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Firewall on XP Pro Network?

I finally got a network to work with file/print sharing on my two XP Pro PCs.  I would like to have the firewall in place to protect a litte.  I have McAfee on both, but have disabled both Microsoft Firewall and the McAfee Firewall in order to successfully share files/printer.  Is there a way to have a firewall and continue to get the benefits of the network?
4 Solutions
you can put exceptions in the windows firewall and in macafee but:

only use one of them not both and use the macaffee one - you just need to look for the exceptions section
Personally, I hate the way MFee, Norton, and  the like want to ask you everytime something goes out..  I use the Windows Firewall exclusively on my home network..  If you want to turn it back on, you can allow file and print sharing by just running this command from the Run Line (or open a Command Shell and paste / type it in by Start > Run > cmd):

netsh firewall set service type = FILEANDPRINT mode = ENABLE

I also hatr McAfee :D
If you only intend to use the firewall for outside protection of the network (and not for your computers in your network) then you should consider to bay a hardware firewall. Which you can put between the router and your network.
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In terms of the firewall product telling you that an application is attempting to egress out to the local network or internet is a good thing, as it will make you aware of what is happening in the background as an application is running.  It is interesting to note that some shareware (and some purchased) programs 'phone home' every once in a while (with data).  Once you become familiar or accustom to the behavior of the program's access to the network, you can tell the Windows (and McAfee) Firewall to automatically permit the app to communicate across the network or internet.

Depending on what you want; the above suggestions are good and by all means on the PC level you only need one firewall product.  

I personally use ZoneAlarm Pro; its chatty by Fatal Exception's terms but then I do like the granular notification and control that it provides.  Once you know what is ingressing and egressing your system; you can automatically permit them thus reducing the chattiness.

Also be aware that your SOHO router acts like a passive firewall; as all of your devices hide behind its one IP address as they utilize the internet.

chrisyanoAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the tips everyone.  I want to split the points between all of you for taking the time to help me.  I hope that's OK.  I will post back with further questions.
Of course it is okay!  Hope all is well, and your problems are solved!

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