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In "Windows Firewall with advanced security", what is the difference between disabling a rule and setting it to "block traffic"?

Besides knowing the difference, in my case I want to diminish the system vulnerability to exploits by keeping open only the minimal ports that I need. For that, would it make a difference if I use block or disable?

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Disabling a rule means that the rule will no longer take effect. The block action refers to the behaviour of the rule itself...that is should it allow or block the traffic matched by that rule.

So for example you can have a block rule that is preventing traffic, but you may want to temporarily allow that traffic for testing or other purposes, so you can select that rule and then disable it. Then if you want to reactivate the rule you can enable it again.

As Ryan says below. Another concept that might help you understand is "default behavior" of inbound versus outbound rules. By default, Windows Firewall is configured to block incoming traffic by default, and allow outgoing traffic by default. So a "Block" rule typically isn't needed for inbound traffic, but you might want it if you're specifically targeting outbound traffic. Depends on the context.

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    Another concept that might help you understand is "default behavior" of inbound versus outbound rules. By default, Windows Firewall is configured to block incoming traffic by default, and allow outgoing traffic by default. So a "Block" rule typically isn't needed for inbound traffic, but you might want it if you're specifically targeting outbound traffic. Depends on the context. – Ryan Ries Aug 23 '18 at 0:18
  • Thanks Ryan, and Alex. Just based on Alex' reply I was still not sure about the behaviour, but I understand your both comments combined. :-) @Alex if you incorporate the comment of the general inbound/outbout rule, I can accept it. ^_^ – msb Aug 23 '18 at 0:24
  • @msb are you going to accept this answer? – Alex Moore Sep 8 '18 at 13:37

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