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Windows XP firewall

How good is Windows XP firewall? My company wants to use it for VPN connections and then using PCanywhere to connect to a production server. Our information is super sensitive and confidential, so how good is XP firewall or is BlackIce a better one for a PC?
1 Solution
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Excerpt from the following review:

The built-in XP firewall capabilities are weak, but it's better than nothing.   It is important to note that it has no outbound filtering or any additional features.
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
agree essentially ICFv2 is just a sheild, its not much of a firewall on the grand scheeme of things - BUT as leew says its better than nothing, had it been around a year ago the blaster and sasser worms would not have caused the havoc they did.

If you looking at your security, take a three pronged attack

1. get a DECENT firewall I use ZoneAlarm
The basic version is still free!
Zone Labs offers a complete range of firewall products, from the free ZoneAlarm, to the comprehensive protection of ZoneAlarm Plus, to the ultimate privacy and security tools in ZoneAlarm Pro.

2. Get some good Antivirus (and keep it updated) I use Mcafee but the choice is yours

3. Turn automatic updates on! the time between hotfixes being released and atacks happening is getting les - the last critical one the GDI vulnarability took 6 hours before and exploit was released (thats straight from Microsoft)
The Windows XP Firewall is indeed better than having nothing, and plus it's free.  Another very effecitve firewall in Engima Firewall,
and this version is absolutly free as well: http://www.download.com/3000-2092-10284670.html   They also offer great technical
support if needed.  I prefer Engima over the Windows XP Firewall.  Check it out and compare them for yourself.
Are your users taking company laptops home? If so, freeware and shareware may not have the support level you will need for scalability and extremely sensitive data. Also, the XP firewall may interfere with maintenance tasks your network technicians need to perform when the laptops are at the office. This can be mitigated by configuring the XP firewall, but configuring all the clients identically may take a combination of manual and automatic efforts, which taxes your support team.

You will likely want a firewall specifically designed to work with VPNs or one that is fully configurable so you can make it work with the VPN under consideration. Any difference in price will likely be outweighed by the support headaches you will avoid.

If your VPN vendor doesn't have suggestions, here is an idea of what's available:

I can recommend SmartPass VPN, Neoteris VPN, Citrix for remote access and a Symantec Firewall product, since I have experience using or connecting through all of them.


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