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Windows XP Firewall Exceptions

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I took a look at the Exceptions in my Windows XP Firewall.

Here is what's in there:

8 instances of AOL
AOL Application Loader
File and Printer Sharing
Network Diagnostics for Windows XP

16 instances of Opera Browser
Remote Assistance
Remote Desktop
(NOT Checked)
UPnP Framework
Windows Live Messenger
Windows Live Messenger (Phone)

6 instances of Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service

Question 1: Why are there 8 instances of AOL ... 16 instances of Opera and 6 instances of Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service? Are each of those instances actually different, but they just all display the same with no distinguishing details? Or would 1 instance of each suffice?

Question 2: What is TsMon? Should I have it Checked or in there for that matter?
Question 3: What is File and Printer Sharing? Is that only for if I was on a Network? If I'm NOT on a Network, which I'm NOT, can I Uncheck that one?
Question 4: If I'm NOT on a Network, do I need Network Diagnostics for Windows XP Checked or in there for that matter?
Question 5: What is the Remote Assistance? Do I need it Checked and in there?
Question 6: What is UPnP Framework? Do I need that one Checked and in there?
Question 7: Is Windows Live Messenger for IM-ing? I don't do any IM-ing. The extremely RARE times that I have IM-ed have been via AOL. Can I Uncheck this one?
Question 8: If I am NOT on a Network, do I need Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service Checked?
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Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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1) Typically different versions of the same program, since the idea behind a firewall is if the program itself changes it may still not require online access.
2) Tsmon is undocumented and is probably part of something else you have installed on the system.
3) File and Printer sharing is for sharing, well, files and printers across the network on multiple computers. This is part of Windows default configuration,
4) On rare occasions it's actually useful for diagnosing why one cannot go online.
5) Remote Assistance is the ability to ask somebody else to help you online. Could be useful but most people take the system down the computer shop.
6) Some programs need it.
7) Yes, IMing it is for.
8) Depends whether you need to share your media or not.
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Whew! Sorry I took so long to reply, Neil. I got caught up with various projects.
Thanks for your time and your reply.

It looks like I can Uncheck #3 since I am NOT on a Network. If I'm going to share Files, Pics or Docs with someone, I E-mail them.

And I can Uncheck #5 because well, I can always come here to the Experts :) at Geeks to Go for assistance. :)

And I can Uncheck #7 because I don't IM. The only rare occasions I've done it has been on AOL.

And I can Uncheck #8 because I'm NOT on a Network. And I don't have any desire to share my media left & right.

Thanks again, Neil! :)
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