How to Enable Internet Connection Firewall in Windows XP

Microsoft Windows XP provides Internet security in the form of a firewall, known as the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF). This feature is designed for home and small business use and provides protection for computers directly connected to the Internet. ICF is available for local area network (LAN) or dial–up connections. It also prevents scanning of ports and resources (file and printer shares) from external sources.

How to Enable Internet Connection Firewall

The Internet Connection Firewall is useful when you want to protect a dial–up connection when dialing directly into an Internet service provider (ISP), or to protect a LAN connection that is connected to an asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) or cable modem. You can also enable the ICF on the Internet connection of an ICS host computer to provide protection for the ICS host computer.

To enable ICF using the Network Setup Wizard

  1. Run the Network Setup Wizard. To access this wizard, point to Control Panel, double–click Network and Internet Connections, and then click Setup or change your home or small office network.

  2. The ICF is enabled when you choose a configuration in the wizard that indicates that your computer is connected directly to the Internet.

To configure ICF manually for a connection

  1. In Control Panel, double–click Networking and Internet Connections, and then click Network Connections.

  2. Right–click the connection on which you would like to enable ICF, and then click Properties.

  3. On the Advanced tab, check the option to Protect my computer and network....

    Broadband Connection Properties dialog box

  4. If you want to enable the use of some applications and services through the firewall, you need to enable them by clicking the Settings button, and then selecting the programs, protocols, and services to be enabled for the ICF configuration.

    Advanced Settings dialog box