Many people are aware of the benefits firewalls provide for computer security and protection, but they often run into problems when they begin to use and configure their firewalls on their personal computers. A firewall is a software or hardware protocol for managing and restricting internet traffic. When installed, it keeps certain programs and internet packets from entering your computer and it keeps certain programs from sending information out of your computer. When the process works well, you will barely notice your firewall, and you can go about your business or pleasure without interruption from the security components of your computer.
However, people sometimes find their firewalls begin to block applications they actually need to use, which can be frustrating to say the least and damaging to productivity and the general use of their computers in more serious situations. People often resort to turning off their firewalls entirely, either out of frustration or out of a need to use essential applications. Unfortunately, this option leaves computers vulnerable to attacks from malicious programs and to leakages of private information from malicious software already installed on the computer. A better option is to learn how to control and manage your firewall so it will only let in and let out information you are fine with, but will still protect you from potential inbound and outbound threats. This will be discussed in this article.
To managing and controlling your firewall, open your program and investigate the various components it holds. The specifics of a firewall program will vary from one program to the next, but there are usually common windows and options among them. For example, there will typically be a status page that shows you if the firewall is currently installed and if it is protecting your computer by being activated and monitoring inbound and outbound traffic. There will probably be a logging section where you can monitor inbound and outbound traffic across the firewall in detail. There will probably also be an application section where you can see all of the programs the firewall is managing access for. You will want to navigate to the program you are having trouble with.
For example, if you cannot get on the internet through your Skype client, you will want to navigate to the Skype icon or name in your application list. In the application list you will probably see “In” and “Out” and options for each next to each application. The options determine what your firewall does when a program tries to receive information from the internet (“In”) or when it tries to send information out through your computer’s connection (“Out”). If you are having trouble connecting to processes outside your computer, you might need to change your inbound settings, your outbound settings, or both. The simplest way of addressing the issue is to clear both the outbound and inbound settings, close your program, and then reopen it. Your firewall will ask you if you want to allow or disallow inbound or outbound connections by the program. Say yes, click OK, and navigate out of your firewall.