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Gibson Research – Security, Disk Maintenance and Other Useful Tools

Did you ever wonder how you’d know if your firewall is doing the job? (You are using a firewall, right? No? Go here. Now.) In most cases you wouldn’t know you didn’t
until it was too late – after an infection or compromise of some sort.

Steve Gibson’s an internet security guru, and his site Gibson Research is coming to be known as the place for security tests and
related utilities. His popular “Shield’s Up” is an online test that will tell you exactly what your firewall may, or may not be
protecting you from. He’s also the author of what is arguably the best disk maintenance and recovery tool available: SpinRite.

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I really have only two qualms about Steve and GRC:

  • the site can be a little difficult to navigate

  • Steve tends to use what I’d consider to be fairly alarmist wording. Things typically aren’t as awful as his words might lead you
    to believe.

But don’t let that get in the way … in particular, visit that “Shield’s Up” security checking tool. It’s well worth a few
minutes of your time to see just how vulnerable you may be. If you don’t have a firewall, you may find yourself running out to get
one soon after you run the tests.

SpinRite is also available at – it’s a low level disk maintenance and
recovery tool that, while not free, operates at a level lower than any other tool on the market and can often repair and recover
hard disk contents resulting from a variety of failures.

Finally, Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte (the “other Leo”) are the voices behind the incredibly educational and popular Security Now weekly podcast, which you’ll also find archived on

Shield’s Up, SpinRite, Security Now, a number of other free and useful utilities … – I recommend it.

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4 comments on “Gibson Research – Security, Disk Maintenance and Other Useful Tools”

  1. Steve:

    Love the show. I got the TOR client running without any problem as I want to download and watch new BBC shows. They can only be downloaded if the client is in the UK. I thought TOR could solve that problem by having my U.S. address wormhole its way to England.

    In spite of a lot of research, I cannot get the endpoint to be a specific TOR node via the config file; I keep coming out in Germany or Italy.


  2. I for some reason am not able to acess Gibson Research web page. I have used it in the past years with no problems and now all of a sudden I can not get IE nor Foxfire to open the web page. I have no problems with anyother web site.

  3. Like Mr Stanley I, too, have been unable to access Shields Up! (an excellent resource) via IE (I live in the UK). The Shields Up! welcome page with my machine address appears but clicking ‘proceed’ to get to the test leads to my PC hanging indefinitely. This has been a problem for some six months or so. Ideas or suggestions, anyone, please?


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