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Can a Computer Get Online w/o Internet Connection?


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#1 LittleGreenDots

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 03:25 PM

I have a Windows 10 machine and I am not online at home currently.  A few weeks ago Windows had issued some updates (a computer I have at work did some updates) and I noticed that my offline computer went through all the motions of updating, "installing updates" and configuring those updates.  There are internet connections available but I had not configured this computer to search for networks. 

 

Can a computer find it's own network and connect via a public connection, or perhaps with some other technology like bluetooth, or hotspots, etc.? 

 

 



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#2 hamluis

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 04:20 PM

As far as I know....there are only 2 requirements for a system to connect to the Web:

 

a.  Properly functional system network device, be it wired or wireless.

 

b.  A system properly configured to allow Internet connectivity/networking..

 

If I remove either element...I have no Internet connectivity for my system.

 

Louis


Edited by hamluis, 19 February 2018 - 04:22 PM.


#3 mjd420nova

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 04:28 PM

It is possible that some arrangement has been made by Microsoft to use available hotspots to access the web and call home.  Xfinity hotspots are everywhere there's a wifi user with company supplied hardware (modem/router/voip).  



#4 Condobloke

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 07:59 PM

@ mjd420nova, if msft has possibly "used available hotspots to access the web and phone home"......that brings a whole new meaning to the word INTRUSIVE

 

lets face it....without mention of the word 'microsoft' ....what you have just described is Malware


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fed up with Windows antics...??....LINUX IS THE ANSWER....I USE LINUX MINT 18.3  EXCLUSIVELY.

 

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#5 britechguy

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 09:50 AM

Is your machine connected to a LAN (that does not, at the moment, have internet connectivity)?   Is there any machine connected to the same LAN that's a Windows 10 machine and has recently had internet connectivity and already has those updates?

 

If you open Settings -> Update & Security, then activate the Advanced Options link, then the Delivery Optimization link, you will find that the default setting is "Allow downloads from other PCs" is ON and that "PCs on my local network, and PCs on the Internet" is ON as well.  I long ago went to strictly "PCs on my local network."

 

P.S. Back to your original question, the answer is "no."  I know of no definition of "online," when used to describe connectivity, that doesn't include an active internet connection.  [Which is different than a system or terminal being online/offline, whether or not any internet is involved].

 

P.P.S.:  The only thing I know of that would even kinda-sorta be like "using available hotspots to access the web and phone home," would be if you have several of your WiFi settings tweaked to allow automatic connections (see Settings -> Network & Internet -> WiFi Pane and the various toggles).  If memory serves all of those are off by default, but I could be mistaken on that.  Mine are, and I don't recall having set them off, but I go through all the Privacy settings on any new machine I configure and setting some of those OFF cascades to related settings if memory serves.  Any time you are connected to the internet and if you have telemetry, even basic telemetry, ON and you have Windows Update ON your machine is going to communicate with Microsoft's servers.  That's perfectly normal, and desirable.

 

Addendum:  I had somehow forgotten I was replying on the Win7 forum, so obviously the specific settings information shown above will not be the same on a Win7 machine.  I know that system health telemetry was retrofitted to Windows 7 but I have no idea if Delivery Optimization for updates was or not.  If it has been it's likely under Control Panel somewhere.  I don't have a Win7 machine on which to check as my household has gone entirely to Windows 10.


Edited by britechguy, 20 February 2018 - 10:02 AM.
P.S.es and later Addendum

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#6 LittleGreenDots

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 03:50 PM

The computer had been online elsewhere but definitely not at my home and it did go through the motions of updating.  I thought it was curious.  Definitely something to ponder.   A friend of mine had some issues with a recent Windows update where his screen remained dark for perhaps 30 seconds or so and then froze up.  This was a month ago or so.   I had the same at this location without the connection.  I just thought it was an interesting event.

 

Just a thought...I've had a slew of computer problems for the past few years and when I get two computers serviced (or go through a rigorous malware cleaning) the report is always 'clean.'  But then I continue to experience odd computer behavior.  A programmer friend thought I might have a keylogger program but another computer guy, an IT tech, found no evidence.  I had disappearing and reappearing files.  I know for a fact that one of my computers was hacked.  But I am thinking, this being a speculation, that IF someone had remote access to my computer they could configure the network settings without my knowledge.  The good news is this computer just had a military grade hard drive scrubbing, and as soon as I get my other laptop back in a few days, I will be installed Linux.  I'm just trying to figure out what could have happened.

 

Thanks for the feedback.






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