A Hidden Personal Firewall – The nVidia nForce Network Adapter

The nVidia corporation, probably best known for their industry leading video cards like the GeForce, is now marketing a hardware based personal firewall. The nForce comes in two forms – an Ethernet adapter PCI card, and a motherboard with an embedded Ethernet adapter.

The nForce is an ICSA certified firewall, with full firewall functionality, that sits inside your computer.

If you’re having a Windows Networking, or file sharing, problem, and you have an nForce in your computer, you need to know this. During January and February 2006, I assisted in diagnosing several network issues that involved the nForce. In at least one case, the person with the computer had no idea what he had purchased, and innocently installed.

Run an “ipconfig /all” on your computer. If you see something like

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : PChuck1
Primary Dns Suffix  . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Unknown
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : NVIDIA nforce Networking Controller

and you’re having any type of problem pinging that computer, seeing it in Network Neighborhood, or otherwise accessing that computer thru the network, take a few minutes and read the manual. Or peruse the nVidia Support Forum, and in particular, POST HERE, Problems with nvidia network port.

Be aware of what you’re buying, please.

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