How can I stop my computer from connecting to the internet automatically?
Well, that depends on who’s doing it.
The most common self-inflicted auto-dial is in Internet Options in either Internet Explorer or Outlook Express. In IE, Select Tools, Internet Options, and then the Connections tab. In the Dialup and Virtual Private Network Settings should be an option to “Never dial a connection”.
The most common “accidental” auto-dial is spyware. Run a spyware checker such as Spybot Search and Destroy, or AdAware to check for spyware.
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A reader suggested this possible solution as well:
In Windows, go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, Communications, and then Network Connections. Once there select Advanced on the menu bar, then Dial-Up Preferences, then check both boxes: “Always ask me before autodialing” and “Disable autodial while I am logged on”. Then click OK.