Looking for a Firewall? If you can afford it, buy a Palo Alto.

I have worked with firewalls from many vendors. They always did the job, but were complex and time consuming to administer. I helped a client with a new Palo Alto firewall that they had installed, and it has been amazing.

Looking for a Firewall? If you can afford it, buy a Palo Alto.I know that most people don’t want to hear about firewalls, but I have to share my experience with this firewall. For most small companies, they don’t choose to employ or can’t afford, the most technically skilled people. This makes a dangerous combination because it not only opens up security holes, but also introduces costly problems into the environment.

Every small business I have ever worked with, had very serious problems in just keeping their environment going. The skills of most people who know things, tend to be used in larger environments where they can get more money. I like working in small business because you can have a relationship with your clients. That is more rewarding to me, than working with the latest hardware.

So why is a Palo Alto all that and a bag of chips? It combines so many things into one easy to use system. Here are the top 5 advantages I see.

Why Palo Alto is superior

  1. Easy to use interface. It is intuitive, and has easy and well written help.
  2. Web filtering capabilities. You can easily see a list of websites that people visit, and even details about that session.
  3. Nice links to easily research problems. If there is a problem there is normally something you can click on, and get more information. Without any training, I was able to find security issues and respond to them to stop the problem.
  4. Easy additional options. It appears that there is further options to make the device even more useful. I can’t wait to make the case to management of that client that those options will help secure their environment even more.
  5. Great support. The vendor who installed it is knowledgeable and helped get over the initial hurdle of familiarity. It works great in the environment, even better than the old Sonic wall that kept having issues and slowdowns.

I have used many kinds of Firewalls from many companies, but this has been the best designed, most informative, and easiest to use. What a great breakthrough this is in firewall administration.

The downside of playing online games

I have talked about before about the positive and upside of playing online games. This weekend I experienced the downside and now I have to change because of it.

It is relaxing and fun to play a game called DC Online. However this weekend my wrist started to hurt when I was playing it. I had to stop playing and reevaluate why I was spending enough time to cause an injury to myself.

I went to the doctor and she said to reduce playing games and find other activities. So that will start tonight. Part of me is happy and part of me is sad. I am sad because I had worked hard to get a strong character, and you have to work hard to keep that status.

The downside is that no matter how much you work on your character, there are plenty of other people who are better than you. In that way it’s just like real life, but a game is about escape as much as reality. In some games you are clearly the boss. For example, Tetris or other off-line games. You achieve something and nothing else compares to that achievement. Online games humble players by pointing out that their skills might be at the bottom compared to others. It also gives greater opportunities for up-sell, since people seek to differentiate themselves from other people.

For me, I don’t like the competitive nature of online gaming. Even in DC Online there are player vs player matches, which are required to increase your characters strength. I would rather compete against the environment or challenge than another player. Not only because of my skills, but that the nature of my character is a support and not an attack character. So naturally I am going to lose because my character was never designed to fight. To ask a non fighting character to fight to level up, is unfair. Such is life right?

So I have listed some downsides to online gaming, but nothing in life is perfect. Perhaps my wrist hurting will lead me into doing things that I enjoy more.

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