Configure Windows Firewall in Windows XP SP2

Windows tips -> Configure Windows Firewall in Windows XP SP2

For Windows XP users Microsoft released a Service Pack through its website. This includes many new features. Windows XP Firewall is one of them. There was a strong conception that there are many security holes in Windows and hackers exploited these holes to spread their viruses. But with the release of this latest service pack which also contains the Firewall, Microsoft has done a good job in making Windows more secure. Here let us see the main features and the configuration tips for making the best use of your windows firewall.

The previous versions of XP Firewall was easy to configure. Previously it was enough to just select 'Network Connections' and click the 'Advanced' tab and just select the check box for the firewall and you are done. But now, there is a separate icon in the control panel for Firewall. Open the control panel and click on the 'Security Center'. In the new 'Windows Security Center' window you can 'On/Off' the windows firewall.

Now click on the 'Windows Firewall' link to open the 'Windows Firewall' dialog box.

In the 'General' tab click on the 'On' radio button.

The next tab is the 'Exceptions' tab. Here you can specify the programs that you want to allow through the internet. If you have a network and allow your internet to be shared by other computers in your network then you should use this feature wisely. Here you can list the programs that you do want to allow your other users to use. The buttons below (Add program, Add port, Edit, delete) can be used to add or delete a program in the list. A check box is given at the bottom to specify that the firewall should prompt and alert you when a program is blocked by the firewall.

The next tab is the 'Advanced' tab. There are three sections in this tab. The first one is the 'network connection settings'. This is for those heavy internet users who use many networks to connect to internet. If you are a normal internet user then you don't have to do anything to it. This is equivalent to the 'Fine tuning' in radios. You can use this network connection settings to allow or disallow the different network services such as FTP, SMTP etc.

If you have bought another firewall and you know that the firewall you bought is more powerful than the windows firewall then you can 'off' the windows firewall and use your favorite firewall instead.

If you are a broadband internet user and your computer is connected to the internet most of the time then make sure that the windows firewall or any other firewall is always turned on.

If no firewall is turned on in your computer then the Windows XP will detect this and alert you.