Join Joli Ballew for an in-depth discussion in this video Configure a Windows Defender firewall, part of Windows 10: Networking.
- [Instructor] If you use a laptop and move around a lot, you connect to a lot of networks. Some of those networks are private, like a network at home or work, while some are public, like those in hotels and coffee shops. If you work in a corporate environment, you probably join a domain-based network when you're in the office or while accessing corporate resources remotely. Have you ever wondered what keeps your computer safe in all of these different environments, and how that safety is achieved? Most of the time, at least when connected to a private or public network, it's your basic Windows Defender Firewall.
Go ahead and open Windows Defender Firewall on your own PC. One way to do that is to search for Firewall from the taskbar. Make sure to select Windows Defender Firewall in the results, and not Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security. When you open the firewall you can immediately see which network profile has been applied to the connection you're using. You can also see the status. Here, I'm connected to a private network.
My firewall is on and active, and it's green, so I know it's healthy. If you're in charge of managing your own firewall, and see that the firewall is turned off, you should look into why. It may have been turned off because you installed a third-party firewall, but it could be because malware has infiltrated the system. Go ahead and click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off in the left pane. Because my firewall is configured properly, I'm not going to make any changes here.
However, if your firewall is turned off, and you're sure it should be turned on, go ahead and do that, and click OK. A firewall, by design, blocks undesirable and risky connections. For example, Remote Desktop isn't set up to pass through a firewall. It's disabled because this opens the system up to allow remote users in. If you want to use Remote Desktop, perhaps to access your work computer from home, you'll have to create an exception for it. I'll show you how.
First, click the back arrow to get to the main firewall screen, and then click Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall. Depending on how you're logged in, you might have to click Change settings, but I don't have to do that. Scroll down to the desired connection or feature. I'll scroll down to Remote Desktop. I'll tick it here, and I'll go ahead and make it available for private and public networks.
Then I'll click OK. You can repeat these steps at any time to disable the exception. Finally, if you're feeling exceptionally vulnerable, you can block all incoming connections. Doing so won't cause you to lose access to the internet, or cause you to be unable to send or receive email, but Windows will reject all uninvited incoming traffic. To do this, click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off one more time, and place a tick in these two boxes to block incoming connections.
Then click OK. I've covered just about all you need to know about Windows Defender Firewall. If you've made changes here while following along with me, it might be best to restore the defaults before continuing. To do this, return to the main window, and click Restore defaults in the left pane. Click here to verify your choice. Go ahead and spend a few more minutes exploring the other options if you have time. Note that you can click Troubleshoot my network, and you can click Advanced settings to see even more options for working with the firewall.
You'll learn about these advanced settings in the movie following this one.
Note: This course aligns to the Configure Networking domain from the Microsoft exam 70-697: Configuring Windows 10 Devices.
- Configuring IP settings and network connectivity
- Creating a VPN
- Connecting to a wireless network
- Maintaining network security
- Configuring a Windows Defender firewall
- Troubleshooting connectivity
- Using ping, ipconfig, Tracert, and PathPing to troubleshoot