It’s been 3 weeks working from home and I’ve realized, having a broadband connection is the single most important choice you can make. Well, I don’t have one and I am dependent on my mobile data. Now, most of my daily limit is exhausted halfway into the day because dozens of applications on my PC run in the background and hog the Internet. An easy way out is to block Internet access to certain apps and allow the ones I use. So, here are the top apps to block a program from accessing the Internet on Windows 10.
Apps to Block a Program From Accessing the Internet
Before we jump into the apps, Windows natively can block Internet access for apps. However, it’s a bit complex and you would need to create a firewall rule for it. Here’s how you do it.
- Go to Settings > Update and Security > Firewall & Network Protection, scroll down to Advanced Settings.
- From the left sidebar, Tap on Outbound Rules. From the Actions panel on the right tap on New Rule.
- Now from the New Outbound Rule Wizard, select Program and feed the file path you want to block. In my case, I want to block Chome from accessing the Internet. If you tap on browse from the dialog box, chances are you’ll see something like.
- Windows somehow ignores this path, so simply replace %ProgramFiles% (x86) with C:\Program Files (x86). You can also manually browse to the section and copy the path from the top of the browser. Remember for most, you would want to have a “.exe” file to block.
C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
- Tap on Next > Select Block the Application > Next.
- Tick all three options Domain, Private and Public and hit next again.
- Give it a Name. You can write a description if you like. Then hit Finish.
- Now Chrome won’t be able to access the internet anymore. You can also disable or delete this rule anytime from the Outbound Rule menu.
This is a more complicated option and I’m sure most of you don’t want to spend so much time on this. Moreover, the third-party apps work with a tap and provide extra features like allocating bandwidth to apps, viewing data history, etc.
1. Simple Firewall
Simple Firewall is a free and open-source app. This one works a bit differently and is more of a utility that helps you modify the Windows Filtering Platform (WFP). It doesn’t have a great interface, to begin with, but it’s efficient in blocking internet access to apps. The app’s homepage consists of the enabled and disabled apps list. It automatically adds any app that accesses the internet. To block an app you’ve to simply tap on the check-box which puts it in the disabled app list.
In addition to that, it also has a blocklist section, which when enabled blocks Windows Telemetry data and malware. The app has both a portable and exe version. It’s less than 1Mb so if you can ignore the rough UI, it’s a great option.
- Blocks specific Apps
- Blocklist for malware and windows telemetry data
- Open Source and free
- Supports both installer and portable version
Download Simple Wall
2. Tiny Wall
If you like minimal apps, you’ll love this. Tiny Wall is free and sits silently in your taskbar’s icon tray. All the controls are in the app tray along with a network speed monitor. To block an app from accessing the Internet, you can either select the apps to block or whitelist from the manage option in the app tray. You can also use a hotkey(shortcut) to trigger blocking the Internet for a certain application. This makes it super easy and quick to toggle. Moreover, if you want to protect the settings, you can set a password on it as well.
There aren’t many options to set rules like Simple Firewall but if your primary aim is to block internet access, this will do it without a fuss.
- Multiple ways to block list
- Internet Speed Monitor
- Minimal app with tray icon
- No ads and free
Download Tiny Wall
3. Net Limiter
One of the widely suggested apps, Net Limiter is the top internet traffic control and monitoring tool available for Windows users. The app is pretty lightweight and comes under 10Mb. It features a traffic control tab right when you open the app. This makes it easy to know the exact download and upload speed. You can also give one application high priority to allocate more bandwidth to it.
Net Limiter has a Lite and Pro variant but the difference between them is barely anything.
The feature I use the most is the connection blocker. You can specify whether an app will have access to the internet or not. Apart from that, you can also set rules for apps. For instance, you can set a quota for apps after which it’ll block the internet for the specific app. NetLimiter works flawlessly but the only caveat is that it’s a paid tool. You get a 30-day free trial and post that, you have to shell out $29.95 to continue.
- Internet traffic monitoring
- Firewall to block specific apps
- Connection History and Data stats
- Change Themes
Download Net Limiter
So here were easy ways to allow or block access to certain apps and services on your Windows PC. I like to use Tiny Wall as it sits in the taskbar tray area and is very simple to handle. Moreover, I can set a password so no-one can access and change the settings. Here was my list of Top Apps to Block Internet Acces to Specific Apps on Windows.