The Windows operating system has a rather decent firewall (notwithstanding its flaws), and the Vista firewall was said to be a significant improvement. But Microsoft has managed to improve upon the Vista firewall in the current Windows 7 firewall. There are some new features that the user can use in the new firewall to manage their settings if they choose not to use a third party one. So, let’s take a look at these features now.
1. The remarkable feature with the Windows 7 firewall is that it has got a whole new class incorporated within it for network identification. In the Vista firewall there used to be two network types, namely public and private, but in the Windows 7 system, there are three options present in that department – home, public, and work networks respectively. Not only this system lets the user decide on an efficient connection in any place possible but demarcates the programs he wishes to execute at any given time.
2. Users can manage what programs they would like to allow in any of the three types of the connections present to him and on that basis, the programs are allowed to execute partly or wholly. Basically any program can have a different settings assigned to it for the three different network settings, and this savvy feature is called Multiple Active Firewall Profiles.
3. Although most of us prefer to keep our Windows Firewall settings to the ones that are kept default (and frankly speaking it is more than enough), but we can easily increase the performance by some simple techniques. The Windows Firewall Control Panel application is a nice tool for controlling the firewall and the modes can be selected from it. Through it, the Windows Firewall Advanced Security setting can be accessed as well, which enforces granular control and many new rules and exceptions to make your system stronger.
4. The Netsh Policy feature lets you manage all your firewall settings through a batch mode and the group policy feature lets you select a set of policies for a group of objects. Lastly, there’s some Windows 7 Firewall control freeware available in the market, like on CNET, which lets you control the traffic of the firewall and select the programs that you think are safe for your system.