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Disable or configure your new XP SP2 Firewall.


Windows XP Service Pack 2 comes with a new firewall that is automatically enabled.


This question was answered on September 9, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

XP Service Pack 2 includes the new Windows Firewall that replaces the Internet Connection Firewall on your system This firewall is automatically turned on for all existing connections and will be turned on by default for any new connections This means that every connection you make (dial-up, wireless, Ethernet, Bluetooth, etc.) will have firewall protection by default This version is easier to customize than the previous versions For example, you can leave the firewall active for a dial-up or wireless connection, but turn it off for a wired Ethernet connection This is a fairly typical scenario when you’re traveling with your laptop.

There are three main operating modes that can be changed for any individual connection:

1 On with no exceptions (default)

2 On with exceptions

3 Off

The firewall control panel can be found by:

1 Clicking on the 'Start' button

2 Select 'Settings' & then 'Control Panel'

3 Choose 'Security Center'

*The 'Security Center' Window appears like the one below & with these default settings.

<img src="/images/XP Security Center.jpg">

If you're already using a firewall from another company such as Zone Alarm, Norton, or McAfee you should turn off the Windows Firewall after installing Service Pack 2 Managing two software firewalls is difficult and will probably be confusing If you are running a hardware router that includes a firewall, you can continue to use the Windows Firewall with it

To Disable the Windows Firewall or change settings:

1 Follow the steps above to open the 'Security Center'

2 Click on the 'Windows Firewall' icon at the bottom of the window

3 Select the 'Off' option or select one of the tabs to change 'Exceptions' settings

*The 'Windows Firewall' Window pane appears like the one below & with these default settings.

Note: You may need to take some extra steps to secure a wireless home network

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Posted by Michal of Data Doctors on September 9, 2004