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Add an Exception in the Windows Vista Firewall


The Windows Vista firewall blocks most ports and software from getting into your computer. Sometimes you need to allow access to a port or program. This guide shows you how to open a port or let a certain program through the firewall.

Create a New Exception

  1. Open the Windows Firewall Settings from the Control panel or type Firewall in the search box on the start menu and select Windows Firewall.
  2. Click Allow a program through Windows Firewall.
  3. The easiest way to add an exception is to check off the program or port under Program or Port.

    vistafirewall_addexception1.PNG [1]

Allow a Program

  1. Many times you need to create an exception for a program that is not listed. Click Add program in the Windows Firewall Settings box.
  2. Select the program you want to allow access through the firewall from the list. If the program is not in the list, click Browse and select the .exe file of the program.

    vistafirewall_addexception2.PNG [2]

  3. By default the firewall lets any computer access the port(s) you just opened. You can manage which computers can access this port by clicking Change scope.

    vistafirewall_addexception3.PNG [3]

    You can allow all computers to have access, or you can only allow computers in your private home or business network, or you can only allow computers with certain IP addresses to access your computer through the opened ports.

Note: The Windows Firewall will only allow other computers in through the open port when the program is running using this option.

Allow a Port

  1. Many times a port is not listed under Program or Port in the Windows Firewall Settings box. To open a port click Add port.
  2. Give the port you’re opening a name in the Name box.

    vistafirewall_addexception4.PNG [4]

  3. Type the port number in the Port number box.
  4. Select whether the port uses the TCP [5] or UDP [6] protocol. Most use the TCP protocol.
  5. If you want to change the scope see step three under Allow a Program above to learn how.

Note: The Windows Firewall will always let computers in through the opened port using this option.