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I use windows XP sp3 on an HP laptop compaq nc6400 connecting to the net through adsl connection in a local network, as soon as I connect to the internet it starts to receive packets, is a virus doing this or it's related to settings what can be the reason? please help me, thanks. If any extra information needed pls let me know.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Safest way would be to download wireshark and check it out yourself. You'll be able to see the source and destination of packets.

It does not have to be a virus. Many programs (including Windows itself) have automatic update features which will connect to Internet and check if there are updates available.

Also Windows uses Internet connection to check if your computer's time is correct.

There may be few other background asks I may have missed.

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thanks but what if no programs have automatic updates because i almost know the update condition in the installed programs in my computer and almost all them have notification in the notification area. – Nobody Sep 6 '10 at 9:14
@Ehsan Mamakani What do you mean by notification in notification area? Does it tell you that when updates are available or something similar? What about your anti-virus? – AndrejaKo Sep 6 '10 at 9:19
well for example if adobe acrobat want to update itself you can see the icon there or even the windows update, anti-virus is up to date. – Nobody Sep 6 '10 at 12:19
and all automatic updates disabled. – Nobody Sep 6 '10 at 12:19
@Ehsan Mamakani Then I don't know. Also, Adobe Acrobat will phone home every time it is used (not so sure about the Reader) and anti-virus will check servers from time to time. Plus there is some communication related to network maintenance, but this should be just a few packets every 5 minutes or so. Anyway, try using wireshark. It's much more effective than guessing. Also, check out this question: – AndrejaKo Sep 6 '10 at 13:31

Microsoft's freeware Network Monitor is also quite useful. It's not quite as hardcore as Wireshark (which I also use) so it's perhaps a bit easier to use. I particularly like the way it organizes results and associates traffic with specific applications and services.

Keep in mind that there will always be some background traffic related to network maintenance.

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