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  1. #1
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Default best network protection suite?

    I just started working for a non-profit organization with people who are not all that computer savvy.
    We have two computers which will be networked together and which have a broadband internet connection.
    I'm pretty sure these computers are "always online" whenever they're on, meaning the browser doesn't need to be open... right? I mean I got a new computer on Friday, hooded up the Ethernet cable and Microsoft did an update, so it's a hot connection.

    Anyway, I have never worked with networked computers and being an INTJ, I had to think about it for a while. The lady in charge says that McAfee comes with AOL - which is what she uses for email, and she thinks that is sufficient protection, but I'm thinking not. I think the McAfee is only working when AOL is open and is only protecting your open AOL windows.

    Besides that, I did a little research online and it seems more than anti-virus is necessary. One article talked about multi-layering protection, firewalls, etc. The boss is also talking about getting a server next year.

    In my opinion, an excellent protection suite is one that is actually effective at its job and that updates itself, one that is low-priced and doesn't slow down the performance of the computer.

    I found a couple of recommendations for NOD32, but I didn't check the price.

    Is this the kind of thing the boss should really hire a consultant for?

    Anyone here have a recommendation?

  2. #2
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    Yes, the computers are always connected to the internet. Networked computers are a great thing. If it is actual McAfee, that is decent as far as anti-virus goes. (Is there a little icon on the bottom right all the time?) If it is just the In-browser thing, it is not very useful.

    I would suggest getting a suite type software. (Includes all the different types of protection in one.) Maybe Zonealarm Security Suite. I'll let someone else make that recommendation, as I don't follow it enough.

    I wouldn't suggest hiring a consultant, as odds are they'll just grab the exact same thing you see on the shelf at best buy, install it, and charge you 3 times the price.
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  3. #3
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    I just started working for a non-profit organization with people who are not all that computer savvy.
    We have two computers which will be networked together and which have a broadband internet connection.
    I'm pretty sure these computers are "always online" whenever they're on, meaning the browser doesn't need to be open... right? I mean I got a new computer on Friday, hooded up the Ethernet cable and Microsoft did an update, so it's a hot connection.

    Anyway, I have never worked with networked computers and being an INTJ, I had to think about it for a while. The lady in charge says that McAfee comes with AOL - which is what she uses for email, and she thinks that is sufficient protection, but I'm thinking not. I think the McAfee is only working when AOL is open and is only protecting your open AOL windows.

    Besides that, I did a little research online and it seems more than anti-virus is necessary. One article talked about multi-layering protection, firewalls, etc. The boss is also talking about getting a server next year.

    In my opinion, an excellent protection suite is one that is actually effective at its job and that updates itself, one that is low-priced and doesn't slow down the performance of the computer.

    I found a couple of recommendations for NOD32, but I didn't check the price.

    Is this the kind of thing the boss should really hire a consultant for?

    Anyone here have a recommendation?
    A lot of SMEs use McAfee for AV- it's pretty good, but you definitely need to get your firewall sorted out if you haven't done so already.
    Yeah, I would get a consultant in if you don't have specialist IT staff on site - it's not something you should really learn about through trial and error. If you are planning to upgrade your infrastructure, they can advise you on that at the same time.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluemonday View Post
    Yeah, I would get a consultant in if you don't have specialist IT staff on site - it's not something you should really learn about through trial and error. If you are planning to upgrade your infrastructure, they can advise you on that at the same time.
    Two computers does not really constitute much in "infrastructure" in my opinion...Home/Small business networks have been around for at least 10 years now, it isn't anything especially difficult. Take output from DSL Modem/Cable Modem, plug into input jack on router. Take an ethernet cable, plug into one of the 4 output jacks on the router, and plug into a computer. Repeat the last step for another computer. Turn everything on. Follow the simple set-up guide that came with the router. Ta-da. You should now have internet.

    Sharing stuff between the two machines is slightly more difficult, but anyone halfway competent can walk you through that in a couple minutes as well.

