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Enhancing System Performance COMMENTS (for Slava)

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April 20, 2004 12:15:21 PM

I liked you post, but your UNNECESSARY PROGRAMS is not very good for "newbies".

A firewall IS a MUST have, I strongly disagree with the idea of not running a firewall when you don't have a router. Even on "campus", because you can be "hack" from the inside, attackers are not always on the NET. So, I would only recommend firewall deactivation to people that are not on campus and that are behind a GOOD hardware firewall. Many cheap routers comes will less than secure default configuration and typical software firewall, don't take much resources.

I am an IT professionnal, and I'm always surprised to hear people not recommending firewall usage. Firewall are very strong, they can even protect you from unknown threat and yet unpatched security holes.

If you really think that your software firewall cut your in-game performance it's because you have another problem, you don't have enough RAM or have too much crap running in background. Firewall is NOT crap running in the background, it's a very useful application that protects you from hackers/attacks/viruses.

My gaming PC with 512Megs of RAM is running 24/7 these applications in background :
- Zone Alarm (Software Firewall)
- MyNetWatchMan (Firewall monitoring/reporting software)
- NAV2003 (Anti-Virus with all protection ON)
- Miranda (ICQ and MSN open-source client)
- Seti@Home (2 instances)

And I play FarCry, HALO, WC3 and other games without slowdown, because these apps are well coded and use near to none resources in background. I never stop any of these apps. to play my games.

Yes, it's important to not run CRAP in beckground. And the hardest thing, it's to learn to dicern what can be run and what can't be run in background on a PC. Your article is a good first draft!

--
<b><font color=red>GO!</font color=red> <font color=blue>HABS!</font color=blue> <font color=red>GO!</font color=red></b>
April 20, 2004 8:02:52 PM

You know what.

1-I have no anti-virus
2-No firewall
3-The CHEAPEST routeur existing (smc "put number here i dont remember")

And last day i tried some free anti-virus and i had no virus at all... no spy ware..... i NEVER got hacked (i am starting to think that people hacking pc is a myth)

My father who has 3 anti-virus 2 firewall (yea he is wasting all his ram). He almost download nothing and he always get tons of virus. Can you explain that?

You work for a firewall company of what?

Athlon 2700xp+ (oc: 3200xp+ with 200fsb) , Radeon 9800pro (oc: 410/370) , 512mb pc3200 (3-3-3-2), Asus A7N8X-X
April 20, 2004 8:18:51 PM

it doesnt matter how cheap your firewall is, its still going to work. getting "hacked" is rare. the biggest reason to have a firewall is to prevent windows exploits from being exploited. as for your father, the fact that he has two firewalls and three virus scanners tells me right there that not only is he paranoid, but he also doesnt have a clue what hes doing. he probly never updates the deffinition files, the 3 programs probly interfere with eachother anyway making them useless. as for slavas guide, your wrong about the university lans having firewalls. almost all i have seen dont have ANY firewall at all. even if they did people on the inside pose as just as much a threat as people on the outside. of course im speaking of exploits.

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April 20, 2004 8:23:23 PM

Two week's ago, I ran my puter all night without my firewall on(by mistake) When I rebooted the next day, both of my cd drives popped out on their own, and Windows said it was shutting down in 10, 9, 8, etc.. and it shut off. Somebody had fcked my shiit up. I had something even worse happen the first week I got DSL, but it's a long story...
<b>Firewall = Teh Good</b>

<A HREF="http://rmitz.org/AYB3.swf" target="_new">All your base are belong to us.</A>
<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=2216718" target="_new"><b>3DMark03</b></A>
April 20, 2004 8:29:41 PM

First, I don't work for a firewall, I work for an ISP/data carrier in Canada.

Yes, you never got hacked like most peopel who have a router, but you probably have good and secure internet behavior, like not opening e-mail attachments (this is the most common way to get virus/worms) and patching your Windows with the latest security patches available.

