Using Vista’s Firewall to Limit Traffic For Volume Restricted Access

It's great, all programs on my computer these days think they have to
automatically check for updates whenever they are started or sense that
a connection to the Internet has been established. I usually don't mind
and even welcome it. However, there are situations, especially when I
use volume restricted wireless 3G access such as Vodafone Websessions,
in which I don't want those multi-megabyte downloads. So I've switched
most update services to semi-manual or manual to control this behavior.
But even this sometimes doesn't stop the talkers.

Recently, the Windows update service told me it wanted to download a 30
MB .NET update. Sure, no problem, I was at home at the time, so please
go ahead I thought. However, it didn't as there must have been a
problem with the update service. So the originally agreed update only
started a couple of days later when I was abroad, hanging on a thin
line. No way to stop that 30 MB download, no task revealing itself as
the culprit that could be terminated, no nothing… Ugh, I was angry.

But here's the solution in case you have Windows Vista installed:
Go to the firewall configuration and set the profile which is used for
dial-up connections (in German it's called "Öffentliches Profil",
that's probably or "public profile" in English) to block all "outgoing
(TCP/UDP) connections". Then go to the outgoing rules section and
create new rules which allow only the programs you like such as
Firefox, your eMail program, etc. to establish outbound connections. In
a last step, assign these rules to the "public profile". No more nasty
connection requests and update dialogues while you are away.

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