About Windows Firewall
Windows Firewall is an inbuilt application on Windows Operating Systems that help control the connections between one or more computers. By separating the internal and external networks on a Windows system, the Windows firewall controls network connectivity while ensuring that only necessary and enabled services and applications are allowed to connect and communicate with external networks.
Through this controlled mechanism, the Firewall controls who has access to your system including the type of access they are granted.
For example: Everytime you install a software like a browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla, etc) or note taking apps like Evernote or torrent download apps like uTorrent/Bitcomet etc, the Windows Firewall manages their connections with external services.
When you browse on any browser, the firewall allows your browser to connect to servers through port 80 and 443. Similarly Note taking apps communicate with their respective servers to synchronize data and torrent apps fetch and send data from multiple peers (other computers which have data) to your system through their respective chosen ports.
All systems talk or have the ability to talk to each other through an IP address and a Port. Firewalls are responsible for filtering, managing, allowing or denying connections to be established between any two systems.
How Does Windows Firewall Work?
In the simplest form of representation, the firewall acts like a wall that allows only specified connections. One side of the wall faces the internal network (LAN – Local Area Network) while the other faces the internet (WAN – Wide Area Network). Windows firewall is also responsible for keeping track of the states of each connection and therefore help applications communicate with external services without any hindrance.
Differences Between Windows Defender And Firewall?
Windows Defender is an anti spyware application from Microsoft. Like the Firewall the Defender is also enabled by default and therefore no additional configurations are necessary to enable the application. The Defender works along with Windows Firewall to maintain security and quarantine threats to the system.
Enable/Disable Windows Firewall
The Windows Firewall is enabled by default in all Windows systems since Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. To access the Firewall you can
- Go to Control Panel
- Search for Firewall or Select Firewall among the listed icons.
As you can see in the above image, you can
- Allow an app or feature through the windows defender firewall
- Change notification settings
- Turn windows firewall on or off
- Restore defaults
- Advanced Settings
Open/Close A Port On Windows Firewall
Every system when communicating with another system in the public network, exchange information through IP addresses and Ports. IP Address identifies a system on the network while ports help in exchanging data between computers.
Therefore closing a port means stopping a port from sending or receiving data to the system. For example if you close the port 80 and 443 on your system, browsers like Google Chrome cannot help you search or navigate to a webpage. To open or close a port on your system, follow the below guidelines
- Go to Windows Firewall
- Click to open Advanced Settings
- In the Advanced Settings dialog box, select either Inbound Rules or Outbound Rules
- Right Click and select New Rule
- In the New Inbound Rule Wizard, Select Port as Rule Type
- Click Next. In Protocols and Ports, Select TCP/UDP and specify the port you want to block or select All Local Ports
- The Next section will allow you to either Allow the connection at all times or only if it secure or you can directly block the connection.
- Click Next to select where the rule applies
- And finally give your new rule a name and a description so it can be identified.
- Click Finish when you’re done and the Firewall will block the selected ports on your system.
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