Setting up your Firewall
Windows XP Firewall with SP2
Windows XP built in firewall is a great example of a subpar product by Microsoft.
Open up Control Panel (Start Menu or My Computer.) Choose Network and Internet Connections, double click Network Connections. Click on the icon for Local Area Connection. If there is more than connection use the one that says Connected under it. Right click on this icon and choose Properties. Then click the Advanced tab.
You will see a settings button next to "Protect my computer etc". Click on the settings button and go to the "Exceptions" tab. Click on the Add Program button. Find Your BitTorrent client and click it, next click on OK.
You should be aware of the fact that Service Pack 2 has some built in limitations that can inhibit speeds for p2p programs like BitTorrent. It limits the number of possible TCP connection attempts per second to 10.
ANYONE that uses p2p should remove this shortsighted limitation Get the patch here. The Author of the patch's site is typically at http://www.lvllord.de/ however due to server issues, he is down at the present.
Windows XP Firewall with SP1
For those of you still braving it with SP1, the only differences to the above instructions is as follows:
Instead of a settings button, you will see a check box next to "Protect my computer".
Click on Settings button at the bottom. In the Advanced Settings window, on the Services tab, click on the Add button. Add the following information:
|+||Description of service: BitTorrent|
|+||Name or IP address: localhost|
|+||External Port : 6881|
|+||Internal Port: 6881|
|+||Click on OK|
Repeat the process for each of the ports in your port range changing the description to BitTorrent 2 (and so on).
Truth be told, I have no idea why anyone would want to use the XP firewall, its subpar and not very user friendly. Personally I would turn it off and get a real firewall. To turn it off, just uncheck the "Protect my computer " box in SP1, for SP2, Click here for more detailed instructions.
There have been many complaints about ZoneAlarm 5.0 and some BitTorrent clients. However for others there seems to be no problem. If the problems persist after configuration, it may be advised to try another firewall just to eliminate it as a possible cause for issue.
Configuring is easy, just give your BitTorrent client access and server permission to the trusted and internet zone (you should see 4 ticks in the program list beside your BitTorrent client).
This is personally my Top recommendation for a firewall. Simple to use, easy to configure and VERY secure. Whenever you run a program for the first time that attempts to reach the internet, it will prompt you for what action you wish to take. For BitTorrent, simply choose allow. If you wish to not be bothered again, simply check the remember box on the prompt and it will create a rule allowing (or denying if that's what you chose) access. The personal version is available for download here.
BiTorrent, torent, bit torent, bittorent, bitorent, downlaod music.