How to find out what programs on your computer are connecting to the Internet
Wondering if there's a spyware program on your computer that's surreptitiously sending information over the Internet? Want to know which of your legit programs are "calling home?"
There's a command line utility that will help you find out, and it works in both XP and Vista.
In XP, click Run and type "cmd" in the Run box. In Vista, you need to open the command prompt with elevated privileges, so click 'All Programs', 'Accessories', then right click 'Command Prompt' and select 'Run as Administrator.'
> At the command prompt, type "netstat -nab", press 'Enter' key.
This displays a list of running programs, the protocol being used by each to connect to the Internet, and the IP address and port being used. You might be surprised to see, for instance, that PowerPoint is connected to the Internet - but it will be if you use the online Help function, search for clip art, etc.