|Thanks for your reply mrgoodguy.|
On a Windows XP Professional machine used for small business I run netstat -an and show that ports 135, 139, and 445 are listening. I also show ports 137 & 138 but can't tell whether they are listening. From what I've gathered these are ports that usual make sense to secure when hardening a system, but having trouble finding specific advice on the Web and only that they are often attacked. You know much about these?
I have used GRC's Shields UP and also Symantec's Online Security Check, but if you have a router with built-in firewall won't these checks actually be taking place at the router and not the actual machine? Nonetheless, I am trying to learn about both using the firewall at the router and on the local machine. Now I know that some say that you are good with only utilizing the firewall at the router and you can actually turn off the firewall on the local machine, but for now I am interested in learning about both and will later decide whether I will run both or not. Besides, if the machine happens to be a laptop it will eventually be taken and used on a public wifi network whereby the personal firewall will definitely be needed, so I feel I need to understand how to secure both.
Any guidance or input is appreciated.