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Windows 8 introduces the new category of metered network connections. Applications that are aware of this type of connection can choose not to use it in an effort to reduce connection costs.

I would like to know if there is a way to prevent legacy applications (such as a backup software) from using a metered network connection. Is this possible using the built-in firewall, for instance?

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I tried a similar thing (for dropbox), but the furthest I could take it was to set my metered connection as a public connection, and dropbox wasn't allowed on public networks, but that was something of a pain when I wanted to use dropbox on a public network... – topherg Nov 25 '12 at 13:01
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've only got Win7 in front of me, but this can be done manually with Advanced Firewall settings.

Create an Outbound Rule, narrow the scope to your application and the interface type or profile you want to deny it access on (assuming the metered WAN is a separate interface type), then set to Block the Connection.

Create an equivalent Inbound Rule.

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nice idea, doesnt exist – Mickey Perlstein Feb 12 '14 at 14:51
What do you mean doesn't exist? Create the rule, Edit the rule, Advanced Tab, Interface Types, Customise. You can now select which interfaces this rule applies on. Block all traffic for particular programs on interfaces you don't want them to use. – Dom Feb 22 '14 at 3:03
could not find interface types in the advanced tab – Mickey Perlstein Jun 8 '14 at 15:33

I was able to get this to work essentially the way Dom suggests. I'm often working while tethered, and wanted to stop Dropbox from eating up gigs of metered network bandwidth.

This solution blocks Dropbox.exe on all LAN connections. This works for me because, like many people, I'm always on a wireless connection unless I'm tethering - my only LAN connection is my tethered iPhone. If you actually use a wired LAN connection on a regular basis, you'd need to find a different solution.

  1. Hit Start (I'm on Windows 8.1) and open "Windows Firewall with Advanced Security." (You can also open Windows Firewall and click Advanced Settings.)
  2. Click Inbound Rules
  3. Click New Rule
  4. Click Program - Rule that controls connections for a program, and click Next
  5. Click "This program path" and fill in your full Dropbox program path (NOT %APPDATA% or another shortcut - I got hung up briefly here), and click Next
  6. Select "Block the connection" and click Next
  7. Select all boxes (Domain/Private/Public) and click Next
  8. Name your rule (e.g. Dropbox - Inbound Tethering Rule) and click Finish
  9. Now, right-click the new rule in the list, and click Properties
  10. Click the Advanced tab in Properties
  11. Click Interface Types -> Customize
  12. Select only Local Area Network, and click OK, then OK again.
  13. Now, repeat steps 2 through 12 for your Outbound rule.

Voila! No more Dropbox activity when you are on a tethered connection. Of course, if you do want Dropbox to sync at times over your metered connection, just disable these two rules in Firewall.

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your answer is good, much better than the above one. however, the metered connection does not appear as an interface :( – Mickey Perlstein Sep 10 '14 at 18:11
Right - the only way I found was to block the bandwidth for all LAN connections, which for me is only my metered tethering connection, I don't use any other LAN connections. If you use actual LAN connections in addition to tethering, this solution won't work without manually enabling/disabling the Firewall rule. – Luke Williams Sep 15 '14 at 12:42

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