AOL Firewall and/or My Firewall


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 13, 2002
Fingerlakes Region of NYS
I have to admit - I can run software programs but understanding the computer is not my forte!!

I have a dsl service and AOL (still like some of the procedures I have with that over the dsl mailbox etc) and AOL was offering it's own firewall service - so I figure - why not?

Why not: because when I went to shut down my computer - there were a couple of "odd" things that happened (I didn't document) and the next a.m. I turned the computer on (leads to the question of whether or not to keep it on always or shut if off nightly)... and it took three tries of turning on/automatically shutting itself off before I pressed F8 and got it to run a diagnostic and uninstalled the aol firewall... it seems to be working properly again. Thank goodness!

Two firewalls must have been fighting?

I am going to assume you are running Windows 2000/XP? If this is the case, then by default Windows firewall is turned on. I would turn the personal firewall off by doing the following:
Right click "My Network Places"
Choose "Properties"
Right click the correct Local Area Connection and choose properties.
Click on the Advanced tab and uncheck the Windows Firewall.
Also, not sure if AOL is software you install, but you should disable your Anti-Virus software during install.
Just a quick question. Are you only using a DSL modem or do you have a router? If you have a router (Linksys) the router will hide your computers IP address from the Internet. If you are using a modem only, your PC is pulling an Internet address which is accessible by anyone on the Internet.
I do network security for a living, and don't think software is a very reliable "firewall".
I tend to agree

The router also lets you share your cable or dsl with other computers in the same house/office.

I use Linksys WRT54G units here and couldn't be happier. (the wireless can be disabled or secured if you dont have an immediate need for it). The Linksys BEFSR41 is good too, for a basic model.