ProgCop is a free open source program for Microsoft Windows devices to block certain programs from accessing the Internet. The program uses an approach to allow all connections by default; the administrator needs to select processes manually to block access to the Internet.
Firewall applications such as Windows Firewall Control, SimpleWall, or TinyWall may be configured to block all outgoing connections by default. ProgCop is not needed if one of these applications is used on the system.
ProgCop’s main advantage is its simplicity. Select any process you want to block in the application interface and click on block, to block it from establishing outgoing connections.
ProgCop can be run right away without installation. The application lists all processes with outbound connections in the interface; the listing is updated in realtime. Each process is listed with its name, local and remote address, ports, and states.
Right-click on any process and select the “add” option from the context menu to add it to the list of blocked processes. The program is blocked from establishing outbound connections from that moment on. You may use the context menu to open the location on the local system next to that.
Blocked processes are listed at the top. ProgCop lists the full application path, process name, and status there. Applications can be removed from the block list using toolbar icons, the menu bar, or with a right-click. While you may remove processes from the listing, you may also allow them right there. Just select the process that you want to allow and select the unblock option from the toolbar or the menu bar.
Programs that are not listed in the interface may also be added. Select Rules > Add Application and pick an executable file on the local system to block it from establishing outbound connections; useful to prevent connections for new programs that you have not started yet.
ProgCop uses the Windows Firewall API to control outbound connections of processes on the system. Administrators may block processes using Windows Firewall directly as well but the steps are more complicated.
The developer of the application, Niko Rosvall, notes that his application is designed to work with the built-in firewall of the Windows operating system.
ProgCop is a simple program to better manage program connections on Windows machines. Its usefulness is limited, especially since it does not feature an option to block all connections by default.
Still, if you are looking for an easy to use program to block certain programs from connecting to the Internet and don’t want to use more advanced firewall applications for that or configure Windows Firewall, this is a program you may want to take for a test drive.
Now You: Which firewall application do you use, and why?
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