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How to check what your computer is connecting to ?

Has your internet connection become slower over time ? Are you suspicious of possible malware/spyware/adware infection, or you're just curious what network activity is happening ?

It is sometimes useful to simply find out what backgound processes are connecting from your computer out to the internet and what ports your computer is listening to for incoming connections.

To check what your computer is connecting to:
1. Start elevated command prompt: Start button -> Search -> type: cmd -> right-click on "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator"

2. type: netstat -bf
The above netstat command switches are explained below:
-b shows what application is making the connection
-f resolves the full DNS hostname for each connection (-n can be used instead of -f for faster display of just numeric IPs)
-a option can be added to show all connections and listening ports (instead of only established connections)
-o switch can be used to display the owning process id (PID), it is useful if some ports show "Can not obtain ownership information"

See Also:
The TCPView utility (part of the Windows Sysinternals suite of tools) can be used to view all TCP and UDP connections as well.

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