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Lesson 1- Disabling Software Firewalls

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We recommend turning off all software firewalls on your computer before you try to share files and printers. The firewalls will often block the sharing without any notification they did so. This leaves you guessing as to whether the troubles you're having are with your networking settings or the firewall. By turning the firewalls off we remove this variable. If you need the firewalls you can re-enable them after your file and printers sharing is working and then deal just with the firewall settings if the sharing stops working.

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We show turning off the firewall built into Windows XP and Vista as well as 4 major software firewall makers.

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Hello and welcome to Section 5. In this section we're going to set up file and printer sharing.

Why turn off the software firewalls?

Here in Lesson 1 we're going to start by disabling all firewalls. We're talking about software firewalls. The router already has a hardware firewall built into it. The software firewalls that are built into both Windows XP and Vista as well as the ones that come with third-party security software can often block file and print sharing on your network. So what we're going to do is we're going to turn them off, make sure we have the file and printer sharing set up, that all of our computers can see each other and can access the share files and printers. Then, if you want the extra security of having the software firewall you can go back and turn it on.

If we were to leave the software firewalls turned on while we were setting up our network there would be no way for us to tell if there was a problem with one of our settings in Windows networking or just the software firewall blocking things. So we're going to turn them off at least temporarily.

Log on as Administrator

First we need to make sure that we're logged into Windows with administrator access. In XP we need to go to start, control panel, user accounts and we see our username here and we see administrator. That's good. If it said that the account was limited, we would need to click the account, change my account type and make sure that its set to computer administrator and not limited. We're okay here so we'll cancel and close out of this.

In Windows Vista we would go to start, click and search for 'user', click user accounts. It says we're an administrator and just like in XP if it said limited, you'd change the account type.

Here user account control is asking us to confirm this we'll continue. If it was set as Standard user we would change it to administrator. We'll cancel out of this.

Disable User Account Control

Before we move on, that user account control that just came up... That will come up when you change a lot of settings in Windows Vista. If you haven't already turned it off on your computer it's probably a good idea, just to get rid of the annoyance of it.

We'll go to Internet Explorer and a great piece of software is located at We'll go to the downloads page and what this will do is it will disable those prompts. We'll download the program and we're just going to run it because we are just going to run it once on this computer. You can also save it to the computer if you want to. We're even getting a prompt just to download and use this software. YES! We're sure. If you want to save it to your computer you can run it more than once if you want to turn back on user account control. We'll check I've read and understood and okay and it defaults to leave UAC on. You can turn it off completely. It's a little bit less secure. The best setting to choose is the quiet mode, click okay and we'll get a confirmation here.

And now we're getting a red X down here by the clock. We'll double-click it. We need to change the way security center alerts me and choose don't notify me and don't display the icon and it's gone.

We'll close that down and will close Internet Explorer. We're sure we're an administrator so we'll close down to user accounts.

Let's switch back to XP.

Turn off the Windows Firewall

In XP, to turn off the software firewall that's built into Windows we need to go to start, the control panel, network and Internet connections and change Windows firewall settings. It's on by default and we'll switch it off. We get a prompt to no firewall is on. We'll click the balloon. We need to click Recommendations and check I have a firewall solution that I'll monitor myself. Click okay and close down the Security Center and the network and Internet connections.

In Windows Vista to turn off the software firewall we'll click start, do a search for firewall and choose Windows firewall.

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