To open a port, the user must go to Windows Firewall, which is accessible, as of 2014, by going to the Start button followed by a selection of the Control Panel. When a user opens a port, he is allowing an outside program or device to directly communicate with his computer, so extreme caution should be used when a port is opened. It's important to close a port after use.
To open the port within Windows Firewall, select Advanced settings in the left panel. Some computers may prompt for an administrator password at this juncture, so that information must be ready. A dialog box appears that says "Windows Firewall with Advanced Security." Select Inbound Rules, followed by New Rule, which is visible in the right panel. The New Inbound Rule Wizard appears, which guides the user through the remaining steps he needs to follow. If the port has not opened and the user is still experiencing problems, he can use the Incoming Connections troubleshooter to diagnose and fix the problem. Older Windows operating systems, such as Windows XP, require a different set of instructions to open a port. Opening a port in Windows XP or lower requires the user to visit My Network Places, followed by View Network Connections, Properties and Settings.