How to Setup a Local Host Firewall

What is a firewall?
A firewall is a piece of hardware and/or software that is designed to prevent some communication as defined in its rules. The firewall can exist in multiple locations along the network path; the ones defined here are for the local host (your own machine).

Why do I need a firewall?
SEASnet is an open network; we do not block any communication between your computer, other computers, and the internet*. Thus, without a firewall, your machine is "naked" to the internet and all the potentially malicious traffic. A correctly configured firewall will protect you from a large amount of this.


Assumption: You are running Windows XP with the latest updates.

Note: The built-in Windows XP firewall only protects from incoming traffic. If your machine is somehow affected and starts to send out malicious traffic, the windows firewall will not block that. Other 3rd Party software firewalls are available that will monitor for that. For example, Norton Person Firewall, Zone Labs ZoneAlarm, Sygate Personal Firewall, etc [this is not an endorsement of these programs].

* SEASnet will block your machine if we suspect it was compromised, infected with a worm/virus, causing problems with other network users, performing suspicious activity, etc.