How to see which websites your computer is secretly connecting to.
Has your Internet connection become slower than it should be?
There may be a chance that you have some malware, spyware,
or adware that is using your Internet connection in the
background without your knowledge. Here’s how to see what’s
going on under the hood.
It’s worth noting that most third-party firewalls will probably give you
this same type of information as well as block things that are trying to
connect… unless the applications managed to add an exclusion already.
Better check anyway.
So, how do you find out what the problem is? There is an easy method using the netstat
command from a command prompt window. This works with Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
If you’re still using XP, make sure you are running at least Service Pack 2,
and just assume that somebody already hacked your computer because your operating
system is now a teenager.
We will use the netstat command to generate a list of everything that has made an
Internet connection in a specified amount of time. To use the netstat command,
you must run the command prompt window as administrator.
press windows key plus r and type cmd. press enter.(make sure you run it as admin)
At the command prompt, type the following command and press Enter.
netstat -abf 5 > activity.txt
The –a option shows all connections and listening ports, the –b option
shows you what application is making the connection, and the –f option
displays the full DNS name for each connection option for easier
understanding of where the connections are being made to.
You can also use the –n option if you wish to only display the IP address.
The 5 option will poll every 5 seconds for connections to make it more easy to track
what is going on, and the results are then piped into the activity.txt file.
Wait about two minutes and then press Ctrl + C to stop the recording of data.
Once you’ve finished recording data, you can simply open the activity.txt file in your
favorite editor to see the results, or you can type activity.txt at the command line to
open it in Notepad.
The resulting file will list all processes on your computer (browsers, IM clients,
email programs, etc.) that have made an internet connection in the last two minutes,
or however long you waited before pressing Ctrl + C. It also lists which processes
connected to which websites.
If you see process names or website addresses with which you are not familiar, you
can search for “what is (name of unknown process)” in Google and see what it is.
It may be a system function you don’t know about or a function of one of your running
programs. However, if it seems like a bad site, you can use Google again to
find out how to get rid of it.