How to Check for a Firewall

by Bennett Gavrish

Both PC and Mac computers come with the ability to secure your system with a firewall, which blocks either all of only certain outside network connections. If you find that a certain Internet program or function is not working properly, it may be because your firewall is blocking it. It is useful to check your system settings to see if a firewall is currently on and what types of things it is blocking.

PC Instructions

Log on to your computer with an administrator account.

Open the Start menu and click on the "Control Panel" icon.

Double-click on the "Windows Firewall" icon to open a window detailing your current security setup.

Look at the "General" tab of the window to check if a firewall is currently on your computer. Then go to the "Exceptions" tab to see which programs are not being blocked by the firewall.

Mac Instructions

Log on to your computer with an administrator account.

Open "System Preferences" by clicking on the icon in the dock.

Go to the "Security" control panel underneath the "Personal" category.

Go to the "Firewall" tab at the top of the control panel window.

Look at the radio buttons in the control panel window to see the current status of your firewall. If "Allow all incoming connections" is selected, then no firewall is on. If "Allow only essential services" is selected, then a firewall is enabled.

Items you will need

About the Author

Bennett Gavrish is an I.T. professional who has been writing about computers, electronics and the Web since 2004. His work has appeared in the "Nashua Telegraph" and the "Daily Free Press" and on numerous websites. Gavrish received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University.