View Full Version : what do surf the net with

George Hallam
03-02-2007, 03:07 PM
people have different views on what is the quickest and most virus unfriendly way to surf the web theres three i have on my pc

Internet explorer 7

what is the best is there any other good ones i seem to always end up using internet explorer but people say thats bad why??

03-02-2007, 03:31 PM
Two reasons IE is bad...

1. It has a long history of serious vulnerabilities and a track record of many of them taking a long time to patch/fix.

2. It is tightly integrated with the OS, so a problem with it means there is a problem with Windows.

Both Opera and FireFox have better histories in both the number of vulnerabilities and how quickly they are patched. Both are stand alone applications that aren't entwined with the operating system, so a problem with one of them is usually just that and not a major Windows problem. Also, both of them have, for a longer time than IE, had more features that make browsing easier...tabs, better cookie control, built in ad blocking, better scripting controls, easier search engine changes, etc...

03-02-2007, 04:30 PM
The answer to your question is:

Use Firefox (http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/) with the NoScript (http://noscript.net/) extension as your browser.
Keep Windows fully up to date.
Keep your AV current and scan regularly.
Use a software firewall and if on broadband a hardware firewall.
Subscribe to the Secunia Software Inspector (http://secunia.com/software_inspector/) to make sure all of your vulnerable software is current.
Secure your network if you have a wireless router.
Download, install and keep an updated version of SpywareBlaster (http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/sbdownload.html)
Learn how to secure your browser (http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/securing_browser/).
Browse without administrative privileges.
Browse responsibly.

Just using Firefox or Opera is safer than IE but it is NOT a solution. You need a layered multifaceted approach to security. Hacking is no longer done for fun. It is done for money. You have it and they want it. It is up to you to protect yourself. Just concentrating on the browser is like improving the lock on your front door and leaving the back door open.

Paul Komski
03-03-2007, 06:55 AM
what is the best
Don't use Windows.

03-03-2007, 11:03 AM
Don't use Windows.
Hehe, ain't that the truth. :D

Run a Linux live CD/DVD. Use a thumb drive to hold your desktop settings during reboots, which is very easy to do. Or if you really need to save a lot of files format your hard drive in Fat32 or a Linux file system, and only allow write access to it when you need to and only by the owner.

Having problems? Reboot the machine and all is well. :D

This works particularly good if you have a machine that is used only for surfing, email and light office work. You can do a lot more than that if you take some time to learn a little bit about the live CD you are using. ;)

03-03-2007, 11:05 AM
Ok Ok Linnux is safer than Windows. But get real guys. Windows is here and we have to help people use it in the safest fashion. Not really sound advice.......

Paul Komski
03-03-2007, 11:38 AM
Not really sound advice.......
A debatable comment that Linux and Mac users might disagree with. The best advice is actually to get savvy rather than try to protect oneself with a ring of steel. For those not savvy enough and whose computer lives are made a misery by the continuous re-infection by malware and hacks of all kinds then perhaps they really should consider a change of computer environment be that to a non-windows or to an embedded environment.

In my years of using the internet (with Windows) I have only unwittingly been infected once. It was by the network share opaserv on an "unpatched for RPC" verison of a clean install of Win2K contracted before I had been able to download protection. But then I don't visit porn and warez sites and the like and "always" use a condom (a/v and firewall - sometimes just the Windows firewall). Nor do I take at face value anything unsolicited or that appears in other ways out of the blue particularly anything of the "free lunch" type.

From my perspective a whole industry has grown up around these "security issues" and it has reached the stage IMHO where protecting oneself is so counterproductive to one's enjoyment of the internet in particular that radical alternatives bear solid consideration.

Yes - I agree that we all will help people to get rid of their computer illnesses but as with human health, good public health and prevention are worth a myriad of cures.

03-03-2007, 11:40 AM
I think you should surf the net with a surfboard. :p

Come on, guys...

But seriously, I'd go with Linux...try maybe Ubuntu...it's easy to use and has a wide source of apps for it.

03-03-2007, 12:10 PM
For even an inexperienced user that just wants to surf the net and email, a live CD/DVD is very practical. Heck you can just have them use webmail access for their ISP email and you don't even have to worry about setting up the email app.

It's also very practical for a kids machine. Most live CD's come with a ton of kids games and security is not an issue. And all those little things kids tend to do to computers, like delete things and change things by "accident" can be undone with a simple reboot.

