Loads of folk seem to have a problem getting Windows Xp's built in Firewall to work properlly for them. In this guide I hope to explain how to configure it and show you it is actually quite good to use......
Although I would agree that Zonealarm and quite a few other 3rd party firewalls are easy to setup and use, they are missing some functionality that is useful to have - I had avoided using XP's bulit in Firewall until I got my XBox and wanted to use XBConnect to get online - it required a TCP and UDP port to be opened but Zonealarm couldn't open individual ports and I was forced into finding another solution.....here goes
Windows XP Built In Firewall
Enable the Firewall With Network Setup Wizard 1/ Run Network Setup Wizard (Control Panel-->Network and Internet Connections-->Setup) 2/ The firewall is enabled when you choose a configuration in the wizard that indicates that your computer is connected directly to the Internet.
Manually 1/ Goto Control Panel 2/ Double click Networking and Internet Connections 3/ Click Network Connections 4/ Right click the connection where you want the firewall enabled 5/ Click Properties from the drop down menu 6/ Goto the Advanced tab 7/ Check Protect my computer or network 8/ Click OK Firewall now enabled on that connection
Disable the Firewall 1/Goto Control Panel 2/ Double click Networking and Internet Connections 3/ Click Network Connections 4/ Right click the connection to disable 5/Click Properties 6/ Select Advanced tab 7/ Uncheck Protect my computer or network 8/Click OK Firewall now disabled on that connection
Open Ports in the Firewall 1/ Click Start 2/ Select My Network Places 3/ Network Tasks --> View Network Connections (Or right click My Network Places on desktop then Properties) 4/ Right click connection that you want 5/ Click Properties 6/ Select Advanced tab 7/ Click settings button (if it's greyed out you need to enable the Firewall see above) 8/ Click Add 9/ Type a name for the port your opening (eg. Napster : Port 6699) 10/ In name or IP address of the computer hosting this service on your network box type 127.0.0.1 *You can specify the IP address of an internal computer; however, in most cases, you use 127.0.0.1 11/ In external port and internal port boxes, type the port number - usually the same 12/ Select TCP or UDP 13/ lick OK 14/ Do this for each port to be opened