Three views on the XP firewall
"We tested the firewall by visiting Gibson Research's site, which tests computer ports for vulnerabilities by using ShieldsUp and a variety of other security-probing Web programs. The results were encouraging. The site detected the IP address of our test system (not unusual even with hardware firewall products), but XP also stealthed, or completely hid, all of our networking ports. By concealing these virtual back doors, XP's firewall prevented most forms of script-based hack attacks--and more power to Microsoft for providing the tool. Its blocking ability matched that of a hardware firewall on our test machine (Sohoware BroadGuard) and software firewalls from Norton and Zone Labs, although it did not keep a log of hack attempts as ZoneAlarm does. So does it replace these third-party options? No, not really, but if you don't have them installed, it's nice to have this option already in your operating system. (quoted from software.cnet.com)"
"First, if you use Windows XP's built in firewall, you will get pretty good protection against incoming attacks, assuming you also keep up with Microsoft Security Patches. Most of those are offered at the XP Update site that can be reached by clicking Start, selecting All Programs and selecting Windows Update. However, unlike most third party firewalls, XP's firewall only protects against incoming attacks and provides no warning about those attacks. If you happen to get a virus or some spyware is deposited on your system because of some application you install or something you've downloaded, you get no alerts about any applications trying to send outgoing messages and XP's firewall doesn't block outgoing communication."
To generate the above list
yourself, disable Microsoft's firewall and use the Zone
Labs [zonelabs.com] ZoneAlarm firewall, which is free for personal
use. The free version is located at the link Download
FREE ZoneAlarm. (You may not want to buy a spyware removal program, as
ZoneLabs suggests. Spybot
[kolla.de] is a good spyware removal program, and it is free. Also see the
Spybot mirror site [ejrs.com].
The former best spyware remover, Ad-Aware
[lavasoftusa.com], has not been updated since September, 2002, and
supposedly will be updated later in 2003. It seems sensible to wait until
it is updated to use it again.) Also, Tiny
Personal Firewall is reputed to be a good software firewall for
Microsoft Windows. A software firewall is necessary, even for people who
have a hardware firewall, and the Microsoft software firewall that comes
with Windows XP has very limited features.
Copyright © 2008 [Fen Tyler]