How to Check if Your Firewall Blocks Ports
Having network errors with a computing setup or specific program may pose a complex threat to troubleshoot if your firewall blocks your network traffic. Windows sends a notification popup to enable or reject firewall access by default. A click elsewhere may remove it, or it may need a manual setup.
The Windows firewall comes as a default feature in the form of a standard network security protocol. It may not be the same for people using anti-virus software. Antivirus and other online protection programs come with their version of firewalls. They specialize in preventing malicious tools and threat agents from entering the system.
Trusting anti-virus software blindly can lead to devastating results. Popular anti-virus software Norton 360 was recently found installing crypto mining software on user’s computers. It took away precious resources and mined crypto to a central hub. While it may seem harmless, it is allocating resources.
Today’s world is full of hackers, and the most popular operating system, Windows, falls right in the middle of it. Firewalls must work correctly to ensure protection, but sometimes it turns out to be an issue — a firewall blocking ports or something else. There are many ways to check what the firewall is blocking and set up a manual configuration. In this article, we will discuss that.
What is a firewall?
A firewall is the first line of defense for incoming and outgoing connections. In contrast, firewalls are primarily tasked with monitoring the connection and constantly scanning vulnerable systems. They also scan or blocks malicious connections for secondary use. It can be an incoming request or an outgoing protocol. In older Windows versions, firewalls were not as advanced. But today, we have many persistent threats such as ransomware, malware, bloatware, virus, and keyloggers, and it is essential to seek proper help.
As Microsoft earns a big chunk from the OS business, they invest plenty in the workforce and maintaining the software. On the contrary, Just in the US, we can find over 2,000 vacancies for skilled professionals to maintain Windows firewall for their IT system on LinkedIn. Yes, the demand is that high.
How to check firewall block settings in Windows 10
There are numerous ways to check if the firewall is blocking a port or just finding the settings tab. The simplest is to search “firewall” in Windows 10 or 11 search bar. It directly takes the user to the firewall settings.
There are a few options when it comes to firewall settings. Some show stats of the firewall, other shows if the firewall is blocking a port, and other shows firewall permitted or blocked apps. Depending on the need, we can check the settings. Of course, the method we mentioned is the straightforward version of checking firewall blocking ports.
Let’s go through the steps of checking firewall blocking ports and ways to fix them:
Step 1: Click on the Windows Start button and press the Settings icon.
Step 2: Navigate to the Update & Security tab.
Step 3: On the left side of this tab, you’ll find Windows security. Clicking it will bring out surface-level protection settings in the Windows computer, including firewalls. This is what we were looking for. Click that and bring up all settings related to the Windows firewall.
Step 4: Let’s check them one by one and check for an optimal solution. Clicking in the “Allow an app through firewall” will bring out what items are allowed by the firewall and if they are public or private.
We can hit the “details” below to find more information. We can use “Change setting” options to perform tasks accordingly. Note: You’ll need to be an administrator of the device or use an administrative account to enact necessary changes.
Step 5: Use this step if you’re unsure if the firewall blocks the port. It will, by default, run a troubleshoot and block/unblock default or known software. We recommend a restart after each troubleshooting as it might introduce updated drivers to the system.
Step 6: This setting is typical but has two critical traits. One is to notify upon changes made to the firewall setting. Secondary is to change the security program. Remember we mentioned 3rd party anti-virus programs taking on firewalls task? You can use the default one or one packed with an anti-virus program.
Step 7: “Advanced setting” has many features to set up rules manually for Windows. It is also another place to check if the firewall is blocking ports.
From Inbound Rules, we can enable or disable applications or ports blocked by the firewall. On the other hand, We can also set the Outbound Rules similarly. If a port is not on the list and the firewall blocks connectivity, we will have to enable it manually. Let’s go to the next step to learn that.
Step 8: Click on Inbound Rules > New Rule. Suppose a port needs to be enabled by us as the Windows firewall blocks it. Click on port and hit the next button.
Step 9: Now, we can select whichever rule applies to us (TCP or UDP), and according to need, we can enable “All local ports” or “specific local ports.” Upon filing, we can hit next again.
Step 10: We are already done setting up our rules. Now, if the port of the program is having an issue with the firewall, we can “Allow the connection” or “Block the connection.”
Step 11: Apply the filters that best fit your needs. Click next and give it a name that you can remember if the setting will need a revisit. Hit the Finish button, and we’re done for inbound. We have to do a similar set for Outbound Rules, which is quite the same setting.
That’s about it for the basic settings of checking firewall blocking ports and unblocking them manually. Also, in the “Inbound” & “outbound” rules, care for red marks, as the firewall blocks those. You can delete those settings if they are causing any trouble and set them up manually.
Checking Windows 10 firewall block port logs
Let’s review a few other ways we can specifically find errors when Windows firewall is blocking a port.
Public & Private Network:
We can check for “Network & Internet.” From connection “Properties,” we can check if the connection is public, private, and other relevant information. Administrators are responsible for batch editing these settings. This is also where you can find the metered connection settings.
We previously visited the Inbound & Outbound Rules section. From the same “Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security,” we can hit “Action” and click “Properties.”
We can check for “Yes” in the Log dropped packets to start the logging process. It helps administrators or troubleshooters find issues properly if the firewall is blocking ports.
This tab gives us access to the Logfiles of Firewall. The location for the logs is usually something like this: %systemroot%\system32\LogFiles\Firewall\pfirewall.log
We can now double-click on the .log file to find blocked ports. If the port you’re looking for is not logged there, the port is not being blocked.
If you’re still having trouble with the firewall blocking ports, fill out the contact us form, and a Sirius representative will contact you to discuss your needs. We monitor all connections consistently to prevent firewall blocks from causing issues on your network, and ensure all of your systems stay highly available. Additionally, we provide clients a single management contact for all their billing, procurement, and support.
If you want to learn more reach out today for your free technological assessment!