Turn Off Windows XP Service Pack 2 Firewall
By Stephen Bucaro
Because of Windows XP's vulnerability to attack by viruses such as MyDoom, NetSky,
Bagle, and Zafi, Microsoft released the Service Pack 2 (SP2) patch. SP2 added a
firewall to the operating system. Actually SP1 had a firewall, but it was not as
good as the one in SP2 and it was turned off by default. SP2 turns the firewall
on by default.
However, if your PC is running Windows XP Service Pack 2, the first thing you
need to do is turn off the firewall. Why? Because a serious firewall blocks unwanted
inbound and OUTBOUND connections. SP2's firewall does not block unwanted outbound
Why do you want to block outbound connections? Because spyware collects information
from your PC and sends it back to the spyware's creator. You need to block these
unwanted outbound connections. Since it's not recommended that you run two firewalls
simultaneously, you need to turn off SP2's firewall and install a serious firewall like
ZoneAlarm (free for home users).
Note: If you intend to download ZoneAlarm from the Web, you probably want to
download the 6.36 MB self extracting file from ZoneLabs website first before turning
off Windows firewall.
The following steps describe how to turn off Windows XP SP2's built-in firewall.
1. Select Start | Control Panel to open the Control Panel.
2. On Control Panel's "Pick a category" screen, open the "Security Center".
3. In "Windows Security Center", in the Manage Security Settings for: section,
click on "Windows Firewall".