A few days ago I bought a laptop because I need one for school so it will need to be plugged in in a lot of networks. Wired. Wireless. Everything
Now my network worked fine and I could share files and all... unil I installed ZoneAlarm after someone recommended it here. So far I have 4 issues with the program, and one of them is related to networking.
Once the firewall runs, I can't see the other computers on the LAN anymore, and they can't see me. All access is blocked. I know you have to allow other computers manually in the settings, but that's not what I want. What I want is to automatically allow ALL computers in no matter what LAN I'm connected on (for filesharing). I only want to decide permissions for programs that want to access the world wide web, the internet. That's because there will be various networks at school with varying omputers each time.
Also, how can I make sure people don't access other folders than those I put on "share" in explorer? I don't know if I can trust it unless it gets confirmed it's safe enough here, of course)...
My partitions are FAT32... it was standard like that when I bought the laptop, there was no way I could choose anything. Is that OK, or do you recommend doing a conversion to NTFS (I use XP)? I know I'm afraid to do significant conversions like that, especially since it's irreversible. And I have no means of backing up (or hardly, anyway...).
Anything else I need to consider for safe laptop use in networks?
By the way, my other 3 issues with ZoneAlarm are in my "What good virus scanner/firewall would you recommend?" thread over at the Software forum.