Windows operating system comes with a built-in firewall to protect the system. Windows Firewall like all other software firewalls available out there, protects your Windows system from unauthorized access while allowing legit network to pass through. Unfortunately, configuring the firewall settings is a daunting task for most users.
For all users who are looking for the ease of use in configuring Windows Firewall should check out Windows Firewall Notifier.
Windows Firewall Notifier is a freeware portable application for managing Windows Firewall rules in Windows 7 and Vista. Using this small portable application, configuring both inbound and outbound firewall rules is very easy.
After you have downloaded Windows Firewall Notifier and extracted it to your preferred location, launch it. It will enable the Windows Firewall, if not already enabled. It then blocks all inbound and outbound network connections for which no rules exist. Then it enables inbound connection notifications and outbound connections logging, if disabled. It will then show a notification balloon allowing or disabling incoming and outgoing connections, just like you see in many advanced commercial and freeware firewalls. From these prompts, you can choose to allow (temporarily or permanently) or block connections from being established by applications.
Upon clicking on the notification, you will see the following prompt on the screen with options to: temporarily allow the application, create a rule for the application, block the application once only, always block the application.
As you can see, the prompt also displays more information such as the application name, system path and target IP or hostname.
The application is intelligently built and creates a task in the Windows Task Scheduler. This task is basically linked to the firewall event log entries. Thus, whenever any network activity occurs for which no firewall rule exists, this task will automatically launch Windows Firewall Notifier. Thus this application will not even run in the background and hog any system resource.
If you ever felt that you do not need Windows Firewall Notifier anymore, you can be easily disable it by launching the executable file of the program again and selecting Yes. The program will also provided the option to disable the firewall and revert back the settings to default.
Windows Firewall Notifier is a must have application for Windows Vista and Windows 7 (compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit edition) users who rely on the built-in firewall. It is available as a free download from the developer’s website.
Windows Firewall is a built-in, host-based, stateful firewall that is included in Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and later, and Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 and later. Windows Firewall drops incoming traffic that does not correspond to either traffic sent in response to a request of the computer (solicited traffic) or unsolicited traffic that has been specified as allowed (excepted traffic). Windows Firewall helps provide protection from malicious users and programs that rely on unsolicited incoming traffic to attack computers. In Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, Windows Firewall can also drop outgoing traffic and is configured using the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security snap-in, which integrates rules for both firewall behavior and traffic protection with Internet Protocol security (IPsec).