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Firewall - What Is That, Exactly?

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WindowsXP offers the so-called Internet Connection Firewall. WindowsXP is a largely stripped down firewall, which mainly serves to block the flow of unsolicited data transfer to and from a PC that are triggered by unsolicited data requests from external PCs. However, most hardware routers on the market that retail for less than $50 offer far superior firewall performance compared to WindowsXP. Also, most IT admin. will tell you that WindowsXP's firewall functions are inadequate for protection against professional data thieves.

Microsoft took precautions for a couple of popular applications and allows network traffic at the click of a mouse. For all other services, the user must know the port number.

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