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