ZoneAlarm Alerts

Posted By: Jema

ZoneAlarm Alerts - 08/29/05 09:39 PM

First, a little background. When the Cox High Speed Internet Service became available in this ares, I subscribed to and used it until I moved to Charlottesville in June 2003. I also installed the ZoneAlarm Free firewall. The cable modem I rented from Cox did not have a standby button, so I was connected to the net all the time. During that time, the largest monthly ZA log file I ever had was about 30 kb, and I think that was when someone was looking for vulnerable systems to spread a virus.

I moved back here in January of this year and once again subscribed to Cox HSI Service. Now I own a modem with a standby button and I keep it on standby when I'm not doing anything on the net. But, oh my, what a difference in the size of my ZA logs! A monthly log now is well over 1 MB!

I finally did some checking. It took a long time, but I identified a dozen or so IPs (mostly in China) all on the Asian Pacific Network that continuously try to connect to my computer whenever I don't have the modem on standby.

I went through a month's log and deleted all the entries for those IPs and the size of the log dropped from over 1 MB to about 120 kb, so those IPs account for more than 4/5 of the entries in my ZA logs.

I called Cox Support because I thought and hoped they could stop these intrusion attempts at their server level, but I was told they couldn't.

Thank goodness ZA is doing it's job so well. praise

Now, after that long-winded explanation (I hope you're still reading laugh ), I have two questions.

1. Is there anything I can do to keep these intrusion attempts from ever reaching my computer?


2. Could this constant barrage in any way affect my connection when I'm on the net including surfing and/or download speeds?

Thanks much for any help or suggestions.

wave Jema
Posted By: Albert

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 08/30/05 12:01 AM

Amen to Zone Alarm. There are two kinds of firewalls, hardware and software. I run both. The most common kind of hardware "firewall" for home use is a router with NAT (Network Address Translation). This will stop probably 99% of common intrusion attempts. A real firewall has Stateful Packet Inspection and is much more expensive and complicated. I always run a software firewall. If you download something like a game demo that want's to "phone home", the software firewall will catch it, a NAT router won't. I consider a good software firewall essential on a laptop, especially when you might not have anyting else when traveling.

It sounds like you're getting pinged pretty hard there Jema. I'd definately emphasize the situation to your ISP.

Posted By: Jema

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 08/30/05 08:49 AM

Hi Albert,

Thanks for the response. I'll follow your suggestion and call Cox again, but don't have much hope of getting a different response.

In the meantime, I have a question I'm sure you can answer. I have a Linksys router my son gave me when I left Charlottesville, but I don't have the manual. On the back of the router there are two connections labeled WAN and LAN. I know they mean Wide Area Network and Local Area Network and that I connect one to my modem and the other to my Ethernet card via the connection on the back of my computer. But I don't know which is which.

Also, do I plug both the router and my modem into electrical outlets, or just the router since the modem will be connected to it?

wave Jema
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 08/30/05 12:01 PM

WAN is the Internet end.
LAN is what you connect to your computer.

My router and modem both need electricity so both get plugged into a surge protector.
Posted By: Albert

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 08/30/05 12:57 PM

Hey Jema,
I have DSL and aren't familiar with cable, which I think you have. Plug the eternet cable from your computer into the LAN port on the router, then plug the WAN port on your router to the cable modem. Both the router and modem will require AC power. There may be some tricks to this, and you may need Cox tech support. For example, the router can be set up as a DHCP server. What that means is whenever you boot your computer, or another computer joins your home network (like a laptop), the router (DHCP server) will automatically assign the IP address. It makes networking a lot simpler, but the router needs to know what range of addresses to assign. This is where Cox and Linksys comes in. Linksys is a top notch company, you should be able to get a manual and tech support at .

Posted By: Jema

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 08/30/05 09:26 PM

Jenny and Albert, thanks so much.

Jenny, I do have a surge protector and the modem is one of the things plugged into it. Since they both require electrical power, the router will also be plugged into it.

Albert, if this requires Cox tech support, I'm out of luck.

The router and the modem both have MAC addresses and once I do this, I thought I'd have to give Cox the router's MAC address to replace that of my modem's. When I talked to the tech about all the intrusion attempts, I asked him about that and he said, no, they would continue using my modem's.

