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Windows Firewall Settings for Windows Media Services

Updated: December 16, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Firewall is a host firewall technology that provides stateful inspection of incoming IPv4 and IPv6 traffic and is designed to protect you from network attacks that pass through your perimeter network or originate inside your organization, such as Trojan horse attacks, port scanning attacks, and worms. You should run Windows Firewall on each of your Windows Media servers, thereby extending your defense-in-depth strategy to the innermost layer of your security architecture.

When it is enabled in its default configuration, Windows Firewall blocks all unsolicited incoming network traffic on all network connections. While blocking unsolicited incoming traffic reduces your attack surface and increases your level of security, it can cause Windows Media Services to not work properly. For this reason, when you install Windows Media Services 2008 on a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008, the Windows Media Services program (wmserver.exe) is added as an exception in Windows Firewall so that unsolicited incoming traffic is allowed for Windows Media Services. When the Windows Media Services program is running, Windows Firewall allows incoming traffic through the required ports; when the program is not running, Windows Firewall blocks any incoming traffic that is sent to the ports.

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