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Windows Vista Firewall Part 1

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Firewall exceptions

You may find that some programs, such as those that require access to the network or the internet, do not work when the firewall is turned on. Click the Exceptions tab to see a list of programs that require internet or network access. When software is installed, it can add one or more entries to the Exceptions list. When a program on the list is ticked, the firewall lets data pass through unimpeded and the program is able to communicate with other computers on the network or the internet.

Programs that are not ticked are blocked and cannot access the network or the internet. If you find that a program you installed is not working properly (problems will occur with any feature that requires internet access), visit the Exceptions tab of the firewall and make sure that it is ticked.

Windows Firewall
Windows Firewall exceptions

Not all programs that use the network or the internet are automatically added to the Exceptions list and there may be some on your computer that require access, but are blocked. For this reason, there is an Add program button that enables you to manually add items. Click the Add program button and a list of software installed on your computer is displayed. If you can see the program that you are having problems with, select it and click OK to add it to the firewall exceptions list.

Windows Firewall
Adding a program exception

This software list might not contain every program on your computer for various reasons (a program that does not require installing may not be on the list), so if you cannot see the program you want, click the Browse... button and find the program on the hard disk drive. From this point on you are on your own because we don't know what program you are adding, what it is called, or where it is to be found on your hard disk drive. Most programs are in the C:\Program Files folder, so look for it in there. Select the executable file and click Open.

The Change Scope button enables you to choose the computers that the program can communicate with. Click it and then select Any computer if the program needs to access the internet. If you want to allow the program to access other computers on the network, but not the internet, select My network. A multi-player game that you play on your network, but not over the internet, could use this setting. The Custom list option enables you to specify the computers a program can communicate with using IP addresses. (An IP address is a unique number given to every computer on the network or internet.) If you select Custom list and enter 192.168.1.2 then the program can communicate only with the computer that has this address and all others are blocked. The setting you choose depends on whether you need internet access or just local area network access.

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