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November 13, 2011

Windows phone home

When you connect your Windows 7 or Windows Vista computer to a wireless hot spot or plug in your Ethernet cable, have you ever wondered how Windows knows whether or not you have a good Internet connection?  It is a pretty easy thing to take for granted, unless you start looking at your firewall logs.  The Network Connectivity Status Indicator (NCSI) service that Microsoft uses a http connection to www.msftncsi.com and transfers a text file called nsci.txt.  An in-depth breakdown of the packets using Wireshark is available at the SuperUser Blog.  The blog also contains instructions on how to edit the registry to stop your system from phoning home.