Monday, May 26, 2014

Windows NCSI (network connectivity status indicator) - Annonying.

I noticed while reviewing my network traffic in Wireshark (analyzing packet headers studying for GIAC) I discovered my computer was connecting to a Microsoft domain with "ncsi" in it. Looked it up and is for a service called Network Connectivity Status Indicator. It pings Microsoft every so often to figure out if you are connected to the Internet or not. That's annoying useless traffic if you ask me, plus it's like big brother is watching. I figured out how to turn it off here:

It worked fine in Windows 7. In Windows 8 you get this screen that makes it look like it's not working when really it is - you connect to the Internet just fine but Microsoft reports that your wireless connection has "limited" connectivity.

When I turned this feature off it seems like my connection is faster. Not sure if just imagining. Didn't actually measure but really noticing a difference.

I also noticed this traffic was again on Edgecast CDN. As noted on Twitter (@teriradichel), Edgecast is a CDN therefore should be directing me to the nearest point to get the content which seems to be a point in Washington or Oregon. Instead they were sending HTTP traffic from my machine to Europe. That happened yesterday - didn't see that traffic today.