the pipex pages


So you'r all connected and your nice new shiney ADSL line is parked securely in the BT Master socket? You've read all the blurb, heard all the glowing reports and seen all the adverts. You've reved up your browser and your itching to use all that speed? There just a few tiny little things that you might want to consider before you go roaring off into the sunset and your new life in the fast lane.

The chances are you have migrated to broadband from dial-up and you have been lucky. Now you might be thinking that is a strange statement to make but trust me it isn't. The internet is chaos incarnate where just about anything goes and sooner or later it will come calling at your door. Up till now you haven't been bothered because it was just too expensive for you to be online long enough to attract the notice of the predators that surf the internet super highway. That's why I say you have been lucky as it's no longer the case. There are some very simple precautions you need to take and you need to do them now before someone moves in and takes control of your PC away from you.

If you have a good ISP then they will have sent you a nice welcome message. If you have an excellent ISP they will have given you the tips I am about to impart below. This can not be stressed enough, you really do need to do the following as soon as you can. The sooner the better, preferably right now.

Firewall Get a good firewall. You need to stop all the nasties on the internet finding your PC and taking it over. At the bare minimum a software firewall is an absolute must.
Make sure you get one, install it and turn it on before you connect to the internet, the Blaster worm has proved the validity behind that. If you have windows XP it comes with a buit-in firewall.
The link on the left will take you to my pages on security - firewalls.
Anti-Virus This is the second part of your protection. Firewalls are good first lines of defence but they won't protect you from everything as you still want to be able to use the internet. By doing so you leave yourself open to the other problem which are virii.
Get yourself good anti-virus protection, there are many available, both paid for and free. The Anti-Virus section of my security pages gives you some links to those available.
Spyware The third thing to be aware of is what has become known as spyware. This can range form harmless, downright annoying right through to dangerous. the worst of it can monitor keystrokes and steel passwords so you really don't want any of it on your hard drive.
The spyware section gives some useful links that may be helpful.
Patch Once you have the protection you need to make sure everything is upto date. OS being well Os's and applications can be buggy and over time vulnerabilities can be found in them. Some more than others. So you need to make sure your OS is as up to date as possible which means downloading patches.
The security - patch section gives links to the main sites for information and downloads.
ADSL Tweaks BT once had a problem with ADSL that caused evryone to have very slow connections. It's supposed to have been fixed now but many are finding that the defaults are still a little slower than expected.
The tweaks pages can offer some suggesttion on how to get the maximum out of your ADSL connection.