What's going on with the Windows Network Connection Status Icon?

Published September 26, 2013 by FoxDeploy

Ever wonder where this little guy gets its information from, be it happy or sad?

 NCSI-1</a>Sad LAN Connection
 NCSI-2</a>Happy LAN Connection
 NCSI-3</a>Sad Wi-Fi Connection
 NCSI-4</a>Happy Wi-Fi Connection

Essentially, a task runs whenever a network configuration change event takes place.  This calls a service which first tries to NSLookup www.msftncsi.com, the Microsoft Network Connection Status Indicator site.  If this is successful, it then performs an HTTP GET on a simple text file stored on this site.

If these two steps work, it proves that DNS, Routing, and HTTP traffic are all allowed and working.

Now, if you’re on a system that can access certain sites explicitly, like Updates.Microsoft.com then you may still a see a status icon of disconnected, even if your system can get out to the general web.  This might be because msftncsi.com remains blocked.

So, the icon is a great indicator of whether or not you have web access for most cases, but not necessarily in high security environments.

Source : http://blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2012/12/20/the-network-connection-status-icon.aspx

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Five time Microsoft MVP, and now I work for the mothership

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