›› Internet Connection Firewall (ICF)/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)

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Internet Connection Firewall (ICF)/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is a service that enables multiple computers on a network to connect to the Internet through one account and provides a level of security for that network through a firewall. This service has been designed for home or office use and can be used across a local area network (LAN) and with dial-up or high-speed Internet connections.

Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) acts as a protective wall, or barrier, for your computer that filters out unwanted solicitations from the Internet or any other network. This wall shields your computer from harmful predators like hackers, worms, viruses, etc... With the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2, Microsoft decided to change the name of ICF to Windows Firewall. The default setting for Windows Firewall in Service Pack 2 is Automatic. Since a firewall is something of a necessity in today's world, it is advised to keep ICF/Windows Firewall to the Automatic setting. However, if you use a third party firewall, then it is a good idea to disable this service since some third party firewalls can conflict with Windows Firewall.

Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) allows one computer to act as a proxy for all the other computers on a network in order to connect to the Internet. ICS helps to protect computers on a network because all malicious solicitations from hackers or software are diverted to the proxy computer and shut down by the firewall. Thus, these malicious solicitations never reach the host of other computers on the network.

Service Name SharedAccess
Display Name Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) / Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
Executable File Name svchost.exe
Dependencies Application Layer Gateway Service, Network Connections, Network Location Awareness (NLA), Remote Access Connection Manager
Reciprocal Dependencies None
Default Startup Type Disabled (2003), Automatic (XP Pro), Manual (XP SP1), Automatic (XP SP2)
Recommended Startup Type Disabled (if using a third party firewall or proxy software), Automatic (if NOT using a third party firewall or proxy software)

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