In the next update to Windows XP, Service Pack 2, Microsoft will be including a personal firewall. If you think that’s all you need – think again. It’s not going to be as good as those from 3rd party software (or hardware of course) firewall companies.
ZD Net writes Had Microsoft done the Internet Connection Firewall in the initial Windows XP this wayóthat is more aggressive, less troublesome for normal networking uses, and on by defaultóit would have prevented a lot of the damage caused by Blaster, Sasser, Slammer and some lesser attacks. Microsoft pointed out at the time that users who ran ICF were safe from those attacks, but that missed the point: Why would anyone run ICF when it interfered with the ability to do many normal networking operations?
Windows Firewall, as the new ICF is known, is a much better program. I’ve been running it for months now, and it hasn’t interfered with anything. In fact, I’ve barely noticed it. You may already have realized that this is a clue to some of the problems with it.