Setting up internet sonnection without ICS and Application Layer Gateway Service

Happy system with all updates to XP Pro sp2 and Zone Alarm Security Suite. Recently noticed that a Internet Gateway showed up in Network Connections in addition to LAN Adaptor. This system is the only direct connected pc in a small home network where the laptop connect wireless via Linksys WRT 300N. All was well and still is for laptops. The Internet Gateway prompted me to check Zone on Zone Alarm and noticed that in addition to my trusted LAN Adapter standard IP zone, I know have a Loopback Adaptor, DHCP Server and 2 DNS Servers listed. IP address points to DNS1 and 2 which are comcasts IPs. I checked. We do have comcast cable internet. I presume this all got turned on when the Internet Gateway showed up. My understand is that I don't need that hole in my internet enable nor do I know why it appeared all of the sudden. I check some other systems and some have all Networks Services turned on and other don't. But they both function fine and don't show an Internet Gateway. I'm wondering if I'm hacked. That being said, I turned off all Network Services on Desktop now I cannot start Zone Alarm or connect to Internet either directly connecting to cable modem or wireless access point. I replace the LAN adaptor driver. No luck. Just hanging on Acquiring Network Address. By the way, I removed the 4 new network connections by deleting them and as noted, remove all Network Services from Windows Componants in Add/Remove Programs. I haven't tried yet but I presume turning back on the Gateway services will fix this problem, but why, if I'm not hacked, am I required to use a shared Internet Connect on this serivce now, when I didn't need it in the past. In addition, I uninstalled Zone Alarm and tried to run Win Firewall but can't turn it on do to ICS being turned off. Please help.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
I would say you are quite safe, and not "hacked".

The  "Internet Gateway" is an add on for XP. Not very common, and I'm not sure what sometimes automatically installs it. It can be added, or removed if you wish, by going to control panel | Add/remove programs | Windows components | networking services | details | Internet gateway Device Discovery and control client.

One use is for enabling and enabling a shared connection (right click on the icon), but if you are sharing the internet connection using the Linksys there is no need for this.

You also do not need the loopback adapter. I would make sure ICS is not enabled under advanced properties of your network adapter as well. This is what may have enable the Gateway Device.

As for the services; "Application Layer Gateway Service" and "Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing" they usually show "started". The first being set to manual, and the latter automatic.

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Rob WilliamsCommented:
ps-  Microsoft explanation of the device. Might be of some help:
Rob WilliamsCommented:
pps-   :-)  a better explantion of it's use:
mikeharakalAuthor Commented:
Punted and Fdisked boot drive. Now brand new so no hacking going on. ZoneAlarm up and oddly, still showing the DHCP and DNS servers as zones. Comcast is cool with it. Weird that my other direct connected system, with identical settings; network services turned off in add/remove windows componants, dones not show these addition zones.

Thanks on links. I actually learned about ICS from the practicallynetworked articel in the place but it designed more to talk about turning it on as opposed to what happens if you turn it off. It's likely that what cause my PC to stop connect at all in the first place.

End of day, PC is happy with it reformat, and apparently the odd zones in zone alarm are all comcast and Linksys IP, even though comcast can't figure out why they are their and not on another system. They tracked the DNS ips to their internal system so all is well I guess.

Thank you for the help.

Rob WilliamsCommented:
Very welcome. Thanks mikeharakal.
Cheers !
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