Zone Alarm Firewall on Windows XP machine & allowed programs

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john2004

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Joined
May 29, 2004
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Hi everyone,

I would like to ask if anyone could please help me with the following two questions.

My parents got a new 842GM Gateway computer running windows XP media edition SP2. They are just using a standard dial up internet connection 56K.

1. I installed the free Zone Alarm for them because I use it on my windows 98 machine and it has always worked great.

However, on the XP machine, I noticed that the default setting is to allow Windows explorer "C:\windows\explorer.exe" complete internet access. When I tried to change this so that it would "ask" for permission when trying to access the internet, a zone alarm message popped up stating that making this type of system change could cause system instability and crashes.

It seems crazy to me to grant windows explorer complete unmonitored access to the internet, I have never done that on my windows 98 machine, and I can't remember the last time windows explorer even asked for permission to access the internet. Should I ignore the warning and just set up the program access so that windows explorer must first ask for permission before connecting to the net ?

2. Another program has also been granted internet access, " Generic host process" located at "C:\windows\system32\svchost.exe"

I don't even have this on windows 98, but not only is it granted internet access, it is also allowed to act as a server in the trusted zone. What does this program do ? Zone alarm gives the same warning about system instability and crashes when I try to change this so that the program must ask for permission before connecting to the net. Should I make it ask for permission anyway ?

I would appreciate any advice or suggestions.

Thanks,
John
 
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