Our experienced team of editors and researchers contributed to this article and tested it for accuracy and completeness.
The wikiHow content management team carefully monitors the work of editors to ensure that each article meets our high quality standards.
The computer's firewall blocks potentially dangerous incoming connections. You can view and change the firewall settings on any computer. Keep in mind that in most cases the firewall is used on Windows computers, because on Mac computers it is practically not needed.
Starting with the version of Windows XP, the developer introduced a firewall into the operating system. So the firewall settings became available. This does not mean that such a program element did not exist before. An earlier version of Internet Connection Firewall was released. But the main advantage of the new product was the availability of control over the access of programs to the network.
The old firewall entered the computer system, but was disabled by default due to compatibility errors. The settings of this firewall were available in the network configurations, which means that they became difficult to reach for some users. Since 2003, there have been a number of attacks by computer worms. This was due to a system vulnerability.
In 2004, attacks continued, resulting in lightning-fast infections of the system. To fix this, it was necessary to modify the firewall. So became the popular "Windows Firewall."
A security log was built into the new firewall, which collected data on IP addresses and connections on home, office, and Internet networks. This service has hardly been updated since its release. Therefore, all settings of any parameters are suitable both for old operating systems and for new versions.
Now you can configure the firewall in the "Security Center", because this firewall is part of it.
Enable / disable
To make firewall access settings, you need to understand how to enable or disable it. Of course, disabling it is not recommended, as this would call into question the security of the system. But sometimes a shutdown is necessary in order to activate the antivirus.
Most of these programs have a built-in firewall. To avoid compatibility conflicts, the built-in firewall is turned off. If the downloaded antivirus does not have a firewall, then the version from Windows can be left.
To start working with this software and hardware element of the Network you need to open it. As usual, there are several ways. You can simply enter its name in the search bar of the system. You will have a list of several options. It’s better to choose Windows Firewall.
Another version of the approach to this service is a transition through the “Control Panel”. To do this, click "Start", in the right column find "Control Panel", a window will open. Look at the upper right corner, where there is a line “View” and select “Large icons”. You will see a list in which you will find a branded firewall.
A new window will open where you can configure the firewall. In the left column will be the line "Disable or enable the firewall." There is a choice for home network and public. It’s easy to turn off app block notifications right there. You must check the box so that the program immediately notifies you of a malicious utility.
Some problems with access to the Network are related specifically to the firewall. Perhaps you did not understand the work of the antivirus program and denied access to the network. You can restore it in the firewall settings. Again, in the left column, go to the line "allow the launch of a program or component through the firewall."
A new window will open before you. It will contain a list of programs that have blocked or opened access to the Network. You just need to check the boxes where necessary. For example, here you can find a browser that does not go to sites and give him permission to do this.
If you need to allow access to the Network in the firewall settings for a program that is not on the list, this is easy. It is enough under the plate in which there are utilities to find the button “Allow another program”. After that, an additional list of applications will appear, from which you can add another browser or software that needs access to the Web.
Remember that the more such allowed programs are in the firewall, the less secure your work becomes. Ports that open are no longer controlled by the system and may skip malicious utilities.
To have more options for setting access, you can use additional parameters. In this line, you can adjust the network profiles. Three options are used by default:
- A domain profile is an option for PCs connected to a domain.
- Private - needed as a "bridge" to the private network, it can be either a home connection or a working one.
- General - needed to connect to the public network.
You can immediately work with the rules for different types of connections. Perhaps you need a server setup. The firewall easily works with incoming or outgoing connections. To do this, in the additional parameters, you need to select the desired item and click on it, selecting "Create a rule".
A special window will open in which there will be several steps. In each, everything is described in detail. Rules are divided into several types. If the rule for the program is used, then it is possible to configure the access of certain software to the Network. If for a port, then permission or prohibition occurs for it, a number of ports or a protocol.
You can also select a predefined or custom rule. Further, the setup is more than understandable. Indicate the path to the program, choose open or closed access. Also configure permission or prohibition for a certain type of network. Give a name to your profile and the setup is done.
If you need more fine-tuning, for example, prohibiting all software from connecting to the designated IP or port, or creating a list of white addresses, select custom rules.
Starting and configuring a firewall
Defender Firewall turns on automatically after installing Windows. But it can be deactivated after changes in the settings or after installing another program of this type.
- Open the system settings window, click "Network and Internet" and the link Windows Firewall. Depending on the version of the operating system, you can deal with three types of networks - private, public and network with a domain. For each of these networks, you can configure the firewall separately. To start the firewall, click the Enable button in each section. Confirm the changes with Yes.
