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Windows 7: Windows Firewall

08 Jun 2019   #1

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Windows Firewall

After reading the "howtogeeks" article about the ineffectiveness of the Microsoft Security Essentials suite found here
some questions arose in my head about how reliable is the Microsoft Windows built-in firewall.
What do you guys think about it?
And what settings are best for the best, effective and productive security?

On the same topic, I went to my control panel and checked the programs that I do allow through the Windows firewall and found some programs I am not familiar with like:

Altova License Metering Port (TCP)
Altova License Metering Port (UDP)
Core Networking
Internet Connection Sharing (puzzled about this one)
Microsoft Lync (I think it's skype)
Microsoft Media Player
Network Discovery
Pharos Com Task Master (I think it's connected to my library printing but why does it need incoming permission)
Remote assistance (on Home/Work network only)
File and Printer Sharing (on Home/Work network only)

What do you think about allowing the last two on Home/Work network?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jun 2019   #2

Windows 7 64 bit

That article is from July, 2016....
I have been using MSE on W7 alongside Malwarebytes pro and Windows Defender on W10 and have had no issues or problems..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jun 2019   #3
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

It still stands that MSE is just a baseline scanner. If you use it one needs to use another product as well.

As far as the built in firewall, it's fine, but you'd be better off with your router that uses SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) which all routers have.

If you're really paranoid about about outbound connections (not so much inbound since SPI will take care of that) then you may want Comodo Firewall or some other third-party product. Or you can really go wild and use a thin client or nettop or even just an old Dell Optiplex and run Pfsense firewall. On eBay they sell thin clients with Pfsense already installed. But I'd look at Pfsense in Vmware Workstation Player first so you can become familiar with it.

Internet Connection Sharing is a Microsoft thing. It allows you to share a connection between your computer and another. I did this with a laptop and my desktop. The laptop got a WIFI Internet connection. I ran a crossover ethernet connection between the laptop and my desktop, fired up ICS and my desktop was able to use the laptop's WIFI connection.

I always turn Remote assistance assistance off. That will allow someone to gain access to your computer for support or nefarious other things. To turn it off go to the My Computer icon, right click, select properties | Remote settings.

File and Printer Sharing is a local network thing. You may or may not need it if you don't print from the network though Windows. I always turn off NetBIOS in my Internet adapter. But if you use Windows networking you be best to keep this on.

If you're looking for a good router, I'd get one compatible with the third party firmware DD-WRT or ASUS Merlin. You can buy routers on eBay with these third party firmware's already installed. Just stay abreast of any updates to that firmware. By in large, ASUS Merlin is easier to use IMO. But I have used DD-WRT. These free third party firmware packages for routers turn a normal router into like an enterprise grade router with added security. Plus, hackers will have a hard time turning your router into a zombie with these two router firmware's.

Any questions ask.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Jun 2019   #4
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I'm not sure if FDSBrowser is malicious or not. Do this. Go to task manager by right clicking the task bar below and choosing it. Now find the process under the processes tab. Right click the FDSBrowser process and open its file location. Copy it to your desktop and go here to scan it. VirusTotal
Don't cut & paste, just copy.

You should use Virus Total to check ALL file downloads.

About Altova. Altova SchemaAgent 2019 / User Manual

Everything else is normal Microsoft crap. But not sure about what you list there called launch. Go into task manager again and see if it exists there. Open its file location, copy to desktop and scan at virus total. If you find it. Don't cut & paste, just copy.

If you want, download Autoruns, run it and go under File and save the ARN file. Zip it and upload here and I'll have a look. Autoruns for Windows - Windows Sysinternals | Microsoft Docs
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Windows Firewall

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