The Windows firewall can be your friend. Here’s how to get along with it.
The Windows firewall is around to protect you against malicious apps and other content from the Internet aimed at infecting your PC. Assuming you’re not running a third-party security program with its own firewall, then the Windows Firewall should be active on your machine, looking out for threats. A firewall doesn’t just block malicious applications from hitting your computer but prevents potentially malicious content from being sent from your computer. But the firewall sometimes gets in your way, blocking legitimate content that you want to run and use. You can tweak and fine-tune the firewall so it filters out real dangers while allowing safe content to pass through. Let’s check out the Windows Firewall to see how you can use it and control it.
In this article, I use Windows 10 as my client, but the examples you’ll see with Windows firewall works the same in Windows 10, 8.1, and 7. The only differences you’ll see are in the wording of certain features and settings. The Windows firewall supports private networks, such as your home network, as well as public networks, such as ones in a library, coffee shop, or airport.
|Note: If you do already have a third-party security program with its own firewall, then the steps in this article won’t apply to you. The Windows firewall comes into play only if you’re using Windows Defender or a third-party program that offers just antivirus protection and no firewall. You wouldn’t want to activate the Windows firewall if you’re already running a third-party firewall product. In most cases, Windows prevents you from even turning on its own firewall if you’re using a third-party program.|
Okay, time to check out the Windows firewall. Open Control Panel in icon view and click on the icon for Windows Firewall. The Windows firewall settings page pops up.