Microsoft Office is accessing my wi-fi - how do I stop it?
April 10, 2008 10:41 PM   Subscribe

How do I prevent Microsoft Office from going online?

I recently noticed this recently while I was setting up a new laptop with software.

My old computer (Mac Book Pro) was on, with Word open. After installing Office on my new computer, I tried opening Word to confirm, and it wouldn't allow me saying that I was already using a copy (and addressing me by name - creepy).

Anyway, I don't know if the Word is using the wireless connection for the two computers to communicate, or if its going online to a central server.

Either way, the idea that Office is beaming my personal details without my knowledge is hella creepy. How do I stop it without messing with my wifi setup?

How can I prevent this?
posted by Unsomnambulist to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A good firewall should let you create a rule to block the app from going online, as long as you have it in "ask me first" mode.
posted by swiffa at 10:57 PM on April 10, 2008

Best answer: Little Snitch.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:05 PM on April 10, 2008

Just to reassure you, i's not going online to a central server. It may be doing it with Bonjour or IP multicast, I don't remember, but it's not leaving your home network.
posted by kindall at 11:17 PM on April 10, 2008

Seconding Little Snitch.
posted by rokusan at 11:58 PM on April 10, 2008

Like kindall said, its not going online, nor is it beaming personal data anywhere. Its checking for any other computers using the same license on your local network.

Little snitch will prevent it from going online (which I have found that the Office apps do not).
posted by mphuie at 1:06 AM on April 11, 2008

3rding or 4thing Little Snitch.
posted by terrapin at 5:47 AM on April 11, 2008

Best answer: The Leopard firewall has an "ask me first" mode--use it. Or just shut down all incoming connections with the built in firewall; you don't need to buy anything. It's using IP broadcast: 2004 used port 2222 UDP, and I think 2008 added some others.
posted by deeaytch at 6:19 AM on April 11, 2008

Seconding that it's not going beyond your home network. It only checks for other copies on the network at startup, so turn your wi-fi off for a second while opening Word, then turn it back on once Word's open.
posted by ewiar at 9:42 AM on April 11, 2008

Or you could, you know, comply with the terms of the EULA you agreed to when you installed the thing.

If you don't like those terms (and you shouldn't - they suck) then give Microsoft the roo fingers and install instead.
posted by flabdablet at 10:00 AM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Little Snitch sounds like a great option, but at $25 I'd prefer to manhandle the firewall on my own - thanks for both suggestions!
posted by Unsomnambulist at 5:45 PM on April 11, 2008

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