He then informed me that although Cox doesn't forbid customers using a router as a hardware firewall, they will not furnish any support for doing so.

Later this evening I'll turn my system off, connect the router, turn the system back on, and see if it works.

Thanks again, both of you, for your help.

wave Jema
Posted By: Jema

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 09/02/05 01:21 AM

Have had no success in getting the router to work.

I went to the Linksys website and printed two different sets of instructions for doing this. Tried both, with the same end results.

On the front of the router, in addition to the power light, there are 2 columns of lights - 3 for LAN and 3 for WAN. If I understand the instructions, after I connect the router to the modem and computer, power cables connected to both the router and modem, and the system on, there should be 3 lights lit on the router: Power, Link/Act for LAN, and Link for WAN.

The Power and Link lights come on and stay steady. The Link/Act comes on for a second and then goes out. I have tried three different cables - all of which work with just the modem connected to the computer, and for the modem connected to the WAN port on the router. None of which have worked for the router/computer LAN connection.

I have also tried resetting the router. And tried shutting down the system, unplugging the modem and router power cables, waiting 30 seconds, plugging in the modem power cable, waiting until the lights stop blinking, plugging in the router power cable, and then rebooting.

On the Linksys site I cannot find any information about what to do if the Link/Act light isn't on.

I can't connect to the Linksys router configuration page to configure the router, and I think that's because I haven't been able to establish a LAN connection.

Any help, suggestions would be appreciated.

wave Jema
Posted By: Albert

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 09/02/05 05:23 AM

I suspect you need to change some of the network settings in the router. If its set up as a DHCP server, it will have a default range of addresses that it uses, which might not be the ones your computer and cable modem are expecting. Check the network setting on your computer. If you have a fixed IP address, turn off the DHCP server function on the router. I'm not familiar with your equipment, so I'm afraid I can't help much. Some of the sites that specialize in this sort of thing might be able to help, like . This tutorial might help:

Another place is , in particular this tutorial

Posted By: Jenny100

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 09/02/05 05:26 AM

If you are using DHCP, you shouldn't have to enter a number into your computer. If you have a static IP already entered, you probably need to change it to DHCP to work with the router.

I can't remember exactly how the cable guy set up my router when I got cable. I did read the instructions that came with my router afterwards and got some idea what he did.

My router is a D-Link, not a Linksys. I'm assuming the instructions are similar.

Open your web browser and type
into the URL address box and hit the Enter key.
(I'm not sure if is just for D-Link or not. It might be a reserved IP for all routers. Did Linksys give you a manual that mentions this number?)

For my D-Link, an interface pops up with a box for User Name and another for Password. You type
for User name and leave the password field blank.
Then OK it.

You should get the router's "home page" at this point. I think it's all local - stored on the router somehow.

After that, for my D-Link, a wizard appears and allows you to create a password, choose a time zone, and allows you to chose Dynamic IP Address (DHCP) or Static IP or PPoE. This is where you tell the router to use DHCP. It's much easier to set up than Static IP. After this the wizard automatically gets the computer's net card's MAC address. Every net card in the world has it's own unique MAC address. If yours allows you to, just let it autodetect.

At this point the instructions say to click the button on the screen for Restart, and then the Close button. The Wizard closes and you're returned to the web browser. Close the browser.

At this point, restart the web browser, make sure the router is connected to the Internet, and try to access Google or some other webpage.

My D-Link has a nice illustrated Quick Install manual that walks you through the process. Does your Linksys not have a good manual?
Posted By: Jema

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 09/02/05 08:25 AM

Jenny and Albert, once again thanks for your responses and help.

Albert, I'll try the links you gave. They reminded me that DSL Reports has a Cox HSI forum. Haven't been there for a long time, but I'll see if I can find some help there also.

Jenny, I don't have a manual. This is the router my son Scott connected my computer to when I was in Charlottesville. When I moved, he gave me the router but not the manual - I doubt he knows where it is. He's so busy right now, it's almost impossible to catch him to try and get help with this.

The last time I checked DHCP was enabled because Cox uses Dynamic IP addresses. I am going to check to make sure it still is. Every so often I find something has been changed, like my browser security settings, that I know I didn't do.

The instructions you gave for your D-Link are basically the same as those for the Linksys. They cover what to do after the router has been successfully connected to the modem and Ethernet connection.

