Microsoft Windows XP Firewall

Windows built in firewall software explained.
And adding an additional layer of protection.

What is Windows XP Firewall?

With the release of Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft included its own built in firewall. Which was a much needed improvement because some users didn’t know what a firewall was and how to use it.

A firewall is a program that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic from your computer. When a request comes to your computer from an unwanted source. A firewall will block the request and just ignore it. A firewall can also block programs that are already on your computer from accessing the internet. By doing this, spyware programs are blocked from sending information back to its source. Its always best to have a firewall installed. If you don’t have some kind of firewall installed on your computer or network. You definitely need one.

Configuring Windows XP Firewall

To configure your firewall for Windows XP, Open your control panel and select Windows Firewall. A dialog should appear with two options. One for turning on the firewall and one for turning it off. Pretty straight forward. Ensure that the firewall is turned on. Then go to the next tab labeled Exceptions. Exceptions are programs that you want to be able to access the internet. This can be a file sharing program, chat client, etc. If you find a program in the list that you don’t want to access the internet, uncheck it. You can also add programs by clicking the add program button.

The Advanced Tab on WinXP firewall

By clicking the advanced tab, at the top you will see your network connections. To set up your windows firewall for each connection, select the connection and click settings. You will then be able to update the firewall on a per connection basis. Next is the log section. I prefer to log all events on my computer simply because if something goes wrong, logs can help you determine the problem. And what was going on at the time of the problem. Now for the ICMP button. Only use this if you are troubleshooting your computer.

Coupling your Windows XP firewall with another firewall

Although Windows XP firewall was a much needed improvement to Windows operating system, many believe its not enough. Because every extra layer of protection your computer has the better protected you are. You can install another firewall software program to add in the protection of the Windows XP firewall. There are many free and paid firewalls available for windows. I encourage you to try one out and find one that is to your liking.

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