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View Poll Results: Do you surf the net on your DAW PC?
No internet on DAW PC 41 26.45%
Internet on DAW PC, but careful about which sites I visit 63 40.65%
Internet on DAW PC, and surf with no restrictions! 51 32.90%
Voters: 155. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-08-2014, 01:40 AM   #1
Bob Headroom
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Default DAW PC - Do people still keep theirs off the internet? (Poll and Comments)

Hi all

Back in 2008 when I built my PC and did a fair amount of research, it was regarded as good practise to keep your PC off the net. I was (and still am) using WinXP. But that's going to be changing to Win7 64-Bit.

So I wondered what people are doing nowadays and whether the same still applies or whether things have changed. I've made a poll but comments would be great too.

Also, for those who keep their DAW PCs Internet free, do you run dual boots and use the internet on a separate boot of the same PC?

Cheers

Max

NOTE FOR VOTERS
Just to be clear... If you DO have the net on your DAW PC, but you run a Dual Boot, then please select "No internet on DAW PC". Sorry, I should have made that clearer in the options.

Last edited by Bob Headroom; 09-08-2014 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:06 AM   #2
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Internet on my DAW, along with ESET NOD32 just in case. Never had any problems.
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:23 AM   #3
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I keep my audio computers off the net.
I suffer in that licensing can be a hassle and sending material away is more time consuming.
That said I have the occasional trojan get in on the internet PC from time to time and so it saves me from more worry keeping my work safer.

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Old 09-08-2014, 02:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
Internet on my DAW, along with ESET NOD32 just in case. Never had any problems.
I've been running the eSet stuff for several years now. I don't worry about being hooked up to the internet. I'm also careful about where I hang out on the webz.


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Old 09-08-2014, 02:43 AM   #5
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never got it why not DAW and internet. if you are careful in what sites you surf, there is no danger at all. and internet gives you acess to updates and that. never had any problem.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:18 AM   #6
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No internet for the DAW, ever.
No antivirus, firewall, background helpers etc, lean, fast and stable.
All external data gets scanned on another machine before hitting the DAW.

There is zero benefit for me in giving it online access, it's a tool.
I tend to keep my hammer offline, too - call me oldfashioned.
I've got other PCs for internet access, updates and registrations ...

ymmv,
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:32 AM   #7
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I don't do pornography (and detest it) so never had a problem but I guess if I was running a commercial studio a dedicated system would be less prone to general problems.
Also, can always disable internet connection if I'm worried about background updates etc getting in the way.
Another thing, no internet means LESS DISTRACTION, so that would be a plus.

EDIT: I did not mean to suggest that viruses only come from porn; it was a flippant remark.

Last edited by Goldreap; 09-08-2014 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:24 AM   #8
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... not porn-specific at all, with a bit of common sense and a decent set of protection you can be relatively safe anywhere on the web.
That said ...
Over the last 10 years I had one single infection, and I caught it via drive-by attack from the hacked site of a major music store, go figure.
The antivirus reacted, but a tiny bit too late.
It was a good one too, a polymorph downloader / redirector, completely wrecking the OS.
A recent image saved my butt, I can live with that remaining risk, but for the DAW I can reduce it to zero, so that's what I do.

ymmv,
Rhino.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:25 AM   #9
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... not porn-specific at all...
Correct, all kinds of nasties out there, I was just being hyperbolic.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:48 AM   #10
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I only hook it up when updating. Otherwise, I'm off the grid.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:39 AM   #11
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I have a closed system with no internet in the studio. There's four computers hooked up via a peer to peer network. (An XP box running ProTools, a Tascam SX-1, a Windows 7 box for Reaper and a Windows 8 touch screen for remote control of Reaper) If I need to validate a registration for a plugin or something, I temporarily fire up the wireless. I can't leave it on because it interferes with my audio interfaces.

I've always kept the studio computers off the net since I don't run a firewall or antivirus software on them. If I need the internet for something I use the computer in reception or walk next door to my house.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:51 AM   #12
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Internet when I need it (cloud account for sending working mixes to clients, updates, R&D, etc).

