Windows Vista Firewall acts like a fence between your computer and the outer world, but since any fence needs a gate, you have to let some data get in and out by setting exceptions. While some exceptions are set up automatically by Windows Vista, others have to be configured manually, so let’s see how.
Setting a manual exception for a certain program.
- Click Start and enter the Control Panel
- Here, access the link called “Allow a program through Windows Firewall” (bellow the Security).
- Go to the General Tab, and make sure that the option “On (recommended)” is selected. If not, enable it (this will enable the firewall).
- Go to the Exceptions tab at the top.
- To add a program you to your exception list click Add Program (near the bottom).
- A list with the programs on your computer is displayed. Locate the program, highlight it and click OK.
- Be sure that the check box besides your program is checked, then click OK
The most powerful addition to the Vista Firewall is the excellent Rules system. This allows you to enable traffic only in certain conditions, just like opening a gate only for people dressed in white, but they will only be allowed to enter.
- to specific computers and users
- to many different protocols (not just TCP and UDP)
- to both local and remote ports
- to specific interface types: location area network, remote access, or wireless
- to specific Vista services
Despite the vulnerability claims, a well configured Vista Firewall is much more capable than all its predecessors, and despite the fact that nothing is perfect, everything starts from you, the user behind the screen.