The PC hack is not a myth, but what you must understand is this : the easiest door, is the door that the hacker will take. So your router is acting like a locked door, most hackers knows that there is thousands unsecure Windows PC out there, if they hit your router, they will not bother trying to hack this router to get to your PC... So they "skip" your PC and go to less secure PC that are directly connected to the internet.

The problem with many PC users (probably the case of your father) is that they think their PC is secured because they use a firewall and Anti-Virus software. But, it's not true, 90% of PC/Network security is USER behaviour. If you blindly trust your FireWall and answer YES every time it ask you to let an application access the internet, you DON'T understand firewall. It's the same for Anti-Virus, if you don't regularly update your virus definitions and open e-mail attachments thinking your Anti-Virus will keep you clean, you DON'T understand Anti-Virus. And often, people that THINK they are securely connected to the internet don't patch their Windows.

What you will have to do, as a good son, is to teach your father on how to securely use his computer. So, he will be able to uninstall useless software and only let trusted apps. to access the internet.

If you go on the highway with your bicycle and a big helmet, you may feel secure but if you hit a car, you will probably get badly hurt! But don't you felt secure? :smile:

--
<b><font color=red>GO!</font color=red> <font color=blue>HABS!</font color=blue> <font color=red>GO!</font color=red></b>
April 20, 2004 8:32:49 PM

I reinstalled windows, turned on my I.C.(to download XP updates ;P), five minutes later... BAM!!! 'computer will shut-down' etc. etc. etc.


I always install my firewall first thing now. Even before the drivers.

A long long time ago, but I can still remember, how that music used to make me smile... <A HREF="http://www.nexus.hu/zonix/DIGGER.MID" target="_new"><b><font color=blue>Digger rulz</font color=blue></b></A>
April 20, 2004 8:41:45 PM

Re: I reinstalled windows, turned on my I.C.(to download XP updates ;P), five minutes later... BAM!!! 'computer will shut-down' etc. etc. etc.
I always install my firewall first thing now. Even before the drivers.


I could not have said it better myself.

If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
April 20, 2004 9:54:58 PM

Guys, this discussion is moot because if you read my sticky carefully you will see that I recommended to replace a software firewall with a router. I further recommend Linksys BEFSR41 model. It is inexpensive and has your system run in FULL STEALTH mode (full stealth mode means that your PC is invisible on the internet and acts as if its main power is turned off). For all intents and purposes, the hacker will have to know you IP address to be able to even attempt to hack through the hardware firewall this router provides.

Most importantly, even if you don’t have any firewall on your home PC your chances of being hacked are almost non-existent unless you do something stupid and install something that creates a gaping back door on your PC.

Let’s not confuse personal preferences and facts. Please.


<font color=green>Stingy people end up paying double. One kick-ass rig that will go strong for three years or one half-decent one every year?</font color=green> :cool:
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2004 10:08:30 PM

Just FYI, RIVATUNER works for both ATI and nV. It's hasn't been nV-only in a long time.

Check out Guru3D's own <A HREF="http://www.guru3d.com/rivatuner/" target="_new">description</A>.

Some info redundant for me, but so be it, it's not here for me.

If you're enhancing performance you may also want to direct people to special 'drivers' and articles about mods.

That's all I will say.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
April 20, 2004 10:18:44 PM

Thanks for constructive input. I will make corrections. Did not know about Riva Tuner ATI support since I never used an ATI card :o )

<font color=green>Stingy people end up paying double. One kick-ass rig that will go strong for three years or one half-decent one every year?</font color=green> :cool:
April 20, 2004 10:23:05 PM

Quote:
And last day i tried some free anti-virus and i had no virus at all... no spy ware..... i NEVER got hacked (i am starting to think that people hacking pc is a myth)


Blaster worm ring any bells? You didn't have to run any special code, you didn't have to do ANYTHING but be on the internet and have an un-patched Windows XP computer. If you had a firewall (ANY firewall... even XP's built-in one), you wouldn't have noticed anything. After seeing a few comps pass through here with Blaster I can say that a firewall is as necessary nowadays as an antivirus. I don't have any issues running games as a result of Panda Platinum... game performance would be the same with or without it.

