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Changing Windows Firewall Settings with Advanced Security Properties

There are many advanced security properties that can be configured in Windows Firewall. You should not change these settings if you are a relative security neophyte. For those who have a specific advanced requirement, or are just plain adventurous, read on!

1

Open the Windows Control Panel, and then click System and Security.

The System and Security window appears.

2

Click Windows Firewall.

The Windows Firewall window appears.

3

In the left pane, click Advanced Settings.

The Windows Firewall with Advanced Security window appears. In the center pane under Overview, you can see how your firewall is currently configured.

4

At the bottom of this window, click Windows Firewall Properties.

The Windows Firewall with Advanced Security dialog box appears, with separate tabs for each of the available profiles for your Windows Firewall (Domain, Private, and Public). The options for all three profiles are the same.

5

Click the Private Profile tab.

Under State, you can make the changes to the Firewall State, Inbound Connections, Outbound Connections, and Protected Network Connections.

6

Under Settings, click Customize.

In the Customize Settings for the Private Profile dialog box, you can change whether firewall notifications are displayed, and whether unicast responses are allowed. You can also merge firewall rules if merging is enabled via a Group Policy.

7

Make any changes desired and click OK.

You are returned to the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security dialog box.

8

Under Logging, click Customize.

In the Customize Logging Settings for the Private Profile dialog box, you can specify the location and name to save your firewall logs and limit the size of the logs. You can also specify whether Windows Firewall logs dropped packets and successful connections.

9

Make any changes desired and click OK two times to close both dialog boxes.

Windows 7 saves your changes to the Windows Firewall advanced security properties.

The default behavior for Windows Firewall is to track outbound connections and allow inbound responses to any established connections. However, this behavior assumes a one-to-one connection (one source going to one destination, or unicast). When a computer sends out a multicast (one source going to many destinations) or broadcast (one source going to every destination on a network) message, the unicast response from the various destination computers won’t be allowed back to the source computer.

Allowing unicast responses under Windows Firewall with Advanced Security temporarily permits unicast responses from any destination responding to a multicast or broadcast message, for up to four seconds.

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