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Windows Firewall on Windows Server 2003

Posted on 2014-09-22
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Last Modified: 2014-09-30
I've got five Windows Server 2003 servers in my network. Windows Firewall is not enabled on these servers. Is it better to enable it?

When i try to, the following message appears;

Firewall
Can I safely enable the services and enable Windows Firewall?
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Question by:SvenIA
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5 Comments
 
LVL 23

Accepted Solution

by:
rhandels earned 500 total points
ID: 40336310
It depends. If you want to use the firewall you do need to enable the service. Go to Run and type in services.msc, this will start up the services console and then look for WIndows Firewall and start it.

Do keep in mind that if these servers need to receive external connections (let's say one is a web server) you need to open up port 80 and/or 443 for example for HTTP and HTTPS.

So I wouldn't just enable a firewall but thoroughly investigate what ports need to be opened before enabling the firewall service.
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LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Joseph Daly
Joseph Daly earned 500 total points
ID: 40336423
In most places Ive worked we disabled the windows firewall on almost all of our servers. If your server are in any good sized network you will probably have a dedicated firewall at your network entry point which will probably do a better job and give you much more configuration options than the builtin windows firewall.

That being said if you are in a very small environment and do not have a dedicated firewall then I would probably suggest turning it on.
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Radhakrishnan R
Radhakrishnan R earned 500 total points
ID: 40336461
Hi,

Since it's already in disabled state. I would recommend let it be disabled. Enabling firewall may cause some other issues like file share, unable to access server etc. Until you create appropriate rules and opening certain ports in order to work with your network.
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:Ratnesh Mishra
Ratnesh Mishra earned 500 total points
ID: 40337507
Honestly, without knowing how you have protected your environment. It will be really difficult for anyone to decide whether its fine or not.
If you wish you can try enabling the service, if anything breaks up you can manually disable both the services. However that error which you are getting is a genuine one you in order to enable firewall you have to start ICS service.
Reverting back to the previous setup is quite easy as you know what steps you are doing and how you are going to rollback .
Using double firewall is not a problem etal other than little bit of performance on network part.
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LVL 7

Author Closing Comment

by:SvenIA
ID: 40351840
Thanks guys!
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