In Windows 10, the Windows firewall hasn’t changed much since Vista. In general, it is practically the same. Incoming connections to programs are blocked unless they are in the allowed list. Way out connections are not blocked if they do not match a rule. You also have one Audience i Private firewall network profile and can control exactly which program can communicate on the private network instead of the Internet.
In this article, I will examine the various options and settings of the Windows 10 firewall and discuss how you can adjust them to your needs. Although outbound connections are not blocked by default, you can configure your own firewall rules in Windows 10 to block outbound connections. This can be useful if you want to prevent a specific program from communicating with the Internet, even if the program is installed without your consent.
To get started, let’s talk about how to enable firewall settings in Windows 10. You can open the control panel and open the firewall from there, or click To start and write the word firewall.
This will display the Windows Firewall dialog, where you can control all firewall settings.
On the right, divide the view into Private networks i Public or guest networks. Your home wireless network should appear in the Private networks section, but if you don’t, you’ll probably need to be told manually that the network is a home network, not a public network.
Enable the program using the firewall
The main reason most people will mess with the firewall is to allow a program to run through the firewall. Normally, the program does this automatically, but in some cases, it needs to be done manually. You can do this by clicking on Enable an application or function using the Windows firewall.
As you can see, for each Windows program or feature, you can choose to allow incoming connections to public and private networks separately. This separation is useful for things like File and printer To share i Homemade groups since we don’t want anyone on public WiFi to be able to connect to a shared network or local HomeGroup. To allow an application, simply find it in the list, then check the box for the type of network you want to allow incoming connections.
If the application does not appear in the list, you can click Allows another application and select a list or click Browse to find your program specifically. If the button is dimmed, click Change the settings first.
If you return to the initial firewall dialog, there is another link in the left pane called Turn Windows Firewall on or off. Clicking on it will give you a set of options as shown below:
You can turn off the firewall completely in Windows 10, but this will allow everything to be through the firewall. You can also block all incoming connections to your computer, even for permitted applications, which is useful in certain situations. For example, if you are in a public setting such as a hotel or airport and want to be more secure while connected to the network. You can still browse the Internet using a web browser, but no program can create an incoming connection from another computer on the local network or from a server on the Internet.
Advanced firewall settings
The real fun, though, is if you want to get involved with the advanced firewall settings. This is obviously not for the faint of heart, but it’s not a big deal either because you can click Restore defaults link and reconfigure everything it was when you first installed Windows 10. To access advanced settings, click Advanced settings link to the left panel of the main firewall dialog. This will bring up the file Windows firewall with advanced security window:
On the main screen, it gives you a quick overview of your firewall settings for your domain, private networks, and public networks. If your computer is not linked to a domain, you don’t have to worry about this profile. You can quickly see how the firewall handles incoming and outgoing connections. By default, all outbound connections are allowed. If you want to block an outbound connection, click Rules of exit in the left column.
Go ahead and click New standard and a dialog box will appear asking you what type of rule.
I chose the port because I want to block all outbound connections from port 80, the HTTP port that all web browsers use. In theory, this should block all Internet access in IE, Edge, Chrome, and other browsers. Click on Next, select TCP and enter the port number.
Click Next and choose the action you want to perform, in my case, Block the connection.
Finally, choose which profiles you want the rule to apply as well. It is probably a good idea to choose all profiles.
Now just give it a name and you’re done! When I open Chrome to visit any webpage, I get the following error message:
Sweet! So I just created a new outbound connection rule in the Windows 10 firewall that blocks port 80 and therefore prevents anyone from browsing the Internet. You can create your own custom firewall rules in Windows 10 by following the steps I showed above. In general, this is pretty much all there is to the firewall. You can do more advanced things, but I wanted to give a decent overview that even non-technical people can try to follow.
If you have any questions about setting up your firewall in Windows 10, please post a comment here and we’ll try to help. Enjoy!