MS FrontPage, so it prevented me from authoring this