I'm trying to better understand Windows Firewall and how it works. What I've learnt today is that the firewall contains 60,000 or so different ports that are opened when requested. I still don't really understand the difference between inbound and outbound firewall rules.

  1. Does inbound only allow programs on the inbound list to receive incoming data or does it allow both incoming and outgoing data?
  2. What is the purpose of the outbound list if the inbound list can send and receive data?
  3. Why are many programs on the inbound list not on the outbound list?
  4. At what point is a program allowed to create an inbound firewall rule?
  5. Are we normally prompted when a program wants to create a firewall rule?
  6. I understand that a lot of Windows programs and processes are configured to have firewall rules by default is that correct?

If this is too basic for this forum please advise where I should move to.

  • I don't believe this is a duplicate! The OP has asked some very specific questions that are not at all covered in the other question. – Julian Knight Oct 5 '16 at 13:51
  • @Kol12 I think you've asked some very good questions there, particularly the ones about why things appear in the different lists. I was about to answer when I realised I didn't know why Windows Firewall is structured the way it is. It seems at first sight as though it has FAR TOO MANY inbound rules and looks very different to a "normal" firewall – Julian Knight Oct 5 '16 at 13:54

Well, I don't know how Windows PC firewall exactly works. But I can help you with inbound and outbound, since I know how firewalls work.

Basically it refers to the traffic: Inbound rules are rules that define what traffic is allowed (or not) to pass the firewall from the internet (or in your case your network) to your PC. Outbound rules are exactly the same, but the other way around. From your PC to the internet.

Btw: maybe you don't get much answers because you have a lot of questions in just one post. I'd like to encourage you to split it up in several posts. ;-)

I hope I could help you in somehow.

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