How to Open Ports on a Computer

By Margaret Worthington

Ports are like doorways on a computer; every program that has network or Internet connectivity uses a specific port on the computer to connect in or out. In normal operation, unless a firewall has been installed or enabled on a computer, all of the ports are open by default. If you have a firewall on your computer and you want to open ports through it to allow certain applications to connect in or out, you can do so by following some simple guidelines.

Open your firewall software program. If you are using Windows Firewall, open it by clicking on the "Start" button, selecting "Control Panel" and opening the "Windows Firewall" section.

In Windows Firewall, click on the section marked "Allow a program through Windows Firewall." If using a third party firewall software, look for a section that talks about allowing programs through the firewall, configuring program access or something similar.

Create a new rule inside the firewall software that will instruct the software to allow connections on a certain port or port range. In the Windows Firewall, click on the "Add Port" button and enter the ports you want to open along with other information. Once you have created the rule, click "Save" and close the window. The rule should immediately take effect and start allowing access through the ports you opened.