What is this transparent proxy server on my computer?

We recently had a bad trojan invasion (our fault totally) and had to have the C drive wiped and Windows 98 SE reinstalled. I’d always used NAV and Zone Alarm but wanted to try Norton Internet Security. (The trojans were not a result of bad security, they were a result of bad judgement.) After NIS was installed, ZA asked if I wanted to allow “transparent proxy server” to access the internet. I tried it both ways - if it’s not allowed, we can’t connect to the internet at all (cable). I allowed it. The proxy server files are called “Symantec” and they are where all the Norton stuff is, so that seems right. But I can’t find a scrap of information in the Symantec Knowledge Base on what it is and it isn’t described in any NIS product information. Also, I went to one of those “check your security online” sites, and it returned my correct IP address. Internet Security contains a Personal Firewall, if that matters. I don’t know enough about computers to know if I should be worried or not. But just the fact that I can’t find any reference to it on Symantec’s site is getting me nuts.

Don’t worry, it’s part of the NIS software. The Norton “transparent proxy server” is a service through which Norton sends and receives all of your http (web) traffic. It is intended to be a “safety filter” for your webbing.

It’s OK for many applications - it is a brute-force method to security, in a way. I have heard that Frontpage extensions will not work through it, but do not know for certain.

Until someone comes along who can provide a real answer, I’d like to find out why you’re running both NIS and ZA. Since they’re both firewalls, why do you need 2? I think the transparent proxy is the mechanism that NIS uses to protect you – in other words, that’s the firewall that all data into/out of your computer has to pass through – so you shouldn’t worry. But I speak only as a satisfied NIS user, not as a computer security expert.