Manage Windows Firewall in Windows 7 | 8

The Windows Firewall builds up on & polishes further the already improved Vista firewall. It brings out some of its advanced features out into the open. While we have already discussed in a little more detail, how to configure the Windows firewall, a few of the changes in Windows 7 | 8 firewall are touched upon here in brief.

Manage Windows Firewall

Windows 7 | 8 now allows you to access the advanced settings, including configuration of filtering for outbound connections, through its Control Panel.

Windows 7, now gives you three choices – public network, home network or work network, unlike Vista, which gave you only 2 choices to choose whether you are on a public or private network.

By default the Windows 7 firewall blocks connections to programs that are not on the list of allowed programs. With all network types, it now allows you to configure the settings for each network type separately. This is what is referred to as Multiple Active Firewall Profiles.

Most would just prefer to have the Windows 7 firewall set to its default and forget about it. The default settings are good enough. Those who want to fine tune it can manage the Windows 7 firewall in the following ways:

1) Windows Firewall Control Panel application. This is the simplest one and good enough for routine tasks.

windows7firewall Manage Windows Firewall in Windows 7 | 8

It is the simplest—and the least capable. But with it you can complete routine tasks, such as allowing a program through it or blocking all incoming connections. This Technet link true will help you get started .

2) Windows Firewall – Advanced Security. This one is a snap-in and predefined console for Microsoft Management Console, offers much more granular control over rules, exceptions, and profiles. You can access it through the Control panel app too.

3) The Netsh utility (in particular, its Firewall and Advfirewall contexts) lets you make firewall settings from a Command Prompt window or a batch program. More info about this utility here.

4) Group Policy Object Editor (available only in select editions) incorporates the Windows Firewall With Advanced Security snap-in (under Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Windows Firewall With Advanced Security). In addition, Windows Firewall can be managed with a number of policies, which can be found in Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ Network \ Network Connections \ Windows Firewall.

Incidentally, nearly a total 0f over 3000 settings can be configured through Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc). However, Group Security Policy is not included in Windows Home Edition.

These links will also interest you:

  1. Windows Firewall Control is a freeware to control Windows Firewall
  2. Windows Firewall Notifier is a  free tool to control Windows Firewall
  3. How to set up a Router Firewall
  4. Manage Windows Firewall using Firewall Control Panel application, Netsh utility, Group Policy Object Editor, etc.
  5. How to Backup, Restore & Reset to Defaults, Windows Firewall settings
  6. Block or Open a port in Windows 8 Firewall.
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Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
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