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Keeping older computer secure


co2shaun
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I am running an older that has windows xp installed on it as a webserver of sorts. It runs one program that streams data on port 5000. Other than that the computer is not for anything. My question is what do I need to do when support for xp ends? I have looked for some linux alternatives to the software but haven't found any. Should I upgrade to windows 7 or will this computer still be secure?

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Older machine and hardware, will it even run Windows 7, more importantly, the program you need to run, does it run under 7? If so, go 7, its a great OS(for me personally, but demanding on resources and needs lots of HDD space and RAM, and if the hardware is older, linux with a light user interface might be the better way to go). The other option? Leave XP on there. Really. If it ain't broke, don't "fix" it. Judy because its XP and no support life cycle, does not mean suddenly throw it away. I worked at a bank that had legacy hardware and drivers for devices that only ran under certain versions of windows. It sounds crazy, but we had NT4 and Win95 boxes sitting on the corporate lan. If well protected(easier said than done) they are still out there, in many shops and companies, including Win3.1 still running on embedded cash registers at stores.

So long as you are behind NAT and fully updated, best bet is segmenting off the machine or even virtualizing it onto a newer one so it is preserved, and if you can swing the money, I would go Win7 Pro 64bit on a new box with top end hardware, and make a virtual disk image, of the existing XP box after shrinking the drive. Virtual machines let you snapshot the box too, so if something suddenly DID get whacked, you can revert back to that snapshot and its like brand new, so long as the host itself, is not compromised.

Still, if money is a factor and no way to upgrade, find a light weight linux distro that will do the same thing, but just know, linux != windows, and you will run into your own issues with linux, which if you aren't versed in linux, won't make you any safer.

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What exactly does that software do? Also, if that machine is not facing the internet side, as Digip pointed out, you could isolate it from your main network.

By using Vlan or simply setting up an additional network that doesn't have access to the internet.

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