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Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 / SP2 Overview

Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 / SP2 Overview - PCSTATS
Abstract: Once your PC is updated with Windows XP Service Pack 2 there are a few things you'll need to know about its new features and security options.
Filed under: Operating System Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Microsoft Aug 17 2004   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Operating System > Microsoft Windows XP

Windows XP Service Pack 2 in use

The Windows XP firewall also offers enhanced protection during the boot up and shutdown procedures. Apparently, older incarnations of the firewall would stop before the network connection itself was disconnected on shutdown, resulting in a window of vulnerability. The same thing happened on startup, as the network was active before the firewall. Changes to the boot and shutdown order have resulted in the new XP firewall offering wall-to-wall protection.

On the whole, we found the firewall upgrade a mixed bag. It's an undeniably positive upgrade for new users, and will go a long way towards protecting their systems. On the other hand, the interface has acquired a few cumbersome quirks, and with just a couple more features it could have been a complete replacement for any of the third-party products out there. As it is, Zonealarm or any one of several other free firewalls are still a superior choice for the informed user.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 in use - Observations

A new wireless network setup wizard has been added to simplify this task, which was previously a rather confusing mess for new users of Windows XP (though with the proliferation of wireless routers that automatically configure such networks, it's hard to see why anyone would ever use it). It looks to function in a similar fashion to the Internet connection sharing wizard, with the added Mod Con of being able to transfer settings to the other network systems with a USB flash drive (but not a floppy disk, grrr...).

PCSTATS

General emphasis has been placed on tightening up Windows XP's rather leaky external security. To begin with, the troublesome Messenger service, the one responsible for those endless annoying grey ad popups appearing on your desktop, has been disabled by default. The same goes for the alert service, which also had more negative uses than positive ones for the average user.

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Contents of Article: Microsoft Windows XP
 Pg 1.  Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 / SP2 Overview
 Pg 2.  A New Firewall for WinXP
 Pg 3.  Upgraded Outlook Express Security
 Pg 4.  Testing the Firewall Coverage
 Pg 5.  Controlling Add-ons in IE
 Pg 6.  Email Protection Increased
 Pg 7.  WindowsXP Service Pack 2 in use - The XP Firewall
 Pg 8.  Programs and the new Firewall
 Pg 9.  Windows Security System
 Pg 10.  — Windows XP Service Pack 2 in use
 Pg 11.  Adjusting to Service Pack 2

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