- Basic configuration of the firewall is possible using the Windows 10 settings window. After clicking the network link, you can turn off the firewall by moving the slider Windows Defender Firewall in position Off. Here you can also block all incoming connections.
Restore default settings
By default, Windows Firewall blocks all connections in applications that are not on the "allowed" list. This list is configured by the developers of the system and contains mainly programs from the Windows Store and system services.
By default, when the Firewall blocks the transfer of data from any application, a message appears on the device’s screen. This configuration is subject to change. Open the window to discard the changes. Firewall and Network Security and click on the link Restore Defaults.
Firewall setup, most often, is aimed at blocking calls and various applications and unlocking them. Changes to these parameters are made using Control panels.
- To check which applications and services can currently use connections through the firewall, open a window Windows Security Center Defender and click the link Allow programs to run through the firewall. You will see a list of programs that are allowed to work through the firewall. In columns Private and Public marks are placed next to those programs that can use the connection. Clicking the Details button allows you to get more information about the service.
- If you want to change the resolution, click the Change Settings button. Now you can remove or add a flag next to the selected program. Click OK.
- To add the program to the list of allowed, click Allow access to another application. Select the Browse button and select the executable program file on the disk. Select Types of networks. and, check the corresponding box allowing the application to transfer data on this type of network. Confirm the setting with OK.
- To remove an entry from the list, click the Delete button.
Instant blocking of connections
To quickly block all incoming connections, for example, in case of suspicious activity, press the start button, select Options → Network and Internet → Windows Firewall.
Select the network to which you are connected - private or public (one that is described as active compound) Check the box and confirm the change with Yes.
Firewall rules should not apply to all computer users. The firewall can be configured so that it prohibits some programs from connecting to the Internet only on specified user accounts.
Open the window Windows Defenderclick the link Additional settings and group Inbound Rules. Double-click the program and go to the tab Local Security Entities.
Select Allow connections from only those users, click Add. Enter usernames with permissions and click OK. Other computer users will not be able to connect to the network using the selected program.
Simple port manipulation
Programs that use Internet connections usually have a standard set of ports through which they communicate. This simplifies application security control. Often these ports change or block, especially since standard communication is allowed by any port.
- Open the window Windows Defenderclick the link Additional settings and yes button. Select a category Inbox Rules and double-click the program you want to configure.
- Go to tab Protocols and Portsexpand the list in the section Local port and set to Specific ports. In the field below, enter the port numbers through which communication can be carried out. Separate numbers with commas.
- You can also completely block the selected port. Then no program can use it. This lock is often used against p2p applications. Choose a team New rule in the panel Actions. Check the Port box, and then move on.
- Choose protocol TCP or UDP, select the Defined local ports check box, and enter the number, numbers, or range of ports that you want to block. Select Block connection and click Next in the next two windows.
- Name the rule and insert a description in the box below. Save the setting by clicking Finish.
How to enable Windows Firewall
Windows has a built-in firewall and it is not always turned on initially. To check if the firewall is working, open the computer control panel Start> Control Panel, switch the window view to showing "Large icons" or "Small icons"(For easy search) at the top right and find the icon"FirewallWindows».
Open the firewall window by clicking the left mouse button. When the firewall is on, there will be an image of a green shield opposite the connection. Otherwise, you will see a red shield.
If the firewall is turned off, then you need to enable it as follows:
- Click on the link “Turning Windows Firewall On or Off"Located in the left pane of the Windows Firewall window.
- We turn on the firewall for each of the available networks by setting the enable mark opposite each network. Confirm and close the window by clicking on the "OK».
- Click on the “Close»To close the Windows Security Center window and control panel.
Windows Firewall Settings
To configure the firewall, open the firewall window in the control panel, as described in step 1 above, and click on the menu item "Extra options».
Here you can view and set the rules for connecting various programs and services to the network. For built-in programs and services in the operating system, network connection rules are already set automatically.
For third-party programs, after their installation, the first time they access the network, the firewall asks the user for permission or deny access to the network for this program. By allowing or denying access, you instruct the firewall to create a rule for this application and remember it so that the next time the firewall does not ask you. Thus, without your knowledge, no program will get an Internet connection.
To enable, disable and modify an existing rule for an application, find it in the list of rules in the additional settings window of the firewall and double-click on it to create a new rule.
To allow access to the network to the previously installed program, click in the left column on the menu item "Allow program or component to run through Windows Firewall».
In the window that opens, click on the “Change Settings", Then by clicking on the button"Allow another program»Open the window for selecting installed applications, find the right one and give it permission to connect by setting a checkmark in front of the name.
Windows Firewall is now turned on, configured, and ready to repel network attacks.