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Configure xp for minimal internet traffic

Hi

I am getting umts (3G) for my computer, i have to pay half a euro pr. MB.

What is the best/ most easy way to configure my laptop so that the internet traficc wil be at a minimum, i need ability to search for info on the internet and download pdf, drivers. Nice to have the ability to reach my mail either internet or software.
I also connect my laptop to a dsl connection and want standard settings for this..

I could use the tcp/ip protocol and only allow ports tcp 80-85? outgoing on the 3g connection.?
I could use a new account that is configured for little internet traficc..?
I could use software?
I could use my firewall (ez armour (modified zone alarm)), different setting for differrent account or easy switch configuration?

Thomas
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sitdown
Asked:
sitdown
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1 Solution
 
jar3817Commented:
Generally windows will only access the internet when it needs to.  I would just let it use what it needs.  But since you are paying for your actual usage...when you aren't using the computer/internet I would turn the machine off.  Some programs will stay active in the background and talking on the internet even if you close them.
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The_IT_GarageCommented:
In addition to what jar3817 said...make sure you don't install programs that automatically update information to your PC (news or weather updates, etc).

Also, set up you e-mail program to download only mail header information and download the complete e-mail if you doulble-click on the message, here's an example if you use Outlook:
http://email.about.com/cs/outlooktips/qt/et040504.htm

For other mail program do a search for "Download e-mail headers only"
This way SPAM and other mail you will just delete do not get downloaded first and thus you don't get hit for the bandwidth of downloaded SPAM.

If you're using Windows turn off Automatic Updates and run the Auto Update tool manually and only download/install the updates that are required instead of blindly installing everything.
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sitdownAuthor Commented:
Hi, thanks for response, but do not quite answer my questions.

Yes, i can turn off automatic update an so on. I need to use software that send some information to and from internet, but not when connected through 3G. At home i have dsl..
There must be a lot that can be done, like modify opera so that it do not download pictures and so on. I could stop every software on my computer from reaching internet through zone alarm, but it would be a pain in the a.. to turn it all on again when i come home again..
Are there no easy way to turn off/on internet connection to all other software than perhaps Opera and outlook?

Thomas
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The_IT_GarageCommented:
Sorry but the closest I can get to answering your question would be to have a batch file that you run to disable everything but Opera and Outlook for accessing the Internet and then a second for when you're at home using DSL.

What you would want is something like ZoneAlarm but with two profiles: one for the office that only allows Opera and Outlook, and one for home that allows everything. Sorry we haven't had htis kind o request before, but I am sure you're not the only one desiring this kind of feature. Hopefully someone else will hop on here with a product that does this, but a firewall with two profiles you can toggle between should be the perfect fit for you.
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sitdownAuthor Commented:
It does not seem to be a setting for different profiles in Zone alarm.. Not in the one in Ez armour suite that is, dont know about the original za pro..
This batch file, how do i make this then, if you guide me through this i will give you higher points :-)

Thomas
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The_IT_GarageCommented:
Creating a batch file would entail knowing quite a bit of detail on your PC. A simpler route would be to have two firewall applications. If you have XP SP2 that could be your DSL firewall, so at home it would be Windows Firewall=ON, ZoneAlarm=OFF.   Configure ZoneAlarm to block everything except Opera and Outlook so when you're on umts (3G) you just turn on ZoneAlarm.

A tidiermethod (tidier to use, not easier to configure) would be to take a registry, \ZoneAlarm and \%WINDIR% folder snapshot with ZoneAlarm at your current settings, then lock down everything except Opera and Outlook, and then take another snapshot and see what changed as it applies to ZoneAlarm. With those changes it would be a simple matter of creating a batch file that simply toggles those settings back and forth. The assumes ZoneAlarm doesn't keep it's config files stored in a manner where this isn't possible.

If you used the 2nd method you'd shut down ZoneAlarm, run the batch file, then start ZoneAlarm. Or don't have ZoneAlarm launch with your OS but manually launch it with the batch file, and the bacth file would figure out which conenction you're on and set ZoneAlarm accordingly.

If you'd like we can test this out in our I.T. Garage labs this evening (we're Pacific, U.S. time zone). What OS do you have?
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The_IT_GarageCommented:
Update: The suggestion to use XP SP2's firewall in conjunction with ZoneAlarm won't work, per ZoneAlarm's website: "As recommended by Microsoft, ZoneAlarm disables Windows Firewall on installation and re-enables it if ZoneAlarm is uninstalled". Sorry for the misinformation.

However, swapping ZoneAlarm settings should be feasible.
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sitdownAuthor Commented:
Hi, thanks you the IT Garage team, you are great :-)

I`m +1 gmt (Norway). As you are -7 gmt?
Then you are 8 hours earlier on the day, i do not think i could work at this that late but i will find the settings and you can say what i should do and i will do that tomorrow.
What software should i use to get a snapshot?
You have set up a computer zone in the garage with friends??

Thomas
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The_IT_GarageCommented:
After a little research, ZoneAlarm Pro has a feature to backup and restore your settings file, you can use this feature to switch between locked down and loose controls. http://windowsxp.mvps.org/zabackup.htm. I believe this will accomplish what you're looking for.

Save your current ZoneAlarm settings, name it DSL.XML, then set Zone Alarm to very strict settings, save it to a file and call it umts.xml. To switch settings just restore whichever XML you want to use.
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sitdownAuthor Commented:
Of course so simple, I'm dumb..

Thanks for letting my life be somewhat easy..

Thomas :-)
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