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All the programs that ask permission to access the Internet can get very confusing, but it's important for you to know which to allow and which to deny.

Below is a list of some of the programs that constantly ask for permission.

Filename Program Name Description Recommended Action
AIM.exeAOL instant messengerThe worlds most popular IM clientAlways permit as a client, but think twice before granting any IM program server rights.
Alg.exeApplication layer gatewayPart of WinXP that provides support for ICS and Internet connection firewall (ICF)If a third party firewall warns you that Alg.exe wants to access, check to make sure you're not double firewalled. If you, are disable ICF. If you are using neither ICF or ICS and are warned that Alg.exe is trying to access the Internet, deny it. A Trojan or worm is trying to use it as a backdoor.
Dwwin.exeDr. WatsonMS application error reporting tool which gathers data about malfunctioning software and can send it to MicrosoftPermit once to transmit this information.
Explorer.exe.Windows ExplorerMicrosoft's windows shellThis generally doesn't need to have access to the Internet. Permit once if you intentionally performed an operation that requires net access.
Iexplore.exeMS Internet ExplorerMS Web BrowserSome spyware can start your browser and pass information to its maker via a URL or cookie. To prevent snooping, permit once if you don't mind one extra click at IE start-up.
Lsass.exeLocal security authentication server, Windows NT/2k/xpValidates passwords when user logs inAlways permit, but keep in mind that this file is a frequent target of malware, so scan it regularly to make sure it hasn't been altered.
Msimn.exeMS outlook expressMS Mail clientFor pop3, OE needs to make outgoing connections on ports 110(pop) and 25(smtp). If your firewall lets you select which ports a program can use, permit these ports always but allow access on no others. If you're using IMAP, allow access to port 143 as well.
Msmsgs.exeMSN and windows messengerMS IM serviceSee Aim.exe
Navapw.exeNorton antivirus auto-protectperforms nightly updates of NAV patternsAlways permit.
Ndisuio.sysNDIS user I/OInternal windows driver; Performs internal windows communications tasks within windowsAlways permit.
NtoskrnlNT OS kernelWindows NT/2k KernelAlways permit. Note that this file is attacked and altered by many Trojans and worms; scan regularly.
QuicktimeplayerApple Quicktime playerPlays quicktime and various other audio and video formatsPermit once when you actually want to stream media across the Internet.
RealplayerRealmedia playersplays digital mediasSee quicktimeplayer.exe
Rundll32.exeRun DLL as a programruns code from a dynamic link library (eg, from a control panel applet)as if it were a complete programPermit once with care. But be suspicious; if you can't think of a reason the applet you just clicked needs to access the Internet, then click no.
Sevices.exeWindows NT/2000 servicesPerforms system logging, tracks resources, sends messages and alerts, manages pnp devices, handles windows networkingAlways permit.
Setup_wm.exeWindows media player setupOccasionally tries to check with MS for updatesAlways deny. This program can leak information about the media you play. Get your updates through Windows update.
Svchost.exeGeneric host process for win32 services (Win2k)This program is similar to Unix inetd.exe program. It runs one or more DLL who's code provides services to machines on the networkAlways Permit.
Userinit.exeinitiate user environmentThis sets up a user's computing environment immediately after log on. It starts the shell, establishes network connections and handles other similar logisticsAlways Permit.
Winlogon.exeWindows log on utilityAccepts user passwordsAlways Permit.
Wkufind.exeMs works update detectionChecks for MS works, and Picture it updatesPermit once when update is desired.
Wmplayer.exeWindows media playerMS media Player may be activated my web pages or other software and can slow the system dramaticallySee Quicktimeplayer.exe
Wuaucit.exe Windows update, auto update clientRetrieves updates from windows update serverAlways permit, but be warned: According to MS, updates may invoke DRM restrictions, preventing you from playing multimedia content already on your system. Read the details of each update before applying it.

Information obtained via PCMag.

Feedback received on this FAQ entry:
  • Ive been getting a message from my norton firewall, "Microsoft Windows Explorer is attempting to access the internet" in many years of using norton firewall I dont recall this message. I believe the actual file is called mwe.exe

    2011-03-25 14:48:02

  • Wuaucit.exe I keep getting pop up boxes on screen with the following message: WUAUCIT.EXE Waucit.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience. If you were in the middle of something, the information you were working on may be lost. For more information about this error click here. I cannot save them to e-mail them nor can I print it. I can close it and then a little later it returns. Can you assist with any advice on how to remove please. I am not very IT literate so laymans terms please. My e-mail address is jaconnelly@silcarcomms.com.au

    2010-08-12 16:53:11

  • Needs to be updated. :)

    2009-11-14 14:49:25 (antdude See Profile)

  • A very useful information indeed..!

    2009-11-09 18:29:43

  • what is "Service"? Service is trying to access the internet on Norton Internet Security. Thanks.

    2009-09-14 23:58:23

  • Just wanted to thank you for providing this info. Thanks! - RPM

    2009-08-12 19:59:54

Expand got feedback?

by Cariad See Profile edited by JMGullett See Profile
last modified: 2007-06-13 14:14:27