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Here's the scenario:

Work network - I have a Mac and a PC - OS X is Snow Leopard - Windows 7

I am trying to connect to the PC from the Mac. IT ONLY works if I turn off the firewall in Windows.

I tried to trace the port and connection it was using, it appears to be on port 445 via TCP.

I really prefer not to leave this open, or is it OK?

How can I only allow this connection while still leaving the firewall on?

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Have you tried opening TCP port 445 on the windows firewall? Also when you say connecting do you mean sharing files or RDP/VNC? –  Kyle Feb 18 '11 at 14:49
    
I have, it doesn't appear to work to just open up that port. Yes, sharing files via smb://My-PC on the mac side –  zm15 Feb 18 '11 at 14:51
    
Honestly if this is a business network the windows firewall shouldn't even be on, you should have a hardware firewall protecting your data. That way you can block that port from the outside but leave it open on the inside. However while it is in use by a share it is safe. –  Kyle Feb 18 '11 at 14:57
    
So with port 445 open it still doesn't work? do you have it open inbound and outbound? –  Kyle Feb 18 '11 at 14:57
    
Update, I opened up port 445 and checked Domain and Private and left Public unchecked. That seemed to work. Is it still safe to do this? –  zm15 Feb 18 '11 at 14:59

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes that port 445 will be fine to leave open as long as it is actually being used. You run into issues when you open ports but don't use them for anything. A service will bind to that port and have exclusive rights to use it.

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Gotcha, so as long as I am connected with the mac it's ok. When i'm not networked to it - when i don't connect to the PC from the Mac side - should I close it? –  zm15 Feb 18 '11 at 15:44
    
@zm15 you can leave it open all the time as long you have a share available from the Windows PC it will be bound to that port. You don't actually have to be connected for this to take place. if you run netstat -an |find /i "listening" you will see 0.0.0.0:445 | listening that means the port is in use by SMB and nothing else will be able to use it. –  Kyle Feb 18 '11 at 15:50

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