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Service definitions for Internet Connection Firewall and Internet Connection Sharing

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Service definitions for Internet Connection Firewall and Internet Connection Sharing

Services run transparently to support other programs. An example of a service is an HTTP Web server that supports hosting Web pages from your home or small office network. If the HTTP Web server service is enabled for your network, you can use that service to supply your own Web pages to the Internet. In addition to having a Web server on your network, you can have an FTP service that permits users to upload or download files through the Internet, an Internet mail server for storing and forwarding mail, and a variety of other services.

In order to permit traffic to flow from the Internet to the computer hosting the service, you must use a preconfigured service or add the service to the Services list by entering information about the operational settings of the services on the Services tab of the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) or Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) host computer. The operational settings are known as a "service definition," because they define the environment that the service requires in order to operate. Service definitions for ICF and ICS provide the port mappings that are required in order for ICF to allow unsolicited traffic to travel from the Internet to the network.

Some service definitions are preconfigured for ICF and ICS. FTP server, Internet Mail server, Secure Web server, Telnet server, and Web server are examples of preconfigured (built-in) services. These services can run on ICS client computers or on your ICF or ICS host computer. You can add a new service to your network by installing the service software on one of your network computers and then adding the service definition so that ICF and ICS, if one or both are enabled, will allow the service to be accessed from the Internet.

Services for ICF and ICS can run on an ICS client computer or an ICS host computer. When you add a service definition to an ICS host computer, it is made available to ICS clients. For information about how to add or edit a service definition, see Manage service definitions for ICF or ICS.


  • Internet Connection Sharing and Network Bridge are not included in Windows Server 2003, Web Edition; Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition; and the Itanium-based versions of the original release of the Windows Server 2003 operating systems.

  • Internet Connection Firewall is included only in the original releases of Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, and Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition.

  • This topic applies only to product features available in the original release of Windows Server 2003.

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