Blocking Windows XP making contact with Microsoft via Internet

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 27 Oct. 2002 / Last Updated on 27 Oct. 2002]

Windows XP has a new "bad" habit : to "call home" = connect via Internet back to the
Microsoft servers without asking for your permission !

It starts already at the end of the installation of the operating system, where it tries to connect
via the Internet to Microsoft "to obtain latest updates".

Example : Double-click in your taskbar on
the clock : to display the
properties of "Date and Time",
select the tab : "Internet Time" :

By default, Microsoft configures
your XP-system to
"automatically synchronize
with an Internet time server
using a Microsoft time server.

To avoid such uncontrolled Internet
connections, disable this synchronization.

Windows will also connect sometimes back to Microsoft to check "for Windows Updates".

Unluckily, the build-in XP Firewall only allows to control incoming "calls", it doe not allow
to control programs running on your system making an outgoing "calls" onto the Internet.

To control outgoing "calls", you need to disable the XP Firewall and install another Firewall,
like for example ZoneAlarm.

See Also

The Author — Johannes Helmig

Dr.Johannes Helmig is working as Director, Technical Knowledge Management in the Belgium office of Gerber Technology where he is involved in Customer Service and internal training, with special interest in Networking.


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