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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

WindowsXP Service Pack 2 in use - The XP Firewall

The previously anemic XP firewall is the application that has received the biggest face lift in this service pack. A new interface, new functionality and a place in the sun (being activated by default).

As we saw earlier in the install process, the firewall is always on unless you specifically turn it off, and it will activate itself the moment your PC is unprotected by another firewall.

The interface is accessible from the 'security center' option in the control panel.

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The main page has the expected on/off setting, along with the 'on - don't allow exceptions' mode, which prevents any incoming connections that have not been directly requested by the user. This is good for securing computers which have no need of file and printer sharing or other services over the network.

The 'exceptions' tab highlights a second huge difference in the way the new XP firewall governs ports and connections.

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'Exceptions' have now replaced the old firewall's 'services.' Both items allow the user to specify which ports will accept unsolicited communication from outside the firewall, so that a web or FTP site on the computer can be accessed, or a peer-to-peer file-sharing program used.

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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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