Microsoft Windows Firewall
Product: Microsoft Windows Firewall
Price: FREE - included with Windows XP
Company Info: Microsoft
Editor Rating: 1 star
- Provides the absolute, bare minimum level of protection
- Does not stop spyware, adware, spam, monitoring software, or dangerous attachments
- Easily circumvented
Microsoft Windows Firewall Review
With the release of Windows XP, Microsoft has included a barebones firewall as a first line of defense against incoming internet attacks. While this is a well-meaning effort on Microsoft's part, the reality is that this firewall will not stop most kinds of internet attacks. Furthermore, this firewall does nothing to block unwanted outgoing traffic, such as the kind that enables adware and spyware to communicate with central servers.
Note: Firewall products protect against different threats than anti-spyware and anti-virus programs, and you should always run a firewall in addition to those other types of security products. Click here for more information about firewalls.
Installation and Configuration
Turning on Windows Firewall isn't the most straightforward proposition in the world. However, Microsoft does provide full instructions on how to do this.
Windows Firewall runs silently in the background. It will only block incoming attacks and certain kinds of connection requests. It is critical that if you choose to rely solely on Windows Firewall, that you understand what it won't do:
* It won't detect or disable computer viruses or worms. You will need an anti-virus and an anti-spyware program for this.
* It won't disable or prevent you from opening up dangerous email attachments
* It won't block spam or unsolicited email
* It won't stop spyware or adware from being installed on your system
* It won't stop spyware or adware from communicating over your internet connection
* It won't stop keyloggers or other monitoring software
Windows Firewall provides only the absolute bare minimum level of protection needed to safely use your computer on the internet. While it's better than nothing, you should certainly use a commercial firewall product to prevent your PC from being compromised.
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