<font color=red> If you design software that is fool-proof, only a fool will want to use it. </font color=red>
April 20, 2004 10:31:11 PM

Quote:
Yes, it's important to not run CRAP in beckground. And the hardest thing, it's to learn to dicern what can be run and what can't be run in background on a PC. Your article is a good first draft!

Agreed. I did write it up in a bit of a hurry - basically copy/pasted most of the stuff from my earlier posts. You wanna make it better? Send me private messages with changes/additions and we will make this sticky perfect. This is a community after all. But please do not be offended if I don't agree with everything you may suggest. I usually don't say stuff if I am not 100% sure.


<font color=green>Stingy people end up paying double. One kick-ass rig that will go strong for three years or one half-decent one every year?</font color=green> :cool:
April 20, 2004 10:42:43 PM

Quote:
Blaster worm ring any bells?

:evil:  Well, I have not had any viruses or hack attempts. Ever. I work in a big college (16000 students) as a sysadmin. I suppose I am just lucky :evil:  Nor have I had any viruses on my home network. Lucky I suppose. What I am saying, really, is that ppl should educate themselves about the dangers that are out there, not download/execute crap indiscriminately, and instead of using software firewall (all of which suck by the way) they should invest 30 bucks in a decent router and forget about it. Period. There is nothing else to say about this.

<font color=green>Stingy people end up paying double. One kick-ass rig that will go strong for three years or one half-decent one every year?</font color=green> :cool:
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2004 11:09:55 PM

Router alone is not a guarantee. And some routers do not have stealth mode, and that's important. I have .... umm... let's just say I have a router that does (not going to igve out info on my router :evil:  ).

Main thing, if you want speed, then back-up, back-up, back-up. Unless you have a BIOS virus (rare but I've had one), then you'll be fine with a clean wipe.

Anywhoo, not to turn this into a sys security conference.

Also could be added is links to nV, ATI, XGI, SIS, and Matrox's driver pages. Pretty easy and could be clicky links on names.

Drvrs for: <A HREF="http://www.ati.com/support/driver.html" target="_new">ATI</A> , <A HREF="http://www.nvidia.com/content/drivers/drivers.asp" target="_new">nV</A> , <A HREF="http://www.StupidVideos.com/?VideoID=597" target="_new">XGI</A> , <A HREF="http://www.StupidVideos.com/?VideoID=763" target="_new">SIS</A> , <A HREF="http://www.matrox.com/mga/support/drivers/latest/home.c..." target="_new">MATROX</A>


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
April 21, 2004 12:19:29 AM

Okay. I made most of the changes you, guys, recommended. Since I am the only one able to edit the sticky I welcome your further comments and suggestions. Let’s make this good.

<font color=green>Stingy people end up paying double. One kick-ass rig that will go strong for three years or one half-decent one every year?</font color=green> :cool:
April 21, 2004 2:07:22 AM

Ok Slava,

I really disagree with the hacks are uncommon approch. Believe me I have some experience in this area. I run a website on my own server going through 200 gb's of traffic a month. Not to mention I have reformated personal computers (without a hardware firewall like a router) Two days ago after loading win2k first thing I installed was norton anti virus I had been conected no more than 20 mins and I had 2 virus trogans whatever. My win 2003 server gets about 5000 (at least attacks a day) from about 10 or 20 diferent sources. mostly machines with a dictionary attack. I have stong security but it worries me. On a desktop with out a fire wall or the very latest security updates you are a complete sitting duck begging to be hacked. Most cases they will leave you alone nothing worth while there but its a risky thing indeed.

I got the info below from neowin a couple of months ago. Most of it I already used but lots of new stuff I did not know for personal desktops.

So you may want to add some of this stuff too your list.

Spyware : it's a pain. We don't want it, yet it really wants us. Here's a great guide written by our member mAcOdIn on how to remove it, and protect yourself against it in the future.

