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Stop .exe, .rar, .zip, etc downloads, but not .pdf


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#1 HydraHeaded

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 10:40 AM

Hi,

At a friend's place in his university room, I had seen that the connection was limited in such a way that we could open any page we liked, but we could not freely download anything: we could not download .avi or .wmv or .mp3, etc, but the net worked smoothly.

So, is there a way to use the net without any glitches, but restrict the downloads of .exe, .wmv, .rar, .zip, etc. files, but allow the downloads of educational books like .pdf or .doc or .txt (or any other)? If nothing else, is it possible to block all downloads but continue surfing?

Is it done with the help of any software, or through the browser itself?

Thanks.

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#2 techextreme

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 10:53 AM

Surprisingly enough, this can be done both ways. But reading that you are at a university, they are most probably using an appliance to do this. There are routers and network bandwidth management devices which will give you this much control over what is and is not downloaded to your computer.

Equipment like Cisco routers, Sonicwall Routers, Saint Bernard boxes, and so on have added controls added to them ( at an added cost ) to allow this type of control. These things can also be accomplished through Group Policy in a Windows Domain environment. You can set the policies to allow only "approved" extensions through Internet Explorer but as most people have found out, if you have Firefox or Chrome or most any other browser, you can walk around these settings.

In a university environment, they have so much bandwidth to distribute to "everyone" including their own data center. And also with the RIAA cracking down so much on the proliferation of "sharing" music and files, universities are installing these types of equipment to keep their liability over what is allowed over "their" network down to a minimum.

Hope this sheds some light,
Techextreme

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-- Seneca

#3 HydraHeaded

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 10:59 AM

Actually I am not at a university, this is something I saw at a friend's room in his university. I am using the computer from home, and its not part of any network. The router I have is a Huwaei one. Isn't there any way for home users to configure their computer to block downloads? Doesn't matter if it means configuring all the installed browsers and the download managers.

Thanks for the reply.

#4 techextreme

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 11:10 AM

You could try a device like "Endian Firewall" which can be freely downloaded from here: www.efw.it

This is an open source appliance software you can install on a computer and use as your router and bandwidth management device. It will also allow blocking of attachments and also certain file extensions similar to what you're looking for.

Make sure you have a machine with a good bit of ram to run all of the portions of the software.

You may also want to look into www.opendns.org

You may be able to accomplish what you're looking for, or even get close just by making a change to your DNS addresses in your existing router.

Hope this helps,
Techextreme

"Admire those who attempt great things, even though they fail."

-- Seneca

#5 HydraHeaded

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 11:33 AM

Will try it out. :thumbsup:




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