Bundled AntiVirus and Personal Firewalls - A Windows Networking Challenge

For several years after antivirus and personal firewalls became typical (and highly recommended) components in personal computer protection, many computer owners would confuse the two. Typical comments

What do you mean my computer has a virus? I have a firewall.
How could my computer have been hacked? Norton AntiVirus says my protection is fine!
would be common in many help forums.

With Windows XP, Microsoft first gave us Internet Connection Firewall, later renamed as Windows Firewall. They then took Windows Firewall, paired it with their recently acquired Antivirus program, and called that Windows OneCare.

The name "OneCare" has always intrigued me. Any person of British personality might pronounce that, with an accent, as "WanKare". Please ask one of your British friends, if you have any, what "WanKare" implies.

So fast forward to the present, please. It appears that the firewall component in Windows OneCare doesn't integrate with Vista, as well as Windows Firewall does. With Windows Vista, when you change the Network Location Type to "Private", Windows Firewall automatically adjusts itself to permitting Windows Networking on that computer. Depending upon the state of NetBIOS Over TCP, Windows Firewall will open the correct TCP ports.

If you have Windows Vista with OneCare, and you can't get Windows Networking working, check the network NetBT, and firewall port, settings, carefully. Make sure that they are compatible, and make sure that the setup of your network, and all existing (and currently working) computers matches the Vista / OneCare settings.

It's possible that any third party firewall may work no better than OneCare, in terms of Network and Sharing integration. If you have a problem with Windows Networking (file / printer sharing), the most frequently seen cause of such problems is NetBT and / or personal firewall settings. This will apparently be true under Windows Vista, just as under any previous operating system.

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