This article is more of a preventive measure than a fix and will harden internet explorers security but at the same time retaining the functionality that IE has.


First in tools, internet options, advanced uncheck "Enable Install On Demand (Internet Explorer)" and "Enable Install On Demand (Other)" and "Enable Third-Party Browser Extensions (Requires Restart)" and choose apply and ok. Also ensure your internet security setting is at least medium (unless you know what you are doing and have made it custom).

Goto <A HREF="http://www.windowsupdate.com" target="_new"> Windows update </A> and make sure you have all the latest updates.

Then download Suns Java JRE from <A HREF="http://java.com/en/index.jsp" target="_new"> Suns Java </A> (the link you want to hit is the "get it now" in the top right). Running Suns Java protects you because it has less exploited vulnerabilities than microsofts Java. Lots of spyware use holes in Microsofts java to install thier spyware so switching to Sun's closes a lot of holes.

Download: Sun Java
<A HREF="http://java.com/en/index.jsp" target="_new"> Sun Java </A>

Then download Spybot Search and Destroy from <A HREF="http://www.safer-networking.org/" target="_new"> Spybot Search and Destroy </A> run it and make sure to let it download the newest updates. Now goto Spybots immunize function and under "permanent internet explorer immunity" choose immunize, then under "permanently running bad download blocker for internet explorer" select "ask for blocking confermation and choose install.

Download: Spybot S&D
<A HREF="http://www.safer-networking.org/" target="_new"> Spybot S&D </A>

Next, download spyware blaster from <A HREF="http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html" target="_new"> spyware blaster </A> run it and ensure it's fully updated. Now choose "select all" and then hit "Protect Against Checked Items". Just for reference all the items that are in red are items that Spybots immunize doesn't protect you against that's why you should use both programs.

Download: Spyware Blaster
<A HREF="http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html" target="_new"> Spyware Blaster </A>

Both Spybot search and destroy's immunize function and spyware blaster are one time set things, these programs no longer have to be running to keep you from getting infected with the stuff they block against. What they do is disallow any activeX program that's was known to them at the time you immunized from even running. With both Spybot and Spyware Blaster it is important that you check for updates every two weeks or so and re-immunize yourself when new updates are released to stay current. Spybot's other immunize function ("permanently running bad download blocker for internet explorer") installs a BHO that will ask you for permission to block other known bad BHO's from installing. BHO's are really not needed and fairly rare and most people only have the adobe acrobat BHO. You could have set this option to always block but I chose "ask for blocking confirmation" for those people that use something that I do not that uses a BHO.

Now download both DSOstop2 <A HREF="http://www.nsclean.com/freebies.html" target="_new"> DSOstop2 </A> and HTAstop2003 <A HREF="http://www.nsclean.com/freebies.html" target="_new"> HTAstop2003 </A> and run both of those.



In addition there's another great free utility that you can run but unlike everything above it has to always be open just like an antivirus called spywareguard from javacool. You can download it and run it as well to further increase your security against spyware if you choose. It's available here: <A HREF="http://www.wilderssecurity.net/spywareguard.html" target="_new"> spywareguard from javacool </A>

Download: Spyware Guard <A HREF="http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareguard.html" target="_new"> Spyware Guard </A>

That should beef things up considerably. Having a good antivirus is also helpful because many of them are starting to add spyware to thier definitions, for instance my McAfee 8 caught that spyware trying to install.

I hope this helps you guys because these settings are pretty solid but at the same time loose enough that you can still have active scripting enabled and activeX. Granted you could disable those as well but at that point you might as well go download an old version of Mosiac browser because it isn't worth using IE with everything disabled.






If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
April 21, 2004 12:06:34 PM

Quote:
if you read my sticky carefully you will see that I recommended to replace a software firewall with a router.

Something you forget, is that no everyone have the money to buy a router. And unless you have 2 PC at home, a router is not very useful. You made your sticky post for a mostly "newbie" audience, so it's important to not forget this.