Also if you use a CD (not a dvd) and have at least 1GB ram it is very very fast if you use the toram option (not available for all distros). In fact it will run faster than any hard drive based OS.

Classic, I do agree that windows is here and we have to deal with it. But this is a viable alternative for more users than one might think. :)

Paul Komski
03-03-2007, 12:40 PM
I think you should surf the net with a surfboard. :p


surfin's OK - but with the web there might be a spider about ;)

03-03-2007, 12:57 PM
Surfing with a NAT router between the Internet and your PC's browser, updated AV, patched OS and practicing safe hex is the best practical advice.
Short of that, the "ring of steel" (program such as Process Guard) is an alternative. So is Linux/Unix/OSX.

03-03-2007, 02:48 PM
I think you should surf the net with a surfboard. :p
I have a Motorola "Surfboard" cable modem. :p :D

03-03-2007, 03:00 PM
I have a Motorola "Surfboard" cable modem. :p :D

Yep, same...btw, what does the toram command do?

03-03-2007, 03:20 PM
'toram' loads the CD image into one honkin' big RAMdisk and runs it from there, instead of the slow CD drive...

03-03-2007, 03:30 PM
If you use a live CD and have 1GB ram or more it will load the entire contents of the CD into ram. Running the OS entirely from ram. Which as we all know is way faster than a hard drive or CD/DVD drive. This also has the benefit of being able to remove the CD from the CD drive and freeing it up for other things.

At the boot screen of say Knoppix, type in knoppix toram. Like I said it doesn't work for all distros. And sometimes all you need to type in is toram. You have to experiment with different distros to see which ones can use it.

You generally can't do this with DVD versions, unless of course you happen to have enough ram to hold the entire contents of the DVD. :p

More ram is preferable but not necessary. If you have 1GB and load the CD into ram, assuming the distro uses the entire CD, that leaves you approximately 300MB of ram left to work with external programs or files that you might load from say the internet. More than enough in most cases.

Fruss Tray Ted
03-03-2007, 06:27 PM
But then I don't visit porn and warez sites and the like and "always" use a condom

and practicing safe hex is the best practical advice

Seems it's getting to the point of just to surf the internet you need to wear all this ironclad armour from midieval times that it slows you and your system down, and makes your horse hate you!

Then there's this allowing or not box warning you that it may not be safe to go 'In There'...


03-03-2007, 08:57 PM
Oh, let me have just a little bit of peril?

03-03-2007, 09:54 PM
Classic, I do agree that windows is here and we have to deal with it. But this is a viable alternative for more users than one might think. :)

If they can't learn the simple things I outlined above, I seriously doubt they will be able to download an ISO, the checksum file as well as check for integrity of the ISO and burn the ISO.

Also Linnux is really great for kids who want to IM and play games.....

It has a place and I wish it would give Windows a run for it's money on the desktop, it is just not ready for prime time unless you are a geek.

I did not want to turn this into a pxxxing contest, but I fundamentally disagree that it takes a rocket scientist to run Windows safely. I wish it would take less effort, but it is what is. As for Windows, it is getting more secure that is why the hackers are using other programs as vectors of attack, like Office, Acrobat, Quicktime, etc.

03-04-2007, 10:51 AM
Burn the disc for them, or they can order one online. Then all they have to do is click the browser and they're off.

I haven't gotten around to it but I have been wanting to customize a Knoppix CD to automatically boot with toram.

When I said kids I meant little kids. They like to play the types of games that come installed on Knoppix.

No, no pxxxxx contest. Windows is mainstream and here to stay. But Live CD's have their uses, and not just for the tech savvy. Once the disk is burned it's a no brainer for anyone to surf the net. And cheap since it's free and doesn't even require a hard drive.

George Hallam
03-05-2007, 01:30 PM
hey thanks for all your help im now using firefox but does anyone know were i can get linux from to install on a v pc? :confused: and also on firefox can you set multiple homepages because on IE 7 you can and i think its a cool feature

Paul Komski
03-06-2007, 03:48 AM
Multiple Home Pages in Firefox (http://lifehacker.com/software/firefox/multiple-homepages-with-firefox-128606.php)

Sticky Here: Getting Started with Linux (http://www.pcguide.com/vb/showthread.php?t=49115)

Linux Distros (http://distrowatch.com/)
List of Linux distributions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_distributions)