Windows firewall is an excellent tool, used by thousands of computers owners to prevent harmful programs from negatively affecting or destroying their computer.  Windows Firewall, by default blocks most programs from getting through to the computer; therefore in order for the firewall to work effectively, you will be required to select programs to allow access to the computer, by following these steps:

1. The first step is to go to the Windows ‘start menu’, go to ‘control Panel’.  Type ‘firewall’ in the search box, ‘Windows Firewall’ will show up, select it.

2. Look to the left panel on the screen and select ‘Allow a program through Windows Firewall’

3. The third step is to select the option that says ‘change settings’.  You may be asked for an administrator password, enter password or provide confirmation as necessary.

4. You will then be prompted to select the program you wish to grant access through windows firewall, by putting a check mark in the box next to the program.  The network locations you wish to allow communication must also be selected, then you proceed to click OK. 

Important Warning

An important point to always note before allowing a program through windows firewall is ensuring that you fully understand the risks involved.   Every time you open a firewall port allowing access of a program through windows firewall, it reduces the security protection on the computer.   The more access allowed through the firewall, the easier it will be for malicious software and hackers to access files on your computer through these open points and spread worms which will destroy your computer software.

It is therefore safer to add a program to the list of allowed programs than to open a port, due to the fact that once a port is open, it stays open whether or not in use, until you choose to close it.

It would therefore be suggested that you only open a port when it is necessary. Remove programs and close ports that are no longer needed.   Always be vigilant and never allow a program that is not recognized to communicate through the firewall. 

How to Open A Port In Windows Firewall

Opening a port in Windows Firewall is normally done when the program is not listed on the exceptions list.   Ports are normally open for information to pass through to your computer.  Always note that a port stays open until closed, so ensure that you close all ports that are no longer needed.  Please see below steps for opening a port in Windows firewall.

1. From the ‘Start menu’, select ‘control Panel’.  Type ‘firewall’ in the search box and then select ‘Windows firewall’.

2. Look to the left panel on the screen and select ‘Advanced settings’. You may be asked for an administrator password, enter password or provide confirmation as necessary.

3. A dialogue box will appear ‘Windows Firewall with Advanced Security’, select ‘Inbound rules’ in the left pane, and in the  right pane select ‘New Rule’

4. You will then proceed to follow the instructions in the ‘new inbound rule wizard.’ 

Having Trouble? Use the Troubleshooter

In the event you experience difficulties allowing other computers to communicate with yours through windows firewall, the connections troubleshooter can be used to assist you.  What it does is to automatically find and fix common communication problems that may occur.

To do so, open the incoming connections troubleshooter through the ‘control panel’ in the ‘Start Menu’.  Type ‘troubleshooter’ in the search box, click on ‘troubleshooting’.  Select ‘view all’ and then click on ‘Incoming Connections’.