How to deal with open ports?

This is not a specific case or emergency.

I would like to know how to close open ports, who has opened those ports and information about why those ports are open.
I know I have no trojans, virus, etc... but sometimes I find some open ports that I dont know which program did it.
Right now I've the 8086 port opened, and I still cant figure out why.

Is there any software, registry stuff or somewhere to check about all this, and close those ports?

I know everybody fix this kind of problem telling about to install a firewall, but I still feel curious about what my computer is doing and why.

Thanx.
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tatoonAsked:
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FlamingSwordCommented:
Get ZoneAlarm, it is the easiest way to begin the path you have chosen.
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FlamingSwordCommented:
Here's the free, non-trial version. Using downloads like this help you to decide which products to pay for, which improvements you want, and regtister for essential upgrades:
http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/catalog/products/sku_list_za.jsp;jsessionid=1W4kdzT2kanaF4EUtIpCc5iBw54eK736HGq5pSPvCFVsryN8CA1V!-119358174!-1062696903!7551!7552!-1842707748!-1062696904!7551!7552?lid=home_zainfo
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FlamingSwordCommented:
> everybody fix this kind of problem telling about to install a firewall, but I still feel curious about what my computer is doing and why.

It is hard to really find out why, no matter how experienced you are, or points that you have.

A point of clarification: ZoneAlarm does not just close port. It is a door, not a wall. So when a product tries to use a port, the first thing to do is make sure ZA not only tells you, but prompts you for permission. Such as, do you want to let Internet Explorer access the Experts-Exchange? (say 'yes', you like us)

So it does give you more information and control than a freeware would need to.
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juliancrawfordCommented:
If you want to close/block open ports then the best way to go about it is IPSECPOL.
This will block ports, IP addresses or subnets at the socket level layer so your firewall wont even see them knocking down the door.
Here is a link with the basic walkthrough to setup a IPSECPOL rule.
http://www.microsoft.com/serviceproviders/columns/using_ipsec.asp

As to why the ports are open, a very good tool is available  from www.foundstone.com - called Vision (freeware).
Vision will show what ports are open - what programs are opening these ports and what IP addresses are connecting to these open ports.
It will also allow you to terminate the connection - but its best used as an investigative tool.
Here is a link where you can obtain Vision from ..
http://www.foundstone.com/index.htm?subnav=resources/navigation.htm&subcontent=/resources/proddesc/vision.htm

:)
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gidds99Commented:
This will show you who/what is connected to that port:

http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/source/tcpview.shtml

Its free and easy to use.
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