When I say "good enough from CD", what I mean is - is XP's firewall safe enough to use which comes straight off the SP2 CD disc? I mean, when you install XP then connect to the internet, you can then download 90 (I'm not joking) hotfixes from microsoft.com to plug all XP's vulnerabilities and other problems. This may include the built- in firewall, although that's purely a guess.
I would feel safer if I could install a fully up-to-date firewall*before* connecting to the net for the very first time, but ZoneAlarm won't allow you to download their product in full anymore, you have to connect to the net to download it first, which is kind of a "chicken and egg" scenario.
I've tried a few other firewalls with bad results (Sygate and Comodo), and I think the Kerio freebie is no longer supported.
Thanks a lot for any advice, regards, Robert.