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ICF
Last modified: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 

Short for Internet Connection Firewall, a feature of the Windows XP operating system. The ICF is a firewall that protects a home or small business network that is connected to the Internet via a cable, DSL or dial-up modem. Devices that are connected to the Internet via a software or hardware router cannot use ICF.

Windows XP keeps a log of any information a user requests from the Internet -- for example, when the user requests a Web page or accesses an e-mail account. When information enters a computer, ICF checks the log to determine if it is something the user has requested. If ICF does not recognize the request, it drops the transmission and records the activity in a separate log that the user can check to see if any security issues need to be addressed.

ICF only blocks undesirable Internet traffic from coming into a network; it does not prevent outgoing traffic from being subjected to malicious hacker attacks such as Trojan horses or spyware programs.

ICF should not be used in virtual private networks because it will interfere with file sharing and print spooling.

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For internet.com pages about ICF . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

Adding Windows XP to an Existing Network 
This article from Practically Networked includes information on enabling and disabling the ICF.

Description of the Windows XP Internet Connection Firewall 
A Microsoft Knowledge Base article detailing ICF.

Windows XP Internet Connection Firewall
Keep the script kiddies out by using ICF.

related categories

Business Computing

Internet

Networks

Operating Systems

Security

Windows

related terms

firewall

operating system

Windows XP


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