Windows 7 Firewall

Being the most widely used operating system in the world means that Windows PCs are often subject to hackers and malicious software finding their way into your computer and ruining the user-experience, sometimes making a PC totally unusable.

Windows 7 firewall is Microsoft’s own computer protection software (there are many third-party alternatives) and contains an advanced user-interface that is designed for computer administrators. This can often mean that it is more difficult to use than third-party software which is designed for users, and settings can be more complicated.

What does a firewall do?

You should picture a firewall as being the front door of your PC; when you are logged on to the internet you will have various viruses and hackers trying to find a way into that front door and, like an unwanted house guest, once in, it is hard to get them out. Turning on the firewall is basically like slamming the front door in the face of the hackers and locking it shut.

Firewall controls how applications on your system access the internet and can block both incoming and outgoing traffic. Microsoft has designed Windows 7 firewall to run on the system by default and it requires very little in the way of user input. For the most part you won’t even know that firewall is running, only popping up to specify the location of your internet connection (home, work, public network) and prompting you when a program is acting as a server.

If a program is looking to receive incoming internet connections, firewall will automatically block it from doing so, and will display the program in a small box, asking you whether or not you want to allow it. Obviously, it is dangerous to allow anything that you are unfamiliar with.

The outbound traffic on Firewall requires no user confirmation, although it is possible to control outgoing traffic in the settings.

Controlling firewall

Windows 7 firewall may not be as user-friendly as some third-party software programs, but users are still able to control the settings from the Windows Control Panel.

To access the firewall settings you should take this path: Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Firewall.

Here you will be fine tune the protection for each of your networks – Home, Work, and Public – and carry out other tasks such as turning off firewall and troubleshooting a network.

While it is possible to turn off the firewall, this is something that is not recommended and can put the security of your computer in jeopardy. You should only turn off Windows firewall if you have another firewall program enabled.

Internet Security

Most computer users will have internet security software running on their computer; this software will generally take charge of Windows firewall settings and any adjustments made will need to be made through the third party software.

Computer protection is essential and you should run anti-virus and anti-malware software alongside firewall to fully secure your PC.