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Windows XP

Service Pack 2: Working with the Firewall

Windows Firewall protects your computer by preventing unauthorized users from gaining access through the Internet or network. It blocks incoming network connections, except for programs and services that you allow through your computer settings. With Service Pack 2, there is a built-in firewall available. By default the ports needed by most University users (e.g., file and print sharing, SMS, web browsing, etc.) are open. Depending on your use, there could be specialized programs that will require custom changes. This document describes how to use the firewall and customize its settings.

NOTE: You must have local administrative rights to make these changes to your computer.

Return to topAdding a Program

To allow communication with programs, you need to add them to the exceptions list within Windows Firewall. Follow these instructions.

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel » Windows Firewall
    The Windows Firewall dialog box appears.
    Windows Firewall General tab dialog box

  2. Select the Exceptions tab
    Windows Firewall Exceptions dialog box

  3. To add an exception to the Firewall, click ADD PROGRAM...
    The Add a Program dialog box appears.

  4. Select the program to add

  5. Click OK

Return to topAdding a Port

You can also allow certain ports to be open on your computer. If you find that you need to add a port, follow these instructions.

NOTE: Proceed only if you are confident in what you are doing.

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel » Windows Firewall
    The Windows Firewall dialog box appears.

  2. Select the Exceptions tab

  3. To add a port, click ADD PORT...
    The Add a Port dialog box appears.
    Add a Port dialog box

  4. In the Name text box, type a name for the new port
    NOTE: Make sure that you give it a descriptive name, so you will be able to find it again if you need to change it later.

  5. In the Port number text box, type the port number
    NOTE: This port number can be found in the documentation for the program or service that you are adding.

  6. Select whether you need to open either a TCP or UDP port

  7. Click OK

Return to topUsing Windows Firewall

You might notice Windows Firewall displaying messages asking if it should continue blocking an application or allow an application to continue that does not seem appropriate. If you do not recognize the application, it is always safer to select Ask Me Later.

Windows Security Alert dialog box

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