Little Snitch for a network monitor and common sense: basic understanding of what a file is, what downloading a file means, and no, Mac Keeper will not speed up my machine! (Crypto locker for you Windows users)

I'm pretty sure that 99.999999% of all people who 'get hacked' click a download link disguised as a webpage link. Then click OK/Save to the download prompt. Then click OK to the installer launch. Then enter their password. Then click OK to the initial "This app was just downloaded from the internet. Is this OK to launch?" message. Then say "I don't know what happened! I didn't do anything!"
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:53 AM   #13
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General purpose computer with internet, games and all the stuff. Works well enough.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:19 AM   #14
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My DAW is on the net, and networked with the other connected machines in my house. I'm extremely careful about where I travel (and what I click on) online. If I'm unsure about a site, I use my iPad.

tg
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:24 AM   #15
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Not online here.My i7 is lean mean and quicker than Usain Bolt.


I keep the lappy beside me for surfing..I like the way I feel like I'm in some kinda control centre surrounded by screens
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:45 AM   #16
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Quite misleading to think that you only catch a Trojan off a porn site. I have never watched porn it just would not give me any fulfillment, no, Trojans can come in the mail and from any other online contact even from church goer's e-mail.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:52 AM   #17
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Online always
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:54 AM   #18
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the only issue I've ever had with internet on my DAW PC is with my laptop using its wireless adapter.

and that's not a problem with the INTERNET but a piece of hardware on my pc.

internet on the DAW PC has never affected me badly. I'm always relatively careful about the sites I visit.
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:56 PM   #19
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If you know what to look for, you might have a clue if you've been hacked or had malware. But most people don't know what the cues are to look for, and most people don't read security websites or keep their internet bound systems up to date with security fixes against known flaws and attacks.

I find that maintaining proper security is very difficult and since I can't afford to hire my own system administrator for the task (most of us can't), I opt to keep my DAW entirely offline at all times.

By keeping it offline there are several benefits:

1) tons of unneeded services and hardwares can be disabled and thus decrease the CPU and RAM burdens allowing the DAW to become stronger

2) fewer distractions or interruptions from scheduled or autoscheduled updates

3) more privacy
4) fewer things to go wrong or to break
5) the separate internet computer is easier to maintain since it can be re-erased as needed without losing the DAW.

6) it filters out the unprofessional softwares that require a constant internet connection.

7) it's hardly an active internet target for typical hackers (if you do get hacked, it probably means somebody broke into your studio area).

8) if you do get a virus, it at least can't instantly email itself to all your email contacts.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:51 PM   #20
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only use my brand new Dell PC which has my Reaper, for downloading VST plugins and updating my Reaper, etc..

no surfing on that PC... I disable the internet connection when I've got Reaper running.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:55 PM   #21
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online.. although I use it pretty much only to update software or youtube for backing tracks to practice with. Occasional browsing.

I don't have any worries about it being online, but I only use it for light internet usage.
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:03 PM   #22
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Well, I was offline until my online computer died. Now, it is online until I get another one.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:42 PM   #23
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Online, no restrictions. For large sessions I disable my A/V real time protection.

I'm an IT guy though and have a talent for disinfecting PC's so I tend not to worry. For the last few years I have an even better knack for not getting infected.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:27 AM   #24
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I used to keep my studio machine offline, but not anymore since I didn't get any benefit being offline. Been online with every machine for a long time now, and not planning to be offline unless I encounter some sort of performance issues.
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:00 AM   #25
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TBH, I keep my main machine offline more out of habit (but it's also convenient - once I turn off all the stuff I dont need (and a good part of it has something to do with internet) I never have to turn them on again, don't have to update windows on a regular basis if ever...). I always have a laptop that is online with me + another tower at home which is online and another laptop (currently offline because I do some live gigs with it and don't want any risks.. Other than that I'm plannin' on setting up an old an old machine with xp on it and buy a new monster machine (with at least 32 gigs of RAM ) so that I, too, can go 64 bit (on a serious note I wonder if I want to do that - never had problems with my core 2 quad and core 2 duo machines with 4 gigs of RAM, never ran out of computer juice and all that.... well, I know we're all gonna have to do it sooner or later so I collected x64 versions of all my plugs and am ready to do it. It will replace my main machine and be offline, btw.

