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When to use Windows Firewall

Windows security threats expert Kevin Beaver provides some rules of thumb for using Windows Firewall.

I am currently running AOL 9.0 SE and it keeps telling me that I have multiple firewalls installed and recommends disabling the Microsoft firewall-- however, whenever I disable the Microsoft firewall My AOL security center tells me that my AOL firewall is turned off. Why is it doing this?
Are you sure it's telling you that your 'AOL firewall' is turned off? If you disable the Windows Firewall, the Windows Security Center will display a message to that effect. That could be what you're seeing.

You should also just disable the Windows Firewall (unless you have a compelling reason to use it) since AOL 9.0 SE has its own personal firewall software (McAfee Personal Firewall Express) built right in. To suppress those messages, try disabling firewall notification messages from Security Center as follows:

  • Click Start and Run
  • Enter wscui.cpl and click OK
  • In the Resources area on the left side, click Change the way Security Center alerts me
  • Click the firewall checkbox to clear that option.
  • Click OK
This was last published in October 2006

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