FAQ: Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Firewall

This article is part of the TechnologyTips XP SP2 FAQ: Windows XP Service Pack 2.

One of the major new features in Windows XP SP2 is an update of the Windows firewall.

A firewall is a program or device tha protects your computer from people on the Internet who may find you electronically and try to get on to your computer to look around. Really clever hackers can also take control of your computer and use it for their own purposes remotely.

Windows XP SP2 turns on the built in Windows firewall, a piece of software in this case, on your system and makes it easier to get to. You can find it through either the Windows Security Alert shield in your System Tray (bottom right of your screen) or you can access it by clicking Start then Control Panel and then the Windows Firewall icon. You’ll note that it is turned on when SP2 is installed.

As you use your computr after SP2 turns on the Firewall you’ll notice that you are challenged when programs try to access the Internet. When you approve these connections an exception is added to the firewall’s exceptions tab.

Here’s a web site with more info about SP2 and its new features:
Windows XP Service Pack 2 Feature List