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ICQ, Windows 98 SE/Me ICS, and Firewall Configuration

Q.  Can you suggest a simple to use firewall, which will work with a LAN, and Windows 98 SE/Me ICS, and allow use of ICQ etc?

A.  ICS does offer some firewall protection (see MS Knowledge Base Article Q241570), which may be sufficient for your purposes and a dial-up connection which, from what I have read, does not seem to get attacked as much as broadband connections. I used a dial-up without a firewall (or ICS) for years without apparent(!) problems. You may have a problem using ICQ with ICS and a MODEM and you may not. See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article Q229151. ICS and a firewall have to be configured for ICQ to allow transmission through various ports.  More info is on ICQ's site.  Microsoft Knowledge Base Article Q231162 describes how to map ICS ports with an .inf file.  However, there is an an easier way to reconfigure ICS after it is installed: see ICSconfigThere may be problems using a firewall together with ICS.  And, also, ICS has problems with some Internet games. More info on configuring ICS and ICQ, in perhaps more understandable form than the previous references, is available here.  Of course, ICQ ports will punch security holes through ICS or a firewall, through which a determined intruder can access the ICS computer and possibly the LAN.  ZoneAlarm is a popular firewall, but I have not used it.  SyGate is a better Internet Sharing Program and has a firewall.  If you have broadband Internet connection, a hardware router with a built-in firewall, such as the SMC Barricade, is, by far, the best choice in my opinion.

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