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Doorstop Personal Edition 2.0: MacOS8.1 review:

Doorstop Personal Edition 2.0: MacOS8.1

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The Good Easy setup; comprehensive protection; free evaluation version.

The Bad No printed manual.

The Bottom Line The more time you spend on the Net, the more vulnerable your Mac is to intruders. DoorStop makes for a safer surfing experience, especially if you have a DSL, cable, or other always-on connection.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall

Review Sections

If you have an always-on connection to the Net via cable or DSL, or you spend a lot of time surfing, the front door to your Mac is being left open to Net vandals, who can access your personal files. DoorStop Personal Edition from Open Door Networks sets up a firewall on your Mac that acts as a digital security guard to keep out Net intruders. At $59, DoorStop is affordable and remarkably easy to install and use. We highly recommended it for Mac surfers. If you have an always-on connection to the Net via cable or DSL, or you spend a lot of time surfing, the front door to your Mac is being left open to Net vandals, who can access your personal files. DoorStop Personal Edition from Open Door Networks sets up a firewall on your Mac that acts as a digital security guard to keep out Net intruders. At $59, DoorStop is affordable and remarkably easy to install and use. We highly recommended it for Mac surfers.

Easy Installation and Setup
DoorStop is available directly from the Open Door Networks Web site as a ten-day evaluation. If you use EarthLink's DSL service, they'll throw in DoorStop for free. Once you download DoorStop, the one-click installer sets up default security settings in just a moment or two and restarts your Mac to complete the process. DoorStop Personal Edition uses the familiar Mac Control Strip for fast access to the program's setup, testing, and logging features. You can selectively regulate every element of TCP/IP access (such as whether others can access your Mac via Internet file sharing), or you can stick with DoorStop's default settings, which work well.

Passes All the Tests
DoorStop lets you control outside access to your Mac in four ways. You can allow access to everyone, to only those IP addresses you specify, to everyone except for the IP addresses you enter, or to no one (the default). But to make sure DoorStop was working, we ran Gibson Research's ShieldsUp, a thorough, Web-based tool that probes your system every which way, trying to find a crack in its defenses. Sure enough, DoorStop successfully stopped every attempt to break into our test Power Mac G3. Just keep in mind that DoorStop provides firewall basics and that's it; you don't get the antivirus protection, cookie management, and other privacy controls found in PC-based firewall apps.

DoorStop creates a log file of all attempts to access your Mac via a TCP/IP or UDP connection. You can easily bring up the log from the DoorStop Personal Administration application, which displays the intruder's IP address and whether the connection attempt was successful. Double-click any entry, and you are automatically connected to the Open Networks Web site and provided with more details about the access attempt and how to trace its source.

A First-Rate Choice
DoorStop is one of those well-engineered Mac programs that works the first time and every time, without having to specify any arcane settings. If you're a frequent Web surfer, don't get bitten by Net sharks. DoorStop is protection no Mac user should be without.

Caught in the act! We bombarded our test Mac with a TCP/IP-led invasion, and DoorStop Personal Edition shut the door right in our faces.

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