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Create and Manage a Firewall

About Firewalls

Firewalls filter all incoming traffic to your server by use of customizable rules. These rules act as guidelines to sift through traffic coming from unsecured or suspicious sources. Firewalls guard entry points called ports, where information exchanges with external sources.

Firewall Management

Note: To make full use of this article, you must log in to the Hostwinds Client Area. Additionally, this article outlines the management of an essential section in your Cloud Control portal. To access your Cloud Control portal, you will need to click on the Cloud Control dropdown on the top of the Client portal dashboard menu.

To get to your Firewall settings, click on the Network dropdown on the top menu of the Cloud Control home dashboard. In the dropdown, the third link down is the link to the Firewalls page of your Cloud Control. Upon clicking the link, you will enter the Firewall page and create and edit your Firewalls.

Create Firewalls

On the Firewall dashboard, a table will display all Firewalls you currently have. If you do not have any Firewalls, you can create a new one from here.

You can create new Firewalls using the green Create dropdown button to the top-right of the dashboard. Clicking the Firewall link in the dropdown presents you with a pop-up. Next, you will need to enter the server's name and a description of it to help differentiate it in the future. Once you've completed this, click on the Create Firewall button. Note that this may take a moment to create.

Note: You will be able to edit this information anytime in the future using the Actions dropdown in the Firewall table.

Firewall Information

To start, click the + icon to the left of a Firewall for a complete list of its information. The Firewall you selected will expand to show a more detailed view. Below is a list of the data, as well as a brief explanation of what they are.

Direction:

A Firewall rule points inward or outward, and it is defined from the perspective of the VM you are protecting. The outward direction shows connections sent from said VM to a target.

Protocol:

Custom UDP (User Datagram Protocol) Rule

Custom ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) Rule

Custom TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) port Rule

IP Type:

IPv4 - Underlying technology by which we connect to the web to all things.

IPv6 - The next generation of IP address standards that will replace IPv4.

Port Range: This is the range of ports with which the Firewall is allowed to interact.

Remote IP/CIDR: CIDR (classless inter-domain routing) is a set of IP (internet protocol) standards used to create unique identifiers for your VM.

Adding Rules

Adding rules to your Firewalls will tell them what to protect you from and how.

A pop-up prompt will appear with all options for the FireWall rule.

To add rules, you'll need to set the direction of the traffic the rule enforces, the protocol, IP type, Min and Max ports. Here is a brief description of how your Firewall will use each protocol:

  • Direction: The direction of the traffic that the rule applies to, incoming is trafficked.
  • Inbound: to the instance and outgoing trafficks from the instance.
  • Protocol: Specifies the type of traffic, ICMP, TCP, UDP
  • IP Type: The IP type that the rule applies to IPv4 or IPv6
  • Start Port: The minimum port that the rule applies to
  • End Port: The maximum port that the rule applies to

Edit or Deleting Rules

There is an Actions dropdown on each row of the Firewall table that can either edit the Firewall profile or delete it entirely. You can edit the name and description of the profile by clicking the edit link, entering in the new Name or Description fields, and clicking the green Confirm button.

To delete a rule from the Actions dropdown, press the Delete link. A pop-up prompt will appear to confirm, and click the green Confirm button. Note: You will not be able to access this Firewall, and it will be deleted entirely.

Written by Hostwinds  /  January 5, 2021