Here's the problem. "Firewall" is not a defined item. For some, only one that does stateful inspection will meet their definition of a proper firewall. Microsoft's definition blocks unsolicited incoming packets and doesn't block (in its defaults) outgoing packets.
It's a very deep subject, but the stock firewall would have done much to quell past plagues. And still will.
Does the firewall provided with XP provide permanent protection, or does it need to be updated/upgraded? I have been told that it will not protect against new threats, and that I should get a router (even though I have only one computer) that will constantly update the protection level.
Can I feel safe using the existing XP firewall, or should I invest in a router or some other updateable firewall system?
I'd really appreciate any advice anyone could offer.