I have a Ethernet switch and an extra CAT 5 cable.

I was told that using it would add some extra security when using it with my cable modem. (AT&T is my provider)

Is that true?

Posted on 2011-01-16 16:30:15 by skywalker
Yes and no.

Most switches can work as a simple hardware firewall because it denies connections from the outside unless port forwarding has been setup. However, it's fairly trivial to force a client to enable port forwarding via a malicious program/pdf/flash/etc. If you want to take advantage of the security features of a router/switch, get someone with networking experience to configure it for you. It'll save you a ton of headaches.

*Tip - If you configure your router/switch and the modem keeps refusing to allow you to connect, you need to connect your computer to the modem, change the eth cable to your router, setup MAC address forwarding/cloning, then connect the router to the modem. This is a common issue with Comcast and Adelphia cable modems.
Posted on 2011-01-20 16:29:50 by Synfire
Thanks Synfire for the information.
Posted on 2011-01-20 16:51:52 by skywalker
Please note though that Synfire's emphasis should be on most routers. Switches are nothing more than semi-smart packet forwarding devices.

If you have just an Ethernet switch, it isn't going to do anything for you in terms of security.

If you have a typical off-the-shelf router, i.e. Cable/DSL/Broadband Router with multiple Ethernet ports (WAN/LAN), then you are essentially taking advantage of NAT and simplistic access policies to disallow unexpected incoming connections.

The default configurations (deny incoming connections, grab public DHCP IP address from cable/dsl modem, issue private DHCP IP addresses to connecting devices, etc...) of most off-the-shelf routers should be sufficient for "plug-n-play" home internet usage.

Also note, that certain ISP's require that you power-off your cable/dsl modem for 1/5/10/15 minutes prior to hooking up a different device... due to MAC address caching and whatnot. If you don't, you will have to use Synfire's work-around tip.
Posted on 2011-01-20 17:16:37 by SpooK
And keep in mind that not all ISPs do NAT'ing by default - the ADSL providers I've been with in .dk tend to do so (TDC, CyberCity/Telenor and iirc Fullrate as well), but my mum's FiOS has a pool of four-or-so global IPs that are assigned to client devices without firewalling or NAT.
Posted on 2011-02-07 17:34:33 by f0dder
I could understand only a little of what you and Synfire have recommended.

Posted on 2011-02-08 09:04:51 by skywalker
skywalker: the "TL;DR" boils down to "if it's just a normal switch, it's going to make absolutely no difference with regards to security".

Routers add NAT, switches don't - and don't have firewalling or other stuff. They simply forward traffic.
Posted on 2011-02-10 14:37:42 by f0dder
Fodder,

Thanks for the explanation.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

I found a 550 W power supply and it turned out to be bad.

Seems like a short life span. (I believe it was a type ATX 2)

I have an 11 yr. old Dell Optiplex and it's still a humming with original power supply, etc.




Posted on 2011-02-10 17:06:34 by skywalker
It doesn't happen to be a "CHEIFMAX ATX" 550w does it?

If so, I have or I HAD the same power supply, after 2 years of service it made a nice little fire work display right before I unplugged it. Other than this one power supply I have never had one fail...
Posted on 2011-02-10 19:13:25 by Coty

It doesn't happen to be a "CHEIFMAX ATX" 550w does it?

If so, I have or I HAD the same power supply, after 2 years of service it made a nice little fire work display right before I unplugged it. Other than this one power supply I have never had one fail...

?
Did it damage anything in your computer?

SPI FSP550-60PLG 550W EPS12V Active PFC Power Supply is what I had.

Andy
Posted on 2011-02-10 19:25:02 by skywalker
No, Fortunately the rest of the PC was OK! except for the sata DVD drive but that only $16 so I didn't lose to much... Sad thing was that the power supply ran at 115v its whole life (maximum was 230v).
Posted on 2011-02-10 19:30:45 by Coty