Idea of Windows Firewall

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Windows Firewall:

Windows Firewall is a software-based firewall that is included with Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows®XP with Service Pack 2, Windows Server®2003 with Service Pack 1 or later, and Windows Server 2008. Once an operating system is installed, Windows Firewall is automatically installed and enabled. By default, the firewall blocks unsolicited incoming traffic on all ports. You can open blocked ports and configure other firewall settings by using the Windows Firewall program in the Control Panel or through Windows Security Policy Settings. In Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008, Windows Firewall offers more security options and can be configured to drop outgoing traffic as well as incoming traffic.

Software Firewall Configuration Settings

Most software-based firewalls offer configuration settings for common security options.

Security Option and Description

Global security level :  

Settings usually range from denying applications’ inbound and outbound access to other networks to allowing all traffic through the firewall, in which case the firewall is disabled.

Program filters:  

You can configure network access rules and exceptions for each application individually. Example: Allowing an application an outbound connection only.

Security log:

You can configure different options for logging information concerning unsolicited traffic on your network.

Unsolicited traffic blocking and filtering :    

Most software firewalls have many options for blocking unsolicited traffic including:

  • Specific IP addresses from accessing your network.
  • Specific data, such as FTP.
  • Traffic on specific ports.
  • Configuring open and closed ports.

Port forwarding and triggering:  

Port forwarding and triggering are options you can configure on Network Address Translation (NAT) enabled routers.

  • Port forwarding is used to forward a network port from one network node to another. Port forwarding is used to provide remote computers access to a specific computer inside a private LAN.
  • Port triggering is used to automate port forwarding by specifying ports (triggering ports) to automatically and dynamically forward inbound traffic to.

Firewall Variations

There are many different firewall applications available. Although all firewalls follow the same basic principles, the specific features and configuration tools available can vary considerably. Consult the documentation for the particular firewall application you need to support. Running more than one different firewall application at the same time is not recommended.

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