Networking

How to prevent a program from connecting to the network

Having access to the network is something very common today. We can say that we have a Wi-Fi network almost anywhere. We can also count on mobile data, something that is very widespread and the quality is increasing. This means that we also use a large number of programs connected to the network. Many applications only work if they have internet. Now, sometimes it may be necessary for us to prevent them from connecting. We do not want to consume data, we do not want risks with the possible entry of malware or any reason. We will explain in this article how to prevent a program from connecting to the Internet.

There are more and more programs with network access

If we think about the applications we used before, the vast majority did not have access to the network. We simply installed them, either on the mobile or on the computer, and they worked offline. However, with the passage of time this has been changing. We have more connections, more options to navigate and that also increases the amount of software that needs to access the Internet.

We are talking, for example, of mobile programs that will require a connection, such as social networks, instant messaging or to play streaming videos. Also on the computer, with applications that need to connect to servers. But the reality is that one way or another, the vast majority can connect to receive updates and changes.

But you have to think that all this that we mention also has its complications and risks. These programs will need an Internet connection permanently. Some might even need to download resource-consuming files or data. They can also be exploited by hackers to launch their attacks.

The latter is something that can happen if we have a program installed, either on the computer or mobile, and that has vulnerabilities that have not been corrected. Cybercriminals could take advantage of this to gain access to our equipment and put privacy at risk.

Therefore, at any given time it may be necessary to block an application’s access to the Internet. We may need to create a rule so that in certain circumstances they cannot connect and it does not affect the proper functioning of the equipment. It is something that must be taken into account especially to protect security, but also if we do not want to consume mobile data, in case we are not connected by Wi-Fi.

Block Internet access with Windows firewall

We can make a program unable to connect to the network. This could help avoid problems, like the ones we mentioned. We can carry out some simple steps to do this. We can apply it both on a computer and on a mobile. The software will still be installed on the computer, but it will not be able to connect to the network.

In Windows 10, which is today the most widely used desktop operating system, we can use the built-in firewall. It is very simple and you only have to carry out a series of steps. We are going to focus on this firewall, although we can also do it with other versions and operating systems.

The first thing we have to do logically is go to the firewall. For this we go to Start, we write Control Panel and we go to System and security. Later a series of options will appear and the one that interests us is Windows Defender Firewall. We open it.

Once we are here we must go to Advanced Settings. We have to accept the dialog and access.

A window will appear as we can see in the image above. We have to click Exit Rules, which is the second option that we will see on the left.

On the right side we will now see the Action menu . It shows us different options and one of them is New Rule. That is the one that interests us. We have to click there so that it displays a new window just like the one we see below.

There we have to mark the option that interests us. In our case, what we want to do is prevent a program from connecting to the network. Therefore we are going to keep the first option checked, which is Program. We could also block a specific port, but it is not what we are looking for.

In the next step we can block all the programs or select a single application. The latter is what we try to do. Therefore we mark the box of This path of the program. So we can select exactly which one we are interested in.

For example, we could go to the path where Skype, Firefox or any other application that has access to the network is installed. We select that route and we click Next.

In the next window we will see three options: Allow the connection, Allow the connection if it is secure and Block the connection. We are interested in the latter. This way we can prevent that program from connecting to the Internet. We simply have to mark it as we see in the image and we click Next again.

In addition, it will ask us when to apply that rule that we are creating. We can do it for when the computer is connected to a public or private network, for example. We select what interests us or we leave the three options marked, so that it always acts.

Subsequently, it would only be left to give that new rule a name to easily identify it and that’s it. The changes should have been applied and that program would no longer have access to the Internet. It is something that we can logically revoke at any time. We would have to go back to the Windows firewall rules and there modify the one that we have created or directly eliminate it.

We have explained how to prevent a program from connecting to the Internet with the Windows firewall, which is the tool that we all have installed on our computer with the Microsoft operating system. However, it is something that we can also do with other firewalls. The process would be similar and it should also be noted that there are many programs of this type, both free and paid, from which we can have greater control of our Internet connection and what has or does not have access to the network.

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