How to block Internet access to a program in Windows

When we turn on a computer that is connected to the Internet and begins to surf, the normal thing is that it is not the only thing that is connected to the network of networks. In this regard, the usual thing is that we also have other programs connected to the Internet in the background. Sometimes we want this not to happen like that, and what we simply want is that only the programs that we are going to use are connected. The reasons can be very varied one of them can be the saving of bandwidth. In that regard, one of the options that we can apply is to block certain programs that we know consume bandwidth in the background. In this tutorial we are going to explain how we can block Internet access to a program in Windows.

block Internet access to a program in Windows

What does blocking Internet access to certain programs contribute?

We live in a world increasingly connected to the Internet, we increasingly work in the cloud and have files that we share at work or in our private lives. Here we would have to talk among other things about the synchronization of files that, although it brings us comfort, it also has its costs. For example, Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive allow us to synchronize files although they are not the only ones.

We also have programs of various kinds and others related to hardware, such as the graphics card and peripherals that sometimes log in through their accounts. This implies two things that can harm us negatively:

  1. We will have less bandwidth available.
  2. The consumption of resources of our PC also increases.

This will affect us depending on the hardware of our computer and also the Internet connection that we have contracted. Therefore, with a good fiber connection and a powerful PC the impact is minimal, but if either of these two premises is not fulfilled we can have problems.

Check programs that start automatically

The first time we start Windows will be when it loads us faster. This is because you do not yet have a third-party antivirus installed, software to sync cloud programs or hardware peripherals, and more. Regardless of the resources, what it will also do is consume bandwidth. Therefore, if we want to see what programs are executed at the beginning of our Windows operating system, we will follow these steps:

  1. We go to the Start Menu .
  2. We write Run .

There what we have to do is write msconfig and press enter or the OK button:

Next, you will see a screen like this where we will go to the ” Windows Start ” tab where we will press ” Open the task manager “.

Next, we will see a list of the programs that start with Windows.

If we want to block Internet access to a program until we execute it manually, click on it with the right mouse button and click on « Disable «. This process is reversible, if we have made a mistake we set Enable . Be careful with what is removed as antivirus or laptop touchpad, you have to be sure that it is disabled. Then it will ask us to restart so that the changes are applied and the next time they will not be executed from the beginning. For example, since we do not use Skype regularly, we have it disabled, but even so, sometimes you see several tasks from the same manufacturer or software developer, and you do not know which one you should disable. In those situations in the software itself, as we will see below, we can do it.

Disable the program from its configuration menu

We have already discussed that although we may not realize it, we often have programs connected to the Internet in the background that consume our bandwidth and resources. In short, they are the ones that require synchronization, so every so often to check how the situation is and download if necessary. Those of the type of cloud platforms are a clear example of this.

For example, if we wanted to block Internet access to Dropbox so that it does not start in Windows and only works when we want, we would follow these steps. The first thing we have to do is open the application after accessing it from the taskbar with the right button, then we go to the icon of our account and click on «Preferences «.

In the ” General ” tab we have to uncheck the box ” Start Dropbox when the system starts “.

In a similar way we would do the same with Google Drive to block Internet access when the operating system starts. So we will start by starting the application and clicking on Preferences .

Next we click on the configuration gear icon.

All you have to do here is disable the Open Google Drive box at system startup.

In summary, the vast majority of applications usually have this option in one of their menus. Generally, we will find it in a section called preferences, configuration or parameters. Then there we have to look for an option that says open / start the application when starting the system / Windows.

Use the firewall to block Internet access

A really useful tool that we could use would be the Windows firewall, it can be an effective solution but it is usually somewhat more complicated to configure than a third-party one. Regardless of whether we decide on one or the other, the concept of operation is the same. Here the concept of traffic is important, the incoming refers to all the data that reaches the program from a server in another place. Instead, the outgoing traffic is due to a connection initiated by the program itself.

For example, with Zone Alarm Free, in Advanced Settings , if we click on the ” See programs ” tab, we will be able to see the application rules.

Here we see a list with all the programs where if we want to block Internet access we will not allow outgoing traffic. Some free firewalls that we can use for this task are Zone Alarm Free or SimpleWall . The latter all it does is have a graphical user interface to properly manage the Windows firewall, in this way, we can create the rules easily and quickly in Simplewall, but we will really be using the Windows firewall.

So you can limit the bandwidth of the programs

Another alternative to easily block Internet access are applications that control bandwidth. They help us to control the data traffic we use and also to limit it when we use mobile connections. Therefore, as it is a tool aimed at seeing which Windows programs and services are connecting to the Internet, it is easy to discover new elements that we were not taking into account. In addition, sometimes when we are using several programs at the same time we can give them more priority over others so that they never lack bandwidth.

An example of programs of this type is Netlimiter, with it we could easily block Internet access and also limit bandwidth.

NetLimiter 4 - 1

The drawback they have, although they are not expensive, is that they are paid, but can be tried for free for about a month. For example, you can try:

As you have seen, we have different options to block Internet access for different programs, the first thing to look at is whether the program allows us not to start with the operating system, or at least, allow automatic start or no. The best option to block the access of a certain program to the Internet is to use the firewall, either the Windows firewall using Simplewall to make the settings, or a dedicated firewall such as ZoneAlarm or Comodo Firewall. Finally, we can use software to limit the bandwidth of the installed programs, since we also have the option to block access completely.