Firewall is like a security guard in any company which determines if any person or material is allowed to connect to outside world or any connection from outside can enter your system. It has been asked to follow some rules, which in Windows are called as Inbound and Outbound rules, before any thing goes out or comes in.
Now what happens when a stranger comes in without an appointment ? Security guard calls the help desk to ask. Same thing happens with Windows Firewall here. It’s monitoring system pop up a window when it doesn’t any rule for some unknown programs.
Windows Firewall comes with some predefined rules so you don’t get bothered every time when a program connects to internet. Like Explorer or Live Messenger. So its a common experience people don’t see it most of the time. To configure windows firewall there are two ways i.e. Basic Mode and Advanced Mode
Basic Mode of Managing Firewall
Basic Mode involves to enable firewall, Adding and Removing programs to firewall rules quickly. Go to control panel > Switch to Classic Mode > Double click Windows Firewall icon. ( You will need admin privileges so make sure your account has it) .
Here you get direct options to turn it on or off and second option is to allow a program through windows firewall rule. If you wish to add any program which you know is safe this is the place to do it. Don’t worry its not like you add something to windows firewall and it stops working. That’s not right.
Adding a Program and Port to Windows Firewall
Let us add a program to firewall rule so it is allowed to pass through. Click on it and a windows with Exception tab will be focused for you. Since you are allowing the program to pass through windows firewall its called as exception. Like the General Manager of the company is not asked. People know he can come in.
- Click on Add program
- Select the EXE or executable file either by browsing it or from the available options
- Press OK and you are done
There is another option called as SCOPE, in the same window, which allows you to configure where the program is blocked. Lets say a program is allowed to run at Home but not in Office or may be some set if IP addresses. You can configure it right here.
This is how we add program exceptions to firewall rules. Same way you can add a port also. Just add the port number and specify if its UDP or TCP port.
Keep check on Notify me when firewall blocks any program. This help you when you installed a new program which windows firewall doesn’t know about it. If you had this notification on you can create the rules to allow the program to pass through windows Firewall at the moment program is blocked.
If you have any questions feel free to ask in comments. Basic Mode should be more then enough for most of user to configure Windows Firewall. In case you still want I am coming up with next section Advanced Mode of Managing Windows Vista Firewall.