Dear Fred, The discussion of security and firewalls got me to thinking – I saw an ad several years ago for a simple switch for high speed internet users that would allow them by just clicking a switch to completely disconnect. This would seem to be the ultimate. I am thinking of switching from dial up to high speed and I don’t like the idea of being connected 24/7 – I would rather only be connected when I am active and completely disconnected the rest of the time. What are your thoughts on this and is this switch is still available and where? Thanks—Hugh Muir
Yes indeed, Hugh: Many standalone cable and DSL "modems" have just such a feature: a "suspend" or "standby" button which keeps the modem powered-on but allows no traffic to pass through. It can be handy as a way to drop offline, such as when you see suspicious activity (unexplained heavy up/downloads, etc.): First, cut the connection, then troubleshoot to see what the heck was going on. <g>
Other options include using a firewall to block *all* traffic (see #2 above); or— as I’ve seen done by hardware hackers— cutting one conductor in the network cable and mounting a small in-line switch to make or break the circuit.
But you’re right about the concept: If you block the connection, you’re safe from network-borne problems.
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