October 25, 2009

How To Disable Windows Firewall ?

Allowing Connections Through the Firewall

In some situations, you want to allow other computers to initiate a connection to your computer . For example, you might use Remote Desktop, play multiplayer games, or chat via an instant messaging program; these types of programs typically require inbound connections so that others can contact you .

The simplest way to enable a connection is to click Allow A Program Or Feature Through Windows Firewall, a link in the left pane of the main Windows Firewall window . The list of programs and features that initially appears in Allowed Programs, shown in Figure 15-6, depends on which programs and services are installed on your computer; you can add others, as described in the following sections . In addition, program rules are created (but not enabled) when a program tries to set up an incoming connection . To allow connections for a program or service that’s already been defined, simply select its check box for each network location type on which you want to allow the program . (You’ll need to click Change Settings before you can make changes .)

In each of these cases, you enable a rule in Windows Firewall that pokes a small hole in the firewall and allows a certain type of traffic to pass through it . Each rule of this type increases your security risk to some degree, so you should clear the check box for all programs you don’t need . If you’re confident you won’t ever need a particular program, you can select it and then click Remove . (Many of the list items included with Windows don’t allow deletion, but as long as their check boxes are not selected, there’s no danger .)

The first time you run a program that tries to set up an incoming connection, Windows Firewall asks for your permission by displaying a dialog box similar to the one shown below . You can add the program to the allowed programs list by clicking Allow Access .

When such a dialog box appears, read it carefully:

  • Is the program one that you knowingly installed and ran?

  • Is it reasonable for the program to require acceptance of incoming connections?

  • Are you currently using a network location where it’s okay for this program to accept incoming connections?

If the answer to any of these questions is no—or if you’re unsure—click Cancel . If you later find that a needed program isn’t working properly, you can open the allowed programs list in Windows Firewall and enable the rule .

Alternatively, you can set up the program from Allowed Programs, the window shown in Figure 15-6, without waiting for a Windows Security Alert dialog box to appear . Follow these steps:

1. Click Allow Another Program . The Add A Program dialog box appears .

2. In Add A Program, select the program for which you want to allow incoming connections . Or click Browse and navigate to the program’s executable file if it isn’t shown in the Programs list .

3. Click Network Location Types .

4. Select the network location types on which you want to allow the program, click OK, and click Add . (You can also select network locations in Allowed Programs after you add the program .)

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