Patrick heard Leo talking about Tiny Hardware Firewall in the past, and he also uses it. The idea of this is not unique to this company. It's actually created by HotSpotVPN. They buy inexpensive boxes and then put firmware in them that routes everything through their VPN. As part of a subscription to their VPN, or as part of the hardware purchase, you'll get this automatically. The downside is that the Tiny Hardware Firewall must use HotSpotVPN, and can't use a different service.
If you travel frequently, you're probably relying on public Wi-Fi hotspots often. While they are convenient, you should be aware that some of the things you do while connected to that hotspot could be visible to others. Many of the tasks that people do online, including banking, Amazon, Facebook, and most email providers, are already encrypted using https. This means that everything on that connection is secure. You can find out if you're on an encrypted connection by checking the URL in the navigation bar.
Andrew is always traveling and he's thinking about using a VPN since he's always on public Wi-Fi hotspots. Leo says that's a very good idea. Most places he'll visit online are encrypted, but Leo has read lately that it's becoming really easy to get into computers over public Wi-Fi. Leo says a VPN will work, but it slows him down.
Mike has System Mechanic installed on his computer, and a warning came up that his firewall was not detected. Mike went to Windows Firewall in Control Panel, and it told him he needed to update his firewall settings. When he tried to change the settings, however, he got an error message.
Frank has Microsoft Security Essentials on his computer, but when he boots up, something turns off his software firewall. Leo says that's odd because Microsoft Security Essentials turns on the firewall by default when installed. The firewall can offer exceptions, and it may be that Frank allowed something to go through.
He can leave the Windows Firewall on. In fact, Leo doesn't recommend the full ESET offering of desktop security products. Just get the antivirus, and turn on the Windows Firewall. Since Justin may be using college campus internet, the firewall will protect Justin from network viruses or worms propagating on his system. The Windows Firewall isn't real powerful, but it's good enough and will protect him against worms coming from within the network he's on. (Disclaimer: ESET is a sponsor).
Rick is having trouble with Outlook and his Exchange Server. He said he was using POP3 to connect to his cable provider which he assumed was an Exchange server. Leo said Exchange is not POP3, however, because Exchange has its own protocol which is actually more sophisticated. POP3 is the old "Post Office Protocol", which stores the email on the internet service provider's servers only until you gather it, and then deletes it from the server. Exchange always keeps the email on the server.
It's testing the entire chain, the computer and the network. Shields Up will ping Manny's computer on every port to find out if any of those ports are open. It's a conversation between Steve Gibson's website at GRC.com and Manny's computer. If his computer responds to any conversations that it tries to have, then Shields Up will tell him that those ports are open and he's insecure.