Why Should You Block a Program from Accessing the Internet?
Apps and programs consume a short amount of data from the internet to check for updates and get more information just like some apps run in the background always. If you’re using a data connection, this can affect your existing data plan. You may find some problematic apps and viruses that consume a huge amount of internet data to evolve themselves and spread across the system. Blocking them from the firewall lets you handle them without going offline.
Certain cracks and patches downloaded from the internet can also misuse the internet access too. Keeping them out of the internet makes your computer safer and less prone to information theft.
Block a Program from Accessing the Internet Using Firewall
Windows Firewall is a great built-in tool to control and modify connections and access permissions. From it, you can limit, block or allow applications from accessing the internet. To launch the Firewall:
- Go to Control Panel by searching on the windows search bar or right-clicking on the windows icon.
2. The Firewall option is located under System and Security. If you’ve launched the control panel within Small Icons or Large Icons option, choose the Windows Defender Firewall option.
3. Hereunder the Firewall, go to Advanced Settings which is located on the far left side panel.
The Advanced Settings option contains many useful features like the Inbound Rules, Outbound Rules, Connection Security Rules, and Monitoring. The first two rules are mainly used for blocking connections.
The Inbound Rules option on the left panel controls the outside networks to be used by the programs in your computer. Alternatively, the Outbound Rules are sets of rules that contsrol the connection from your computer to the network.
To block the internet connection to be received by a specific program, Outbound Rules are your primary destination. Here are the steps to do so,
- Click on Outbound Rules and a list of rules appears for each instance your computer is running on.
- To include your specific program on this rule, click on New Rule… located on the right side.
- Now that we’re trying to block a program, choose Program as the Rule Type, and click Next.
- Choose This Program Path: and click on Browse. A window appears where you have to locate the .exe application file that launches your program. Then, click Next.
- On the Action step, choose to Block the connection. This will effectively block that program from accessing the internet. You can come back and choose to allow the connection if you no longer need the blockage. Click Next after choosing.
- Under “When does this rule apply?”, choose all three options namely Domain, Private, & Public, and tick beside them to completely block internet access for that program. If you want it to access the internet at home but don’t want open networks to reach it, you can select Public only.
After selecting all three, click Next.
- Give a short name and a description. These will be displayed on the list of outbound rules so that you can find them again when needed. Then click Finish.
This is an easy solution to block a program from accessing the internet. You can see that the blocked programs show a red block sign beside them, and allowed programs show green ticks. You can come back any time, and double click on the program to allow or block it when needed. You can even specify these rules for other users or keep the same if you’re using a computer with multiple users. This can be done under the Local Principals tab upon double-clicking on a rule.
You can do the above same steps within the Inbound Rules to completely remove access from incoming or outgoing connections. The methods are the same for this. You can also disable or remove a currently active rule from the bottom-right section.
Block a Program from Accessing the Internet Using 3rd Party Software
If you’re using Windows 7 or XP, or somehow your firewall features aren’t functioning properly due to authorization issues, you can choose to use 3rd party software. Most UWP apps (Windows universal apps from Microsoft Store) don’t have a .exe executable file, so you can’t choose its program path. There are various software both open source and paid, that can get these jobs done easily. The COMODO Firewall is one of them, and it’s effective.
After downloading and installing COMODO Firewall from the official website, launch it. Inside the COMODO start page, go to the Firewall option. Choose Application Rules inside the firewall. Here, you’ll find a list of applications. Choose and tick on your desired app, and then double click on it to view options. In these options, you can easily allow or block both incoming and outgoing networks.
Block a Program from Accessing the Internet for Mac
The macOS also comes with a built-in firewall to protect the system. But, blocking the internet for an individual app can be problematic since Mac Firewall only blocks incoming connections while keeping the outgoing connection active. It’s recommended to use 3rd party apps for macOS. Apps like Little Snitch or Radio Silence are very effective at doing so. Just download and launch any of them, and the firewall settings will let you block connections for apps.
Block a Program from Accessing the Internet for Android
Most Android phones give you the ability to turn off the internet for a specific app. These are oftentimes located under Data Usage settings found within Mobile Networks or Connection and Sharing.
Go to Data Usage and you’ll see the list of installed apps as well as the system apps of your phone. You can categorize and visualize how much internet is consumed by these apps, for both sim cards and Wi-Fi. Choose your desired app and turn off the data usage access.
These are some very easy steps to block a program from accessing the internet. Follow these steps accordingly to close the internet connectivity of any application you want. You can also control user access and limit connectivity by using a firewall or 3rd party software. Note that, blocking an app essential to an internet connection (like an internet browser) will prevent it to use the internet and may not work properly. So, it’s best to choose the app properly and rename it so that you don’t lose them when needed. At this point, we hope you know all about how to block a program from accessing the internet. To get the optimal output from your internet service, we suggest you learn about LAN vs WAN and MAN vs WAN.