Windows Firewall, a built-in firewall service included in Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and later, guards computers and networks against malicious or unsolicited requests to connect to your computer. Windows Firewall allows you to block or unblock all connection requests, helps block computer worms and viruses and creates a security log of successful and unsuccessful attempts to connect to your computer, according to the Microsoft Corporation.
Customization and Configuration
Windows Firewall gives you the ability to configure and customize it based on business (work) and personal (home) needs. Because Windows Firewall turns itself on by default and blocks all incoming traffic, you will need to configure it to fit your needs to be sure that it doesn't conflict with business applications. You can customize firewall setting and configure exceptions by accessing Windows Firewall in the Control Panel. Windows Firewall allows you to add ports to manually allow incoming traffic from other networks. Properly configuring Windows Firewall can prevent malicious attacks on all computers on your network, reports the Microsoft Corporation.
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Thorough Traffic Blocking
Windows Firewall offers a global default traffic handling security policy that thoroughly blocks all unsolicited incoming traffic to all computer network connections, reports WatchGuard Technologies, Inc. By default, Windows Firewall only allows incoming connections from Windows remote assistance. This security measure protects both computer administrators and users by enforcing a policy of only allowing connections that have been specifically permitted.
According to WatchGuard Technologies, Inc, Window Firewall's default security policy can reduce or completely eliminate rogue Web, FTP, person to person and file transfer servers. Windows Firewall also gives you the ability to configure exceptions that unblock server services and allow incoming traffic. These exceptions can be applied to individual network connections, providing the ability for different users to establish their own firewall policies. Users can also set exceptions based on IP addresses, IP subnets, home and office use.
Security Center Coordination
Windows Firewall effectively coordinates with the Security Center included in Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and later. Security Center alerts you when your firewall is not turned on and also displays the status of Windows Firewall, your antivirus, and other settings on one convenient screen, according to PC Today. An important benefit of Windows Firewall is that it turns itself on by default, offering Windows users boot time security and an additional, automatic line of protection for their computer hard drives. This security measure prevents inbound connections that can put your computer at risk of malicious attacks.