Newbies will not understand how to configure routers, they will plug it and don't change anything to the configuration/setup. And with software firewall, it's not necessarly better in this aspect, many users will let any applications access the Internet without knowing why they access the NET.

Quote:
even if you don’t have any firewall on your home PC your chances of being hacked are almost non-existent unless you do something stupid

I don't agree, many peopel that buy new PC, don't patch Windows, don't update their Anti-Virus and it's not because they are STUPID, it's because no one explain them how to securely configure their PC and because by default Windows is a wide open security breach. We (hardcore users) know how to run a PC safely, but the majority of people don't know.

You should consider this and adapt your sticky post for mostly newbie, at least, you should refer them to security articles.

--
<b><font color=red>GO!</font color=red> <font color=blue>HABS!</font color=blue> <font color=red>GO!</font color=red></b>
April 21, 2004 1:45:55 PM

Will do

<font color=green>Stingy people end up paying double. One kick-ass rig that will go strong for three years or one half-decent one every year?</font color=green> :cool:
April 21, 2004 2:11:48 PM

With all our posts/comments "Enhancing System Performance" will become "Securing Your System to Enhance System Performance".

I think THGC should add a forum category for howto/buying/oc guides. This would be nice to have all these interesting and important sticky post on a single page. So we could tell all the THGC "stranger" to go there and read them all, before asking questions that are answered in these articles/guides...

--
<b><font color=red>GO!</font color=red> <font color=blue>HABS!</font color=blue> <font color=red>GO!</font color=red></b>
April 21, 2004 4:05:44 PM

I think THGC should add a forum category for howto/buying/oc guides.
Quote:
This would be nice to have all these interesting and important sticky post on a single page. So we could tell all the THGC "stranger" to go there and read them all, before asking questions that are answered in these articles/guides...

By all means, why don't you email Fredi (forum moderator) or the THG webmaster with this excellent suggestion? Refer to what's going on with my sticky and explain why such a page would be very beneficial. Also, in the future this will benefit THG since people WILL link up to this concise yet all-encompassing one-stop shopping for essential basic knowledge.


<font color=green>Stingy people end up paying double. One kick-ass rig that will go strong for three years or one half-decent one every year?</font color=green> :cool:
April 21, 2004 5:11:59 PM

Quote:
why don't you email Fredi (forum moderator) or the THG webmaster with this excellent suggestion?

Because I can't find Fredi's e-mail/contact, should I use the comment@tomshardware.com address? Or do you have a contact to moderator?

--
<b><font color=red>GO!</font color=red> <font color=blue>HABS!</font color=blue> <font color=red>GO!</font color=red></b>
April 21, 2004 7:35:07 PM

I just sent an e-mail to Fredi! I wish this will work!

--
<b><font color=red>GO!</font color=red> <font color=blue>HABS!</font color=blue> <font color=red>GO!</font color=red></b>
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2004 10:05:14 PM

Ditto, too much info to be combined into one thread.

There are alot of stickies, but some need to be tweeked not folded into others or have others folded into them.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2004 10:10:31 PM

Hey, you didn't add my SIS and XGI links! :evil: 


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
April 22, 2004 12:21:47 PM

Quote:
My sticky is staying where it is...

And it should. Your sticky totally belongs in the Graphic Cards forum. It is great by the way.

<font color=green>Stingy people end up paying double. One kick-ass rig that will go strong for three years or one half-decent one every year?</font color=green> :cool:
April 22, 2004 12:26:10 PM

Quote:
Hey, you didn't add my SIS and XGI links!

Sorry, bro. I did not have time to investigate, but I did click on them. Both of these links point to some weird web side called stupidvideos.com

I quickly looked at clickable options there and did not see any driver downloads.

I will gladly include more links in the sticky if they point directly to useful downloadable stuff instead of stupid videos. :frown:

<font color=green>Stingy people end up paying double. One kick-ass rig that will go strong for three years or one half-decent one every year?</font color=green> :cool:
a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2004 5:39:56 PM

Awwww! But those videos would help people feel better about their cards, whereas no driver on earth would. :evil: 


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
!