Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Blame AT&T U-Verse

When we installed AT&T's U-Verse, a professional technician was here to install the hardware devices necessary to use the system. He disabled our hardware firewall saying it was incompatible with the U-Verse hardware. He insisted the software that AT&T uses to protect it's customers was good enough.

(We saved $50 a month by combining our phone with internet and TV services. We love the DVR system which we use for 90% of our TV viewing.)

Ever since changing to AT&T U-Verse our desktop PCs and laptops have gotten infected with various viruses and trojans. We do have active anti-viral software. However somehow these viruses and trojans are entering our system and disabling our anti-virus programs. Then we don't know that happened, and we are infected by even more viruses and malware that attempt to infect our systems.

Some of these do tricky things with the anti-virus software. Some display messages after we manually run our anti-virus software that state the program was used and is completed, tricking us into thinking that the scan was done, when it was not.

We are alerted to the fact that something must be wrong by various signals such as the computer slowing down, the computer making chugging and churning noises from it that are abnormal or various little odd things that happen.

Last week one laptop was infected and took my husband's whole evening to fix. I was alerted to the problem when it started making grinding weird noises that it usually does not make during use. When I tried to run the anti-virus software it would not open up fully. The feature to tell it to run the program is not there.

Yesterday my PC got a trojan, a bad one we'd gotten over the summer as well. It's that one where fake messages come up telling you that it found a virus then if you click on it to fix it, new bad programs download immediately, opening many windows like crazy. My husband is going to have to spend today fixing that. It probably will take all day.

(We just don't have time to spend on fixing computers like this!)

I'm really frustrated at this as for years before subscribing to AT&T U-Verse our hardware firewall was successful at stopping many attempts to hack into our system. (The system kept track of these attempts, the number was staggering.)

I am so disappointed with that issue with AT&T U-Verse. I do wonder if the issue with the firewall was ignorance on the part of the technician that was here. I don't know how to get someone who really knows what they are doing from AT&T to address this. My husband is too busy working 16-18 hours a day out of state with a long commute to spend hours on the phone with AT&T trying to find someone who can verify that truly a U-Verse customer cannot have a hardware firewall and to report that their software firewall system is not working good enough.

Meanwhile well-meaning people keep telling me to get a Mac. They think Apple's Mac products cannot ever get a virus which is untrue. Almost everyone has told me after their PC got a virus they didn't know how to fix it so they ran out and just bought a Mac. Only two people I know bought a Mac for a reason other than the falsehood that "Macs cannot get a virus"; they bought them to do advanced programs with media (video, photography) that they swear a Windows-based PC can't do as well or as easily.

I wonder if Apple knows the increased sales of the Mac is due to people's ignorance about computers in general, and thinking that a Mac computer can never ever get a virus or malware? I know people whose Macs have become infected by viruses and they had no choice but to turn to the Apple store to fix them for them. Microsoft would do well to exploit this fact about Macs in ad campaigns. However I'd prefer it if Microsoft would spend some of their profits on R&D to help consumers battle these viruses, trojans and other malware.

Microsoft to the rescue?


1 comment:

Ina's 5 and our Native Homeschool Blog said...

We were told the same thing when we got (through our cable company) the same package you have with AT&T. The next day we had a computer friend come over and reinstall our firewall.