Cheers,
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:04 AM   #26
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Almost always on, as is Norton. I completely ignore the "don't use antivirus" advice and do what I think is best for me. Probably more danger plugging in client drives than being on the net.

If I want off the net I go to control panel and disable my network card. Takes all of 10 seconds.
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:24 AM   #27
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My DAWs have no anti-virus, firewall or additional services running on them because they are tuned for performance, at the expense of security. This is why they are not on the internet.
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:29 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Hamm View Post
My DAWs have no anti-virus, firewall or additional services running on them because they are tuned for performance, at the expense of security. This is why they are not on the internet.
I hear you. What do you do when someone hands you a drive with stems on it or whatever, just assume it's virus free or run it through another system first?

That's mostly why I run antivirus, so people surfing porn or torrents at home or whatever won't hand me their virus(es) on their flash drives. I never plug in anyone's external drive without Norton turned on, just a habit. But I typically worked with a lot of casual musicians who were less careful about that stuff.

Norton even scans the audio files / stems I download from DropBox. You never know. More dangerous than the net, imo (external hard drives), if you're doing a lot of that kinda thing.

Last edited by Lawrence; 09-09-2014 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:13 AM   #29
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If none of your drives are set to Autoplay, then a hidden virus on a flash drive wont be able to Auto-execute.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:19 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
If none of your drives are set to Autoplay, then a hidden virus on a flash drive wont be able to Auto-execute.
Good info A., thanks. I typically plug in external drives to copy files from them to my system though so, not sure that applies so much if the files have been exposed.

Again, just a protective habit more than anything else. You never know what another users system has been exposed to.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:25 AM   #31
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Offline, though I will occasionally plugin an Ethernet cable to update software or check out a Groove 3 tutorial video. I have other computers for browsing the web.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:43 AM   #32
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Like Andy Hamm, I use no security at all. My system does not touch the internet.

Maybe the question should be, why would you want your DAW on the internet in the first place?
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:48 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigilus View Post
Maybe the question should be, why would you want your DAW on the internet in the first place?
For me it's mostly DropBox, software updates, downloading stems to mix, uploading mixes for approval, listening to client mixes in the studio to get an idea of what's what before i give an opinion, etc, etc.

Obviously, mileage or need varies on any and all of that. With PT, they're setting up a system where if you load a project with plugs you don't own you can buy them and use them on the spot. Not sure how you'd do that off the net.

Horses for courses and all that.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:17 AM   #34
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I have a PC and only go online for updates and authorization functions. Other than that I keep the ethernet cable unplugged. For all other online activities I use my imac.

A relevant security question to this topic which hasn't been mentioned is the specific browser that one uses on a Windows DAW. I'm curious about this - especially from those who are still using XP?
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:34 AM   #35
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I click every possible exe and bat and vbs I see
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:27 AM   #36
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No internet on PC, internet is on MAC Mini. I feel safe this way.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:05 AM   #37
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connected via ethernet to home network for google drive backup (never losing any work again, EVER), torrenting samples (from public domain torrents, you finger waggers), and MIDI over IP from other computers around the house.

i'm an "IT professional" so i don't have issues with unintentionally installed software.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:29 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigilus View Post
Like Andy Hamm, I use no security at all. My system does not touch the internet.

Maybe the question should be, why would you want your DAW on the internet in the first place?
I only have Microsoft Essentials which does not seem to affect performance. I keep both DAWs connected to the internet, it's just a lot easier updating / upgrading software, downloading etc.

I have a few other computers for emails, general browsing etc.
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Old 09-20-2014, 10:58 AM   #39
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Online all the time. Not worth the hassle to not be.

Sorry, mac user
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:37 AM   #40
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Online, don't care if I get trojans, viruses, or whathaveyou, I purposely organize my files so in case of meltdown or total system failure appocalpyse, I don't lose anything and can be back up and running in a day or less.

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