Switcher with new G4 - Firewall and newbie Qs

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
I took the plunge and ordered a 1.42 G4 with 20 inch display today. It's due this time next week.



I currently have a 5 year old PC. I have Earthlink DSL and use a Linksys router and Zone Alarm Pro with Norton Anitvirus. My question is about the use of firewalls with the G4. My Zone Alarm is the version for use with a router but I believe it actually resides on my PC (is that true?). I've got a few questions as I get ready for the arrival of my new Mac. I'd appreciate any sage advice.



1. Does ZA Pro have a Mac version? Do current G4 users have firewalls with their routers or would I need to have my PC on when using my Mac to get the benefits of the ZA firewall?



2. Since my Mac will be on a network with the PC, can I transfer files over that network or do I need some sort of transfer management software like Detto's Move to Mac?



3. Is adding the Mac to my network difficult? I'm assuming that being a Mac that I'd just plug it into the router and the Mac would figure it all out. Maybe I'm being too naive or just used to the hassles of using a PC.



4. I'll probably get Virex to protect my Mac when I run things like Virtual PC. I plan to migrate all my e-mail over to my .mac account so I know all my e-mail will get screened before it gets to me.



Thanks for any and all advice. This is a great forum and I'm really looking forward to becoming a Mac user.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    Welcome! Enjoy your stay



    Not sure on #1, I know OS X has some form of firewall built in, but I'm not sure on what configuration is needed (if any) to use it. I know third party utilities such as BrickHouse can help get that set up if needed.



    2. Once you hook up your Mac to the router, put whatever files you need to transfer into some shared directory on your Windows Machine, then in the OS X Finder hit cmd-k (or Go--> connect to server off the menubar) and you should see the PC pop up in the computer list after a few seconds.



    3. Yeah, just hook up an ethernet cable between the mac and the router, and the Mac should automatically grab a connection.



    4. Hm, doesn't seem like a question, but yeah if you have a .Mac account, by all means use Virex.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    Welcome aboard.



    I hope you enjoy your visit here at AppleInsider. Feel free to post any followup questions you may have about your new computer. Mac OS X is quite different in a number of ways from Windows and can be a little confusing at first. Usually the solutions to certain issues are so ridiculously simple that new users glance over them thinking they must be harder or more complex (things like uninstalling software, for example: just drop the app in the Trash and you're done!).



    Anyhow, to answer your questions:



    Quote:

    1. Does ZA Pro have a Mac version? Do current G4 users have firewalls with their routers or would I need to have my PC on when using my Mac to get the benefits of the ZA firewall?



    No, there is no Zone Alarm software for Mac OS X. However, Mac OS X comes with a built-in firewall that is rock-solid (known as "ipfw"). Also, by default there are *no* services running that a hacker or someone from the outside could use to take advantage of your machine. The "System Preferences" app in Mac OS X has a very simplified setup pane for configuring this built-in firewall (in the "Sharing" section). This setup pane has only the bare minimum of options, though. The firewall has many MANY more advanced features that can either be configured through the command line or through a third-party front-end app such as BrickHouse. I use BrickHouse myself and recommend it to anyone who is looking for a nice app to configure the firewall.



    For what it's worth, I strongly recommend AGAINST installing the Norton firewall software or any other Norton software for that matter. The Norton suite of software may do good on Windows and even on Classic Mac OS, but on Mac OS X it causes WAY more problems than it is worth.



    Quote:

    2. Since my Mac will be on a network...



    3. Is adding the Mac to my network difficult?




    What MCQ said.



    Quote:

    4. I'll probably get Virex to protect my Mac when I run things like Virtual PC. I plan to migrate all my e-mail over to my .mac account so I know all my e-mail will get screened before it gets to me.



    Mac OS X is immune to any and all PC viruses. Like *.exe files, they just won't do anything. Furthermore, there are no viruses at all that have been made for Mac OS X. The virus-scanning software such as Virex is actually useless for the vast majority of Mac OS X users. The only thing it really does is check files that could be infected with a Classic Mac OS virus (which would only affect Classic users or people still using Mac OS 9) or a Windows virus. Why scan for Windows viruses at all if they don't affect Mac OS X? To be a "model citizen" -- if you share files with other Windows boxes, it'll clean the files so that they don't get infected. Nice, eh?



    If you use Virtual PC, you could just run whatever virus-scanning software you already have from inside the VPC environment.



    Hope this helps. 8)



    Oh, and since this is more of a software-related discussion, I'm moving this thread to the Software forum...
  • Reply 3 of 6
    Brad,



    Thanks for the replies. Being a PC user, I'm used to all the hassles of PC ownership and having to run Norton Win Doctor on a weekly basis to keep from getting the blue screen of death. So, hopefully by this next weekend, I'll be up and running with my new G4. I didn't know OS X had a built-in firewall so I'll use that and run my e-mail through my Virex that's on .mac.



    Ed
  • Reply 4 of 6
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,807member
    Perhaps Brad or someone else in the know could explain to - ahem - Ed, what the proper settings for the OS X firewall are if you just using the standard Jag install without any other utilities.



    On a single user-no print or file-sharing system, do you just make sure nothing's selected in the description check boxes and then hit the Start button?
  • Reply 5 of 6
    jcjc Posts: 342member
    Congradulations on switching. I have had friends switch before and most of the learning curve is due to having to unlearn procedure. So just stay open to a new way of doing things. I am also glad that you have found appleinsider, I wish i had known about it when i first got a mac.



    Now to get Silly

    people who have PCs like their PCs

    people who have macs Love their macs

    ps. your mac will love you too
  • Reply 6 of 6
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Frank777

    Perhaps Brad or someone else in the know could explain to - ahem - Ed, what the proper settings for the OS X firewall are if you just using the standard Jag install without any other utilities.



    On a single user-no print or file-sharing system, do you just make sure nothing's selected in the description check boxes and then hit the Start button?








    Actually, yes, it's that simple.



    Most people really don't *need* to run the firewall at all. By default, Mac OS X ships with all services turned off so that no outsiders can take advantage of anything. Enabling the firewall at that point is kind of moot, but it does add an extra layer of protection. For many people it's more of a psychological security issue. With the firewall you know that there's not a chance of someone getting to the computer just in case a service was to start running for some reason.
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