To Firewall or Not To Firewall….

September 14, 2010

If you have ever installed a fully featured Antivirus program, or another security program, you may of been presented with an option to install a firewall, thereby disabling the standard firewall built into Windows.

What is a firewall, and should we keep the Windows firewall, or use the 3rd party software firewall?

A firewall is a hardware of software application that blocks unauthorized access to a computer or network.  It also lets the right kind of access in or out, meaning you can still access the internet and applications you need.

For most small businesses and home users, a software firewall application is suitable.  For larger networks, or high security, a robust hardware solution may be the answer.

There are arguments for using or not using the built in firewall in Windows.

  • FOR – The windows firewall is automatically configured and turned on by default.  You don’t have to do anything to start it up.
  • AGAINST – Microsoft Windows is a huge target for hackers.  They are always looking for ways to find ways into the system.  It may be harder to attack a system with another software firewall running.
  • FOR – If you have a hardware firewall application, or the firewall setup on your router, it does not hurt to keep the Windows Firewall running on your individual computers.
  • AGAINST – A company that specifically makes security software is focused on the purpose of security.  A 3rd party firewall application typically provides greater protection, though it does require more interaction and configuration.

Whatever your decision is, having a firewall running on your computer(s) is a good idea.  There are thousands of viruses, worms, and other threats floating around in cyberspace.

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Why Windows 7?

July 13, 2010

inQuo Computer Support in Salt Lake City, inQuo Computer repair Salt Lake City, inQuo computer support in Utah, inQuo computer repair in UtahMuch of the hoopla by the Microsoft marketing team talks about all the benefits of upgrading to Windows 7.  But is it all smoke and mirrors?

Speed – One of the great things about Windows 7 is the vast improvement over Vista when it comes to using the memory on your computer.  Booting up, switching applications and browsing the internet are all significantly faster with Windows 7.

Compatibility – One big complaint with Vista was the lack of support for many of the software programs people used in Windows XP.  Windows 7 makes the process of installing software and hardware much easier.  More software programs can be used with Windows 7, and installing hardware like printers and cameras has been streamlined.

Hardware Specifications – Windows Vista required a huge investment in hardware, including more memory and a better processor.  Windows 7 can work on more Windows XP hardware, making the transition less expensive.

Search – The built-in utility for search runs incredibly fast and is very easy to access.  Simply click on the start menu and start typing your search term.  With extensive indexing, search will look within files on the hard drive, emails and compressed folders.

Windows 7 is definitely an improvement over Vista, and can be an option for improving features in XP, especially security.  Remember, be sure to back up all of your important files before performing an upgrade, just in case something goes awry.