The default URL for Linksys routers is http://192,168.1.1, but I can't access it unless I have a Linksys router connected. Just like I can't access the URL for D-Link because I don't have a D-Link router connected to my system.

The problem is, after I connect the router, the LAN Link/Act light doesn't stay lit so I don't have an internet connection.

I have pulled my tower out from under the desk and crawled around on the floor to connect, disconnect, and reconnect cables so many times that my bones and muscles are bitterly complaining, "Hey! We're too old for this kinda stuff so knock it off!" lol

Thanks again very much, both of you, for all your help.

wave Jema
Posted By: Jema

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 09/03/05 02:15 AM

I think I misspoke about DHCP. The last time I remember doing anything in my Network settings was several years ago when I had Cox the first time and they switched from Static IPs to Dynamic IPs - I think it was the same time they went from Excite to their own Internet service.

Their tech led me through setting up my Network to work with the Dynamic IPs, and I thought he had me enable DHCP. But this morning when I checked, the only place I can find DHCP mentioned in my Network settings is on the WINS Configuration tab under Properties for TCP/IP, where it has a box to check for using DHCP for WINS. Since WINS is disabled, that box is not checked.

This time when I subscribed to Cox, their tech came out and installed the necessary cables. I set up my computer, called Cox and gave them my modem's MAC address, and I was up and running. No changes were made to my Network settings.

Is there some other place where DHCP is enabled/disabled?

BTW, Albert, I checked Broadband Reports and it's the same site as DSL Reports - you can reach it with either URL.

wave Jema
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 09/03/05 04:28 AM

See if this helps. It has pictures.
Posted By: Jema

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 09/03/05 07:47 AM

Jenny, thanks so much.

That particular article is for Windows XP, but they also have one on DHCP and Windows 95/98. The only difference between what they show and mine is I don't have Client for Microsoft Networks installed. The article says it's necessary for DHCP connectivity, so that may be my problem. But, if it is necessary, I wonder why and how my Cox connection is working without it.

I am going to install it and see what happens, but I'll make a Drive Image backup of my system first so if things don't go well, I can restore my system to the way it is now.

If this doesn't work, I'm giving up. The links Albert gave and a Google search didn't turn up anything I haven't already tried.

My son and daughter-in-law are having a family cookout tomorrow, so I may not get to try it until late tomorrow evening.

Will let you know what happens.

wave Jema
Posted By: Jema

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 09/04/05 08:48 AM

Well, that didn't work either so I quit.

For some reason, the router is mad at my computer and refuses to talk with it. laugh

Jenny and Albert, thank you so much for your time, effort, patience, and help. I really appreciate it.

wave Jema
Posted By: Albert

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 09/04/05 08:09 PM

Here's one more idea for you Jema. Normally after you connect the router to the ethernet (NIC) card in your computer, all you have to do is type the routers address in your browser or Windows Explorer to connect to it. If that isn't working, the default address may have been changed, especially if the router was used before. There should be a reset button on the router that will restore it to factory defaults. Try that, then see if you can connect as per the router manual.

Posted By: Jema

Re: ZoneAlarm Alerts - 09/04/05 11:19 PM

Hi Albert,

Throughout all my attempts at this, I've reset the router, using its reset button, at least a half dozen times to no avail. I've also turned the system off, unplugged the power cables for the router and modem, and waited 10 minutes or longer before powering everything up again.

I've also powered up in different sequences: modem/router/computer, router/modem/computer, computer/modem/router, and computer/router/modem. The end results are all the same.

The problem is: After hooking up the router's WAN port to the modem and its LAN port to the computer's Ethernet card and powering everything up, the LAN Link/Act(tivity) light on the router will not remain on (it blinks a few times and then goes off), so the router's LAN port is not making a connection to the computer's Ethernet card. Without that connection, I don't have an Internet connection and no URL will work in the browser's Address Bar.

The lights for the router's WAN connection to the modem seem to be fine. The router's WAN Link light on and steady and the activity lights on both the router and modem blinking while they chat away with each other. laugh

Possibly the router's LAN port is no longer functioning. Unfortunately, I don't have another system to check that out.

Thanks again for all your help. I do appreciate it.

wave Jema
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