The IT guru where I work says it is not possible to secure Windows XP Home, and that I need to install XP Pro on the machine. HP tech support claims the machine is totally secure, which I find difficult to believe.
I run CA eTrust Antivirus and Microsoft AntiSpyware, but I still notice a large amount of inbound traffic when I am at certain hotels and can not determine what the traffic is for. The Windows Task Manager does not show anything conclusive. I have determined that it is not the OS or software updating itself. The inbound traffic rate is substantial: about 50MB/hour if I let it run. I have no idea where it is all going. Windows Firewall does not have any exceptions enabled, and it does not warn me that anything unusual is happening.
The IT guru at your office is incorrect in saying you can't secure XP Home. Windows Firewall works, other software-based firewalls work, and general security measures function as expected. XP Home can't offer domain-based security and central management, but it certainly is adequate for your needs.
This was first published in June 2005