Windows Firewall is a network security program that comes natively installed on the Windows operating system. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a third-party firewall program, you can just turn on the one you already have and accomplish essentially the same thing. This article looks at how to configure the Windows Firewall to properly secure your computer.
Simply put, a firewall is a computer program designed to keep unwanted individuals and programs from making contact with your computer. This is a great way to keep your home network as secure as possible, which will in turn make it difficult for people to steal data and other types of information in a manner that could be harmful. Many people may not realize that the Windows operating system comes with a firewall already installed at the time of purchase. This program, appropriately called “Windows Firewall,” just needs to be turned on and configured in the right way to start protecting your network and your computer.
Click “Start” and open the Windows Control Panel. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the Control Panel and click “Windows Firewall” to open the utility.
Click “Turn Windows Firewall On or Off” (if Windows Firewall is currently off). From the screen that appears, click “Turn on Windows Firewall.” Click the “OK” button to turn on the utility. It will immediately begin protecting your network.
Click the button reading “Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall” to manually specify programs that you want Windows Firewall to ignore. This will be necessary if you use programs like Bit torrent clients that depend on the ability to connect to outside computers and networks. Use the window that appears on screen to select the programs that you want to tell Windows Firewall to allow.
Click “Change Notification Settings” to manage when and how Windows Firewall alerts you to suspicious activity. You can choose to allow it to notify you whenever a connection is blocked, whenever a connection is requesting access or you can choose to not be notified at all.
Leave Windows Firewall running both when you’re on your home network and when you’re on public networks. If you have a laptop computer, Windows Firewall will continue to protect you when you log onto the Internet from a place like a coffee shop or library. Windows Firewall has dedicated settings designed to police public networks separately from private ones. If you own a desktop computer or your laptop never leaves your home or office you don’t have to worry about this.