Can't get Windows Firewall rules (Outbound) to work

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Newuser12345215

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Feb 9, 2007
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I'm using Vista 64 bit (latest service pack and updates).

I tried setting up Windows Firewall outbound connections but I can't seem to get it to allow exceptions.

Here's what I did:

1. Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Windows Firewall with advanced security.

2. Went to Firewall Properties and clicked "Block" (for Outbound) on Domain/Public/Private. I try to access the internet, update avast, etc and it blocks it so it works.

3. I go to "Outbound rules" and I click "New Rule". I click program, add Firefox (and I also checked to make sure the path was correct) and clicked "allow connect", then checked for Domain/Public/Private.

However I still cannot connect to the internet. (I tried selecting firefox.exe manually and copy and pasting C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe from the shortcut and it did not work).

I tried the same for Avast (tried to update) and it didn't work either.

I did try making (for testing) a new rule that simply allowed all programs and it did work (it allowed me to connect to internet + update avast).

Anyone have any ideas?

Also are there good firewalls with outbound protection that offers alerts?

ZoneAlarm I used and liked but it eventually messed up my browsing (after using for about an hour or so, I was unable to browse and had to restart). I tried it again one year laterand it still had that problem (and I heard Comodo has the same problem too).

Has anyone tested Avast's Firewall? I wouldn't mind upgrading to Internet Security if it worked well.

I can't use Online Armor since it doesn't support Vista 64 bit (only 7 64 bit).

Any help will be appreciated it, thanks.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
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51,988
Windows firewall already allows browsers access. There should be no configuration needed.

Have you changed any other rules?

I never had to set any rules for Avast, either. It connected and updated out-of-the-box, as did all 8 browsers I use, including portables.

Do you have UPNP disabled or something?

The Windows firewall is a perfectly good one. Disabling it can have unforseen results. I had one program that refused to run because it could not set a firewall exception for itself in the disabled Windows firewall. Many programs create their own rules during installation, and all those would need to be configured manually if UPNP is not available to do it in the Windows firewall.
 
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If you are going to use Vista's built in firewall, you need to uninstall ZoneAlarm first.
 

Newuser12345215

Thread Starter
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
80
Thanks for the replies :).

I no longer use Zone Alarm (I only use Windows Firewall) I meant that I used it in the past but it caused problems and I wouldn't mind another firewall like it that displayed popups/alerts (well an easier way to configure the rules compared to Windows Firewall).

I set Windows Firewalls to block outbound connections I followed these instructions. Basically just set (Outbound) from Allow (Default) to Block (since Windows Firewall doesn't block Outbound connections by default).

Windows Firewall lacks a prompt when outbound connects are attempted, so you have to set them manually.

However I can't get the exceptions/rules to work. I added a new rule under outbound but it still doesn't allow Firefox to browse the web. However when I added a rule that allows all programs (just for testing) it did allow Firefox + other programs to work and connect (however I want to setup Outbound rules that only allow certain programs in Windows Firewall).
 
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Jul 29, 2001
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A firewall does not prevent an application from running. Like what was stated before, all outbound internet traffic on port 80 is allowed by default.I think you are confused as to what a firewall really does.
 
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Sep 21, 2007
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13,832
Hi,

Actually, when you set Outbound to Block in Vista's Windows Firewall with Advanced Security; EVERYTHING is blocked, including port 80. The reason most people think port 80 is allowed by default is because they did not set the above setting, and thus ALL outbound is allowed. ( that is the default ). Once you set the above, you need to create rules to allow specific programs and services ( like Windows Update ) to connect out.

What antivirus do you have ? I use ESET. And I find that I have to create a rule to allow ESET's "ekrn.exe" outbound or else all browsing will fail. Your antivirus may also have this feature where it intercepts and inspects all http traffic ( thus it is able to inspect your downloads) , so you will need to allow that exe also.
 
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