Troubleshooting - February 23, 2006
All Networked PCs Need AV Software
Many computer users mistakenly think that if they run anti-virus software on the computer connected to the Internet all PCs on the network are protected ... plus, tips for new Mac owners and how far can Ethernet cables reach.
By Ron Pacchiano
Many computer users mistakenly think that if they run anti-virus software on the computer connected to the Internet all PCs on the network are protected. However, if you use Microsoft's Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) [define] and Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) [define] programs to share a DSL or cable modem line with several PCs, you need to use anti-virus to protect each PC. Even though only one PC is directly connected to the Internet, any system with Internet access is capable of accidentally downloading or opening virus infected files. For that reason, it's absolutely imperative that you install a good anti-virus package on all of your computers.
Some people confuse the function of the anti-virus software with the function of a firewall [define]. A single firewall is sufficient to protect an entire network, which is not the case with anti-virus software. That needs to be loaded on every system.
Both firewalls and anitvirus software protect you, but that's where the similarities end. The anti-virus software protects your PC and network from becoming infective with troublesome and sometimes destructive viruses. A firewall protects your entire network from unauthorized access into your network. This prevents intruders or hackers from accessing your personal information or from participating in a Denial of Service Attack on another company's Web site.
Unfortunately, you do incur the cost adding anti-virus software to all your computers. But there is a plus side, the cost of anti-virus software has come down tremendously. For instance on Buy.com the 2006 version of Norton Anti-virus is listed for $34.99 with a $20 mail-in rebate for a total cost of only $14.99. So for less then $30 you could upgrade two computers to the latest version of Norton for less then you paid for a single copy of your previous version. It's definitely worth a few bucks for the added protection it will provide you with. Believe me, the first time a virus infiltrates your system and erases your data, you'll wish you had.
Tip for New Mac OwnersMany new Macintosh owners find themselves in unfamiliar waters when it comes to navigating the Mac OS. They quickly find that they don't know how to perform even the most basic functions, like getting it online. If you're in that category, here's how to manually configure the IP address on my Mac.
Macintosh OS 7.5 to Macintosh OS 9.2
Macintosh OS X
Ethernet Cables ... How Far Will They Go?The maximum length of Category 3, 4 or 5 twisted pair Ethernet cable that can be used between computers and other devices (such as hubs and switches) on a network is 100 meters or about 328 feet. You should keep in mind though that this is actually a theoretical limit and has such you would usually want to keep the distance between devices well below that.
If you are doing new construction or renovations, you also might want to consider bringing in a technician with a line tester to verify the integrity of the cable before you close up the wall, just to be on the safe side.
Use our feedback form to submit issues you've encountered on your home or SOHO networking issues. Please be as specific as possible. Also, don't forget to use the PracticallyNetworked Forums to post specific questions.
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