In these times where computer crimes have become one of the most normal things it's nice to know that you can protect yourself.
Like Martin, i think that firewalls don't help that much (i have never encountered one that worked good enough) And when i found X-NetStat i found a really good solution to the problem of finding out more about the connections that your computer makes.
I'm not sure if X-NetStat is related to the netstat command on GNU/Linux systems but there are certainly some similarities.
Note: Development seems to have stopped in 2015, but the program worked fine on the newest versions of Windows at the time of writing this update.
X-NetStat is a application that lists all the connections that your PC has as well as the program that has the connection. So you can see a lot of instances of your web browser for example when you just visited some sites.
But you can also see other connections that you didn't start. This can be an program like your anti virus that is updating, but it can also be the windows remote software connecting to an irc channel for example. When you see that happening you can make a rule with the right mouse button that will always kill that connection when it's made.
The standard version of X-NetStat displays connections and you can view, sort and kill them using it. The professional version of the software program supports additional options such as packet sniffing, mass killing of connections, remote access, whois lookup, or quick access to DOS commands.
The only downside to this program is that you have to look at the connections yourself, but it is an help if you have the feeling your pc has been hacked. Also i have switched to Linux (Kubuntu distro) as my main OS today as i was completely fed up with Windows, so if you have questions etc. about Linux you can ask them.
I know Martin will also switch to Linux in the future, so i won't make very detailed reports of my Linux experience but i will answer some questions and maybe try out some software if you want.
It needs to be noted that X-Netstat is a commercial program. If you just want a program that is highlighting all of your computer's connections, you may use the excellent CurrPorts instead. The program is a free portable application for Windows that highlights all open ports and all connections. While it does not provide you with the means to block those connections, it does highlight the information you need to take care of the issue.
X-NetStat is a powerful program that lists all connections a Windows machine established or listens for, and the professional version adds to that with useful administrative tools and support for research options.
If you just want to know about the PC's connections or ports it listens on, use CurrPorts as it does that and is free. The downside to X-NetStat as far as I'm concerned is that it has not been updated since 2015. The last update on the company website dates back to January 2017.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.