There are some
.dll files belonging to some programs on my laptop which communicate with the internet without my permission (for self-update generally). I want to prevent those files one by one from accessing the internet. I don't want to install any external firewalls. I'm using Windows 7 Home Pro and if this can be done by Windows Firewall, it's OK. I took a look at Windows Firewall but couldn't find a setting to disable file access.
There are some
"Windows Firewall with Advanced Security" seems to have what I need. I was typing "Windows Firewall" in Windows 7 Start menu search box, and I accidentally saw there is a different program called Windows Firewall with Advanced Security. It has settings for inbound and outbound rules which can be defined by the user. Here is a screeny from Google search:
You're looking for a personal firewall program, most (or all) of which allow you to block outbound traffic. (Older versions of the built-in Windows Firewall only blocked inbound traffic by preventing applications from exposing themselves as network servers.)
Update: Mehper found out that Windows Firewall with Advanced Security included with Windows 7 does, indeed, allow you to define outbound firewall rules.
Years ago, I used to use ZoneAlarm for this, but I stopped using it when it corrupted my network stack and made me unable to connect to the network at all. There are also several others to choose from, such as Comodo Personal Firewall (which has a free version) and Norton Internet Security.
With Sandboxie (Shareware; free for personal, non-commercial use with limited functionality) you can prevents all programs in the sandbox from accessing the Internet. Additionally Sandboxie runs your programs in an isolated space which prevents them from making permanent changes to other programs and data in your computer.
I will show you how can you can create, setup and use sandbox:
The button Block All Programs prevents all programs in the sandbox from accessing the Internet. When this mode is in effect, the button changes to Allow All Programs, and when clicked, will undo the effect of blocking all programs.
Issue message SBIE1307 when access is denied: When a program is restricted due to this setting, Sandboxie can issue a notification message. Use this checkbox setting to indicate whether you would like to receive these notifications.
You can run executable file in "DisabledInternet" sandbox:
1) Right click on file -> In context menu choose "Send To"-> "Sandboxie - DisabledInternet"
2) Right click on file -> In context menu choose "Run Sandboxed"-> Choose "DisabledInternet" sandbox
3) Drag and drop file to Sandboxie Control window -> Choose "DisabledInternet" sandbox
4) You can also use command line and make shortcut:
"%programfiles%\Sandboxie\Start.exe" /box:DisabledInternet "path to executable file"
Some important notes about Sandboxie:
Sandboxie is shareware software. The free version is missing a few features(automatically running programs under Sandboxie and ability to run programs in more than one sandbox at the same time ) which are available in the paid version. After 30 days of use, the free version displays reminders(5-second popup) to upgrade to the paid version, but remains functional.
Don't think of it in terms of 'file access'. Think of it in terms of 'Exceptions'. Exceptions are what Windows Firewall uses to decide which processes (your exe files, specifically in this case) have the ability to bypass the Windows Firewall to access the internet.
Go to your Windows Firewall settings and you can customize which applications can communicate with your network and with the internet.