Windows Firewall

By Alex Polling

  This article will introduce Windows Firewall and describe how to get started with it.
The simplest way to protect you and your computer from intrusion is to use Windows Firewall that comes with Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. Windows Firewall draws a line between your computer and the Internet by blocking unsolicited requests which could potentially be used to harm your computer or steal your or your kid's personal data.
  Taking the first steps in protecting your computer online should be quick and simple.
Using Windows Firewall saves time that could be spent on finding out what firewalls can do and what they can't, and finding out which one is most suitable. After you get familiar with firewall basics, you can consider using more advanced software or continue to use Windows Firewall.

  Windows Firewall is already turned on by default but in case it's turned off you can check it from Start/Control Panel/Security Center/Firewall and see if it's turned on or not. You will see this window:

Windows Firewall

This window contains 3 options: On, On with no exceptions, and Off.

“On” is a default setting. If you want to spend more time on more important things, you can select this option and return to this article or any firewall specifics later.
“Off” turns the firewall off, usually when you need to quickly test something. It makes your computer more vulnerable and it’s recommended to use it in exceptional cases only.
“On” + “Don’t allow exceptions” restricts your online experience mostly to browsing web pages and sending emails. This option is recommended when your computer is connected to public networks and needs a higher level of protection. Please note that the Exceptions tab contains pre-added Files, Settings Transfer Wizard and File and Printer Sharing, which will be disabled if “Don’t allow exceptions” is checked.

When the default setting is selected, Windows Firewall will block most programs to prevent unsolicited requests and a window like this will be displayed:

Windows Firewall

If you decide to unblock it, this program will be added to Exceptions. Exceptions can be viewed with the Exceptions tab, which contains a list of allowed programs and ports. Here you can add the software that you use in addition to a browser and email client, your instant messenger or a game using Internet:

Windows Firewall

An important thing to mention is that adding a port is not very safe since other programs, possibly malicious, will be able to use this port.

Please note that Windows Firewall doesn’t protect you from spam, viruses, spyware or inappropriate content for children. Those are a different question. For example, you may consider using iProtectYou to protect your children from Internet dangers.

Summing up: Windows Firewall provides simple and effective ways to block intrusions and, being used in concert with other security tools, Windows Firewall can provide a safer online experience.

SoftForYou provides a comprehensive range of solutions to the problems arising from Internet and children, and is highly recommended to parents who are concerned about their child's safety.

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