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Vista's Base Filtering Engine Service

ServicesThe Base Filtering Engine Service (BFE), part of Windows Filtering Platform (WFP), plays an important roll in Vista’s network security. It is part of the filter between features that talk to the network (like Remote Access, firewall, Internet Connection Sharing, etc) and the TCP/IP stack. If you don’t ever connect to a network, then it’s safe to disable this service.

I’ve seen many sites suggest that if you use a third-party firewall it’s safe to disable this, but that is not the case. BFE ties into many other features besides the firewall, and may even be required for a third-party firewall to function properly. I would recommend keeping this service enabled. Save your resources by disabling more frivolous services, but take advantage of the extra security this one offers.

Display Name:
Base Filtering Engine
Service Name:
Process Name:
The Base Filtering Engine (BFE) is a service that manages firewall and Internet Protocol security (IPsec) policies and implements user mode filtering. Stopping or disabling the BFE service will significantly reduce the security of the system. It will also result in unpredictable behavior in IPsec management and firewall applications.
Path to Executable:
%windir%\system32\svchost.exe -k LocalServiceNoNetwork
Default Startup:
  • Home Basic: Automatic
  • Home Premium: Automatic
  • Business: Automatic
  • Enterprise: Automatic
  • Ultimate: Automatic
Log On As:
Local Service
Desktop Interaction:
Depends On:
  • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
    • DCOM Server Process Launcher
Required For:
  • IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules
  • Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
  • IPsec Policy Agent
  • Routing and Remote Access
  • Windows Firewall
Do you know something about this service that I don't? Please leave a comment below so I, and everyone else reading this, can benefit from your knowledge!

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