Common Issues With Windows Firewall By Russell Winters

Windows firewall is an amazing security utility offered by Microsoft with its Windows OS package. It is designed to detect and restrict the potential threats from running on the device and the utility has proved itself as the best solution while looking for basic virus protection. Although, the company tries a lot to make the utility more intrusive and user-friendly, issues have annoyed users.

Windows Firewall is always updated with multiple active firewall policies to keep threats away from your device(s). Although, incorporation of the latest technology and added features makes the utility stronger and reliable, but the common issues with the program have annoyed users.

Here's the list of such most faced Windows firewall issues along with their possible solutions:

1. Another (non-Microsoft) firewall program is installed

Windows Firewall forms a strong "defense-in-depth" strategy by deploying multiple components, which are used in layers to protect your computer from virtual threats. The extensive use of additional firewalls can cause problems, and it will be a disaster if both the firewalls do not match exactly. The two most common issues that a user might need to face is the blockage of the network traffic and uncertain⁄unexpected shutdown of programs.

If you install a non-Microsoft firewall program then the manufacturer's firewall program will disable Windows Firewall to prevent a clash. You can continue to use the non-Microsoft firewall program by keeping the Windows Firewall turned off. But, if you want to use Windows Firewall instead, then you will be required to uninstall the non-Microsoft firewall program, by using these steps:

1. Click Start | Control Panel | Control Panel Home, and | Uninstall a Program. Now, click on the non-Microsoft firewall program from the available list, and then click on the "Uninstall" button. Follow the instructions on your screen to uninstall the program.

2. Go to the main Control Panel window, click "Security", and then click "Turn Windows Firewall on or off".

3. If the "User Account Control" dialog box pops-up, then confirm the action by clicking on "Continue."

4. In the "Windows Firewall Settings" dialog box, go to the "General" tab, click "On (recommended)", and then click "OK" to turn on Windows Firewall.

2. Unable to confirm that a firewall is running

Sometimes, you might feel or come across several activities that might force you to suspect that whether your Windows Firewall is running or not? Uncertain program crash, delayed loading of software and program, or sluggish behavior of PC can be some of the general symptoms that you might face whenever your Windows Firewall is not running. To check the same, you will be required to access the Windows Security Center, which keeps running in the background.

Perform the following steps to begin the process:

1. Start the Windows Security Center by clicking Start | typing Security Center in the Start Search box, and | double-clicking on the Security Center from search results.

2. If Windows Security Center detects that a firewall is not present or is not turned on, then the "Firewall" section of the window gets expanded. The Windows Security Center will display a red banner with a statement that a firewall program was not detected.

3. If Windows Security Center detects that a firewall is present and is not turned on, then the "Firewall" section will get highlighted in green and is not expanded by default. You can also click the green banner to expand the 'Firewall 'section and to see the state of the currently active firewall program.

3. Windows Firewall is blocking a program

Another major problem while using a network firewall is that it sometimes blocks network traffic that you want to allow or you require to ensure smooth system operations. If your firewall is blocking traffic, then it's quite possible that you may not get access to the notifications, updates, and other relevant things. The first thing that you can do to fix this issue is to verify that your Windows Firewall is enabled on the network location. The next step is to check if an active block rule exists, and if it does, then disable it by using the following steps:

1. Click Start | All Programs | Administrative Tools and | Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.

2. Double-click on the "Monitoring" option, and then click "Firewall". You'll be then presented with the list of currently defined and active rules.

3. If you are able to find a rule that you suspect is interfering with the network traffic, note its value in the Direction column, Inbound or Outbound.

4. Now, proceed to the navigation pane, click "Inbound Rules or Outbound Rules", depending on the value you noted in step 3.

5. You will be now required to scan the currently defined and active rules and right-click on the suspected rule from the list, and then click on the "Disable rule" option on the drop-down menu.

Note: It is recommended not to disable the rule until you verify that the one you've selected from the list is an offending rule, and it will not adversely affect other network traffic.

Since the introduction of the first firewall, the utility comes built into the operating system, and the company has steadily improved the firewall in each subsequent version of Windows. It is always recommended to keep your Windows Firewall turned on in order to safeguard your network, connection, or device from various security threats. By actively participating in the inflow of information coming from the Internet or a network, the firewall efficiently blocks it or allows it, depending on your firewall settings.

Russell Winters is an ardent technician associated with Qresolve online computer support with wide experience of fixing issues with PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphone. With a strong track record of devising effective ways of online tech support and system security, she has so far helped thousands of users across the globe.

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