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[Windows] Windows Firewall Basics

GiedriusGiedrius Moderator
edited September 14 in KVM Based Servers
Windows Servers are quite different from Linux servers referring to the network and software blocking and restrictions. While Linux servers do not block any connection most of the time and you rarely need to manually open a port or allow some connection, the Windows servers usually do block most of the connections. In such cases, you have to make "Allow" or "Block" rules in order to control the inbound and outbound connections, since the Windows OS do not always offer that for you once you installing the software, which sometimes could be annoying.

In this article, we will present the basic usage of Windows Firewall, the tool that is used to block and/or allow the specific connections or software.

You can open the Windows Firewall, by pressing "Start" icon/button on and then finding the "Control Panel" icon. Once you are in the Control Panel, look for a "Windows Firewall" and press it.



Now you have opened a main Windows Firewall menu, which consists of few option, for example, turn on/off the windows firewall, notification settings, restore defaults function and the advanced settings.



Basically, you can manually set any settings to suit your requirements, but we will try to briefly describe the Advanced settings, which are mostly used to create new rules, delete existing rules for your Windows Firewall. Once you press the "Advanced Settings", you will see the view like below:



You can see many settings, but we will be describing the use of "Inbound Rules" and "Outbound Rules", which we believe are often ignored when you face some issue after installing new software.

Inbound Rules - refers to every incoming connection via specific port or software.
Outbound Rules - refers to every outgoing connection via specific port or software.

Typical situation, a new software is installed on Windows Server, but it does not work because it can not connect to the outside or vice versa. You can simply create new rules for that software.

 1. Press "New Rule...";
 2. Select "Program" and press "Next";

 3. Choose "This program path:" and press "Browse". You will need to provide the full path to the main programs file (.exe) and press "Next";

 4. This step is very important since you choose whether to Allow or to Block the connection. Once you have done that, press "Next"; 5. In this step, you will have to choose when will be rule applied (Domain, Private, Public) and press "Next"; 6. Finally, you name the rule and/or enter a brief description for documentation, press "Finish".
Note. The "Private" and "Public" in step 5, refer to either Private Network or Public Network.

So that was the example of creating a simple rule to allow or deny specific program. The similar procedure is with all other options, for example, Port. You are also allowed to create custom rules, but we will not go into details since we believe it is used for very specific situations.
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