The firewall is used to control incoming and outgoing traffic. Many users believe that simply installing a firewall is enough to protect their computer from malicious attacks but that does not have to be the case. An improperly configured firewall can do more damage than harm, or at least leave some attack vectors open that would be close if it had been configured properly.
It is often a good idea to simply test the firewall for open ports. You see, ports are used for connections and only open ports can be used to connect to the PC. Common ports are port 80 for http connections (that’s web traffic using a browser usually) or port 21 for ftp connections. It does not make sense to have port 21 open if no ftp server is operated on the computer.
Shields UP is a free Internet service that can test ports on the local system. Users just need to open the http://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?rh1dkyd2 url in their web browser to load the configuration window.
From there is it just a matter of clicking on one of the available tests to run it.
The first three available tests are probably the most interesting. File Sharing tests for open file sharing ports, Common Ports the most common, popular and targeted ports, and all services ports the first 1056 ports of the system.
Each port is reported back as open, closed or stealthy. Open means that the port is accessible, closed that is is not and stealthy that they are blocked somewhere between the computer and the Internet, for instance by a router.
It is then up to the user to interpretate the results, the information posted on the test website offer a good starting point.
Â© Martin for gHacks Technology News, 2011. | Permalink | Add to del.icio.us, digg, facebook, reddit, <a href="http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit?url=http://www.ghacks.net/2011/01/13/shields-up-test-your-firewall-online/&title=Shields Up, Test Your Firewall Onlinestumbleupon, twitter
Post tags: firewall, firewall test, Security, shields up, windows firewall
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