One of the most basic and important lines of defense against the risk of Malware and other attacks is your Firewall. It works to block certain software on the computer from accessing the internet.
This is believed to be able to prevent malware from accessing the internet. If you want to deny programs access to the internet, you can configure Windows Firewall.
The reason for blocking the program from accessing the internet via Firewall
Maybe some people are used to blocking certain programs from Firewall every time they install it. Apart from these habits, there are logical reasons why people take this action, the following are usually the reasons:
- Prevent programs with sensitive information from accessing the internet in order to maintain data security. This is a reasonable reason to do if you want to protect your personal data from spreading over the internet. But there is another way to keep your data safe when accessing the internet, namely by using a VPN.
- Reduces the risk of Malware infection. Some software usually connects to the internet without your knowing or permission. Indeed, this can increase the risk of Malware entry. This is especially so if you don’t have antivirus software .
- Prevents software from updating automatically which sometimes makes those updates break some functionality.
- Limit the functionality of a software. You may have a game application that can actually be played multiplayer online but would like to limit that feature.
- Cut off access to annoying advertisements in software.
Regardless of your reason for wanting to terminate the network connectivity of a particular application, restricting such software through Windows Firewall is the safest way. Let’s see below step by step to limit network access to applications through Windows Firewall.
- The first step is to create rules in Windows Firewall. Firstly, open Windows Firewall by typing Firewall on your Start bar. After that select “Advanced settings” then a window will open ” Windows Firewall with Advanced Security “.
- Select “Outbound Rules ” to display all outgoing Firewall rules. In the right pane click “New Rules” to create a new rule.
- After that, a “New Outbound Wizard” window will appear , select “Program” and click “Next “.
- You will be asked to browse for the application that you want to block. After selecting the program EXE file in question, what you need to do after that is change the address C: \Users\Steve\ to %USERPROFILE% which is listed on the “This program path:” bar.
- However, if the change of address to % USERPROFILE% is not recognized by Windows Firewall, then return it back to the beginning to C:\Users\Steve\. Sometimes, this is different for each program.
- There are things you need to remember. Indeed, most of the time the EXE file you put on the block list is the application you are referring to. However, in some other software like Minecraft for example, it works counter-intuitively. If you enter Minecraft.exe on the block list, it will be useless because it is only the launcher file . So, the file you have to enter is Javaw.exe which is a Minecraft game application.
- After you enter the application in question, then click “Next” then select the option “Block the connection” and select “Next “.
- Then, the “Profile” window will appear . In this window you will be asked to choose when the rule will take effect. The options provided are:
- Domain: This rule will apply only when the computer is connected to the domain.
- Private: This rule will apply when the computer is connected to a private network.
- Public: this rule will apply when the computer is connected to a public network.
- If you want this rule to apply to all connections, you can simply check the three options and select “Next “.
- The final step is to give the rule a name. Give a name that is clear and recognizable. For example, like “block Minecraft application” and click “Finish“.
- The rules for blocking apps from accessing the internet are over. But if you want to be absolutely sure that the application is not connected to any network, you can create a similar rule in the “Inbound Rules” option.
Test the rules
After creating a rule, of course you want to test it to see if it really works. To do so, open the application for which you applied the rule. Then connect to the internet on the options provided in the application or try updating the software.
If you get a warning that the application cannot connect to the internet, then you are successful. However, if the application is still connected to the internet, chances are you have chosen the wrong EXE file or entered an incorrect address in the “This program path” bar.
The above steps not only work on Windows 10, but also on Windows 7 and Windows 8. The layout of the options may be different, but the options you can choose from are the same.
Blocking applications from accessing the internet via Windows Firewall is indeed quite difficult because of the many steps you need to go through.
Therefore, if you want to block applications from accessing the internet just because you don’t want your personal data to be exposed, then you should use a VPN. You can also use alternative methods for a number of other reasons.