Configuring Vista’s Firewall Part II

As you learned in the previous installment, the Windows Firewall Settings window has three tabs that let you configure basic firewall settings. The General tab is used to turn the firewall on or off. Now we’ll look more closely at the Exceptions tab.

Exceptions Tab
From the Exceptions tab, you can view all of the programs that Windows has on its default block list. To unblock a certain program, just simply click the checkbox next to the programs name. Also, at the bottom of this window you will notice that you can add other programs to the list. To add a program, click the Add program button. From the list of programs installed on your computer, select the program you want to add. You can also unblock the program for specific computers only by using the Change Scope option. Here you can select to unblock the program for:

Any computer, including those on the Internet
My network (subnet) only
Custom list (you specify by entering their IP addresses or subnets)

You will notice that there is also an Add Port button in the Exceptions tab of the Windows Firewall Settings window. To add a port, click the Add Port button. In the Add a Port window, type a name for the port that will be easily understood later and then type the port number. Afterwards, select the appropriate protocol and click on OK.

A little further down the window, you will notice an entry titled: “Notify me when Windows Firewall blocks a program.” This is enabled by default, but if you would prefer not to get popup notifications regarding blocked programs, simply de-select this option and click Apply.