This type of message is typically encountered when you install MATLAB for the first time on computers running Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X. The message indicates that MATLAB is requesting access to the internet (i.e. it is asking if you will allow it through your firewall).
There are two reasons that MATLAB connects to the internet:
- Licensing: MATLAB connects to the internet for activation of the software and to update license file(s) as needed.
- Web Programming: Like the majority of modern programming languages, MATLAB can be used in the development of web applications. For example, it can be used to connect to RESTful web services for importing/exporting data (<http://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/internet-file-access.html)>.
Internet connections are not required for most types of MATLAB licenses. The only exceptions are Login Named User licenses (which require you to log into your MathWorks Account each time you start MATLAB) and Network licenses (which do not require internet access per se, only access to a license server, which may be hosted on a internal/private network). All other license types do not require an internet connection, and can be updated manually when installing a new release of MATLAB or adding products to an existing license.
If you intend to update your license manually, and don’t intend to use web services from within MATLAB, you can safely deny incoming (and outgoing) connections.
Many MATLAB users, particularly those that are concerned about information security and/or protection of intellectual property, will choose to use MATLAB on machines that are never connected to the internet (or any other network).
MathWorks Installation and Licensing Support