With each version of Windows has been included is one of the most important security tools that is Windows Firewall. Windows Firewall is different than an antivirus program and to protect your computer, you need both a firewall and an antivirus and anti-malware program.
What is the Windows Firewall?
Windows Firewall is software that works as security guard and checks information coming from the network or Internet, and then either blocks it or allows it to pass through to your computer, depending on your firewall settings.
A firewall can help prevent hackers or malicious software (such as worms) from gaining access to your computer through a network or the Internet. A firewall can also help stop your computer from sending malicious software to other computers
How it works?
Windows Firewall is turned on by default in Windows, and it runs silently in the background. Windows Firewall has some predefined set of rules which will allow you to do many things: browse the Internet, use instant messengers, share files, folders and devices etc. You don’t need to open it until you want to configure in your own way.
When you install program in Windows, some programs wants to receive incoming connections from the Internet. Then the Windows firewall will block such incoming connections and prompts you whether you want to allow them. If you want to allow this program to connect to the network and the Internet, click Allow Access else Cancel if you want to block access.
But Windows Firewall allows all programs to establish outgoing connections to the Internet without user confirmation.
You can configure the protection and notifications you want for each of your network profiles—Home, Work, and Public in Windows Firewall.
How to open Windows Firewall?
To open the Windows Firewall go to following way –
Control Panel -- System and Security -- Windows Firewall.
Or just type Firewall in Search Bar.
How to Turn On or Off the Windows Firewall?
By default, the Windows Firewall is turned on. If you are a administrator, then you can turn on or off Windows Firewall.
For that, click the "Turn Windows Firewall on or off" link which is in the left pane.
Now a new window will open to customize settings.
Here you can find following option from which you have to select the appropriate option and then press OK.
1) Turn on Windows Firewall
By default Windows Firewall is on and most programs are blocked from communicating through the firewall. If you want to allow any program to communicate through the firewall, you can add it to the list of allowed programs.
2) Block all incoming connections, including those in the list of allowed programs
When you need maximum protection for your computer, select this check box and it will blocks all unsolicited attempts to connect to your computer.
3) Notify me when Windows Firewall blocks a new program
If you select this check box, Windows Firewall will inform you when it blocks a new program and give you the option of unblocking that program.
4) Turn off Windows Firewall (not recommended)
You can turn off Windows Firewall, but avoid using this setting unless you have another firewall running on your computer, because it might make your computer more defenseless to damage from hackers and malicious software.
How to allow a program to communicate through Windows Firewall?
In the left pane of main window of Windows Firewall, click Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall.
Here you can see the list of programs in your Windows.
Select the check box next to the program you want to allow, select the network locations you want to allow communication on, and then click OK.
But make sure you understand the risks involved, before allowing a program through the firewall.
Windows Firewall with Advance Security:
By clicking on Advance Security link which is at the left pane of main windows, you can configure Inbound, Outbound and connection security rules.