How to Add Exceptions for Programs on Windows Firewall when on a Public Network
The Windows Firewall blocks certain programs from being able to access your Internet connection when connected to a public network. Public networks are ones that are available in public spaces, like at coffee shops or in libraries. As a result, you may not be able to use certain programs while connected to these types of networks. Windows Firewall is notoriously troublesome and can often block programs that are perfectly safe, from reputable sources or simply have something harmless in them that sets off windows sensors. If you know that a particular program is secure and you want to be able to use it out in public, you can add it as an exception to the Windows Firewall in just a few basic steps.
Open the Windows Firewall. To accomplish this, click “Start” and select the icon reading “Control Panel.” Click the icon labeled “Windows Firewall” inside this folder to continue. You can also open the same utility by searching for it by name in the “Search” bar on the Windows “Start” menu.
Click the option reading “Allow a program or feature” on the left side of the screen. The window that opens will contain a list of most of the programs on your computer that use a network connection in some fashion.
Scroll through the list until you find the program you want to allow. Check the box in the column labeled “Public” next to the program’s name. Checking this particular box tells the Windows Firewall that you want to allow that program full access to your network connection, even if you are on a public connection that is by definition less secure.
Click the “Allow another program” button if the program you want to allow is not on the list. Use the window that opens to navigate to the folder where that program is stored and select its icon. Doing so will add the program to the list on the previous screen. Return to the previous screen and check the box in the column labeled “Public” next to its name.
Click the “OK” button. The Windows Firewall will now allow that program to use your network connection to send and receive information, even though your computer is currently connected to a public connection.
Once these steps are done you will find that you’ll get a lot less warning messages and you won’t find that your computer stops programs you have deemed safe – just remember to save the settings!