Windows Filtering Platform Architecture Overview

This section provides a brief overview of the Windows Filtering Platform architecture. For a more thorough discussion of the Windows Filtering Platform architecture, see the Windows Filtering Platform documentation in the Microsoft Windows SDK.

The following figure shows the basic architecture of the Windows Filtering Platform.

diagram illustrating the basic architecture of the windows filtering platform

The filter engine is the core of the Windows Filtering Platform. The filter engine performs all the filtering operations on the TCP/IP-based network data. At key points in the TCP/IP stack there are filtering layers where network data is passed to the filter engine for processing. If the filtering conditions for a filter of the filtering layer are all true, the filter engine applies the filter's action.

Callout drivers provide additional filtering functionality by registering one or more callouts with the filter engine. Filters in the filter engine can specify a callout for the filter's action. In this case, the filter engine passes the network data to the specified callout for additional processing.

The Windows Filtering Platform includes several built-in callouts. See Built-in Callout Identifiers for a description of each of these callouts.