How to monitor and prevent apps communicating on network

I've searched all over the place but cant seem to find information on how to detect when an application is attempting to communicate on a network. There are article all over the place on packet filtering, but none on detecting when a remote computer is trying to establish a connection or when a local application is trying to establish a connection.

If someone could point me to an article, book, or just the functions or an api it would be a big help.

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If you are on Windows, you might find ("Simple Packet - Filter Firewall") useful.

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cdiamond66Author Commented:
That is actually one of the articles that I found earlier. I looked at all the firewall articles at codeproject. But yes I am looking for a solution with windows 2000 or above.
Use Winpcap.
what you are looking for is another feature of modern personal firewalls: application network access control.
the way this is done by software firewalls is by API hooking. this way, you can replace any windows API by your own function, and intercept any application trying to access the internet/network.

I haven't done all the research as to which API/DLL functions you should replace, but this should get you in the right direction:
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