Microsoft has released a firewall for its operating system products ever since Windows XP.
The early version of their firewall was, in my opinion, not very good when it came to protection, especially when compared to the software firewall competition at that time.
I don’t know if that had anything to do with concerns over anti-trust issues that seemed to be common back then or, perhaps, because Microsoft were more concerned with user experience that security?
In any event, the Windows firewall was not something I ever used myself.
That changed, however, with the coming of Windows 7.
Now, with the new Windows 7 operating system, Microsoft has taken their security efforts very seriously and has created a new and improved firewall for their products.
Their latest firewall has several advanced features that you can tune to make a better product.
These features are for people who know what they are doing rather than someone who is not well versed in setting up home networks.
(If you don’t consider yourself to be an advanced user then I recommend you read my other guide to configuring Windows 7’s firewall)
Advanced Firewall Settings
Before we go any further, let’s show you how to get to the advanced firewall section of Windows 7.
It is pretty easy to get there and, as with everything else in Windows 7, there are more than one way to get this goal accomplished.
But for now, hit the flag or “start” button in Windows 7.
In the search bar, type in the word “fire”.
Once you do, you will start to see several options come up.
The one you want is called “Windows Firewall with Advanced Security Console”.
Now that you are there, let’s get to work.
Step 1 : Activity Logging
The first thing that you might want to change is some of the activity logging that is going on with the firewall.
In this section, you can choose where you want the logs stored at, what kind of activity you want logged in and several other options.
The log feature is very important because it lets you know if someone is trying to get into your computer.
This is where you can read specific data over the last couple of days and see if anything suspicious is happening.
So setting up the log file is very important for someone who takes their security seriously.
Step 2 : Inbound And Outbound Traffic Rules
The second thing that you might want to configure for your firewall is the inbound and outbound traffic rules.
If you look closely, you will see that in this section Windows 7 has a lot of rules that you can check off with this type of traffic.
It allows you to tell each type of program that is asking permission to reach the outside to the internet what it can and cannot do from your network.
This is more refined than the normal “allow program access to the internet” option.
It goes more in depth as to what the program is allowed to do.
It allows you to tell a program that you trust it, but only up to a point.
Step 3 : Setting Up Profiles
The last advanced setting that you have is setting up certain profiles for the firewall.
Who is logged into the machine will determine which settings the firewall has.
This is a very useful tool for when you have younger children in the house and you want the firewall to be more preventative when they are on the computer.
These are only three of several advanced firewall configurations that you can set up.
Once you do, you will make an already good firewall even better.
Read more on Windows 7 Security