    Security is slightly more difficult. Pick software, install it. Make sure it auto-updates and auto-scans. Enable windows automatic updates. The only difficult part here is picking the right software. However, I wouldn't really have much confidence that a consultant is going to be much better than anyone else at it. Any of the big well-known suites is probably adequate for your needs.
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  5. #5
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
    Two computers does not really constitute much in "infrastructure" in my opinion..
    No, but this isn't a home office setup - it's just equipped that way. And they are looking to upgrade, if you read the original post. What you describe is not difficult for a competent user, agreed, but network security is not trivial either, and it doesn't sound like they have anyone with the requisite knowledge.

    The advantage of using a consultant is having someone to sue when it all goes wrong....
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  6. #6
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millerm277 View Post
    Two computers does not really constitute much in "infrastructure" in my opinion...Home/Small business networks have been around for at least 10 years now, it isn't anything especially difficult. Take output from DSL Modem/Cable Modem, plug into input jack on router. Take an ethernet cable, plug into one of the 4 output jacks on the router, and plug into a computer. Repeat the last step for another computer. Turn everything on. Follow the simple set-up guide that came with the router. Ta-da. You should now have internet.

    Sharing stuff between the two machines is slightly more difficult, but anyone halfway competent can walk you through that in a couple minutes as well.

    Security is slightly more difficult. Pick software, install it. Make sure it auto-updates and auto-scans. Enable windows automatic updates. The only difficult part here is picking the right software. However, I wouldn't really have much confidence that a consultant is going to be much better than anyone else at it. Any of the big well-known suites is probably adequate for your needs.
    tee-hee
    My question was what software suite do people recommend?

    But thanks for that other information on networking. I might need that eventually.
    I think we're already connected to the router,
    but if we are, it's not a conventional looking router.
    There's a wall mounted thing that looks like it's from the phone company,
    with all these metal fins, and wires.
    That's where the Ethernet cable comes out of, I believe.
    The computer that was at that work station before was viewable from the other computer at some time.
    I never did figure out how to "see" it myself.
    I haven't spent much time on it...
    maybe 10-15 minutes.

  7. #7
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    I'd go with Millerm first for just the two computers; but with the server and upgrades, it all depends on what they're going to want to do with it. This technician would need to know more.
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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  8. #8
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    tee-hee
    My question was what software suite do people recommend?

    But thanks for that other information on networking. I might need that eventually.
    I think we're already connected to the router,
    but if we are, it's not a conventional looking router.
    There's a wall mounted thing that looks like it's from the phone company,
    with all these metal fins, and wires.
    That's where the Ethernet cable comes out of, I believe.
    The computer that was at that work station before was viewable from the other computer at some time.
    I never did figure out how to "see" it myself.
    I haven't spent much time on it...
    maybe 10-15 minutes.
    When you next get a chance take a look at that box, also check if there are two ethernet cables coming from one of the workstations. If that's the case, the computer with two cables coming out of it may already have a firewall set up on it to provide NAT services. Yeah, I think I will need to know more.

    Things for you to check:
    where the ethernet cables all contect
    operating system and version(s) being used
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

    INFP, 6w7, IEI

    I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  9. #9
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh View Post
    I'd go with Millerm first for just the two computers; but with the server and upgrades, it all depends on what they're going to want to do with it. This technician would need to know more.
    OK. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh View Post
    When you next get a chance take a look at that box, also check if there are two ethernet cables coming from one of the workstations. If that's the case, the computer with two cables coming out of it may already have a firewall set up on it to provide NAT services. Yeah, I think I will need to know more.

    Things for you to check:
    where the ethernet cables all connect
    operating system and version(s) being used
    We're using Windows XP SP3.

    I will check on the cables.
    I think the McAfee might be loaded onto one machine. If they're networked, it should protect both, right?
    My only worry is a box that keeps popping up telling us to check the status of certain features of the McAfee.

  10. #10
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    We're using Windows XP SP3.
    Make sure the security application is on (I'll need to grab the real name for it when I get home, damn details)

    I think the McAfee might be loaded onto one machine. If they're networked, it should protect both, right?
    Eh, only firewalls can protect a whole network. Anti-virus and anti-spam stuff needs to be loaded on each computer.

    My only worry is a box that keeps popping up telling us to check the status of certain features of the McAfee.
    I may need to know the specifics of the message, though it may just need some updates to the software and virus definitions.

    Edit: anti-spyware, not anti-spam; anti-spam gets loaded onto e-mail servers...
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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    I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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