Windows – Internet via tethering: How to limit PC internet usage?


Occasionally, I need to tether my android phone to my laptop to get internet. I have very little mobile internet (500MB /month) and it can disappear very quickly. I need a few tips on how to use force windows and all applications to use as little bandwidth as possible.

Here's what I do:

  • Close all programs running in system tray
  • Turn off windows udpate
  • Use opera with "Opera turbo" and turn off flash

Any more tips? Especially a program that would block EVERYTHING from accessing the internet except the browser and another program occasionally (skype)?

I just closed all programs and updates and tethered my laptop today. Within a few seconds doing of nothing, it downloaded 20MB over 3G.

Best Answer

You're looking for a firewall. Most firewalls of today are configured to disallow incoming connections, but you can just as easily configure them to block outbound connections as well. Windows includes a free firewall that you merely have to enable, called, appropriately enough, "Windows Firewall."

You want to disallow everything except a list of what you want to be able to get through--this is called a "whitelist." The Windows firewall doesn't make this very simple, but it is possible. Check out the Super User thread over here for details. Alternatively, just install a better firewall, and configure it to prompt you for outgoing traffic.