Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


PCs on other networks showing as Windows Media Connection

  1. #1


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1

    PCs on other networks showing as Windows Media Connection


    Hi all,

    I have never had an issue like this before wondered if you had any ideas.

    I have several computers on my Wireless/Wired Network. Wireless is dual band and Secured with WP2 Password. Basically on several of my PCs I can see connections to my neighbours computers showing as Windows Media Player Icons. When I first noticed this I fully restored my router (Western Digital) creating new SSIDs and Passwords, however I can still see these computers.

    I'm not personally bothered that I can see them as I can always click remove device, I'm more interested WHY I can see them and Can they see my computers as I do have some without Password Protected sharing as I assumed only devices on my network could access these.

    Any Ideas its a complete new one on me? My PCs are Running a Mix of Windows 8.1 and 7 and both can see the 2 neighbour computers.

    EDIT: I have homegroup set up with a secured password too.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    Windows machines will always show a media connection, thanks in part of Windows Media Player being a part of the OS. It is actually UPnP that you are seeing these devices, not DLNA. When LLTD Network Discovery finds units running Windows OS, they will show up as Discovered Devices.

    Really nothing to worry about. Just the nature of Windows.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1


    @broe23 Even if the PCs are on other networks and not mine? Seems a security issue to me?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    If they are on another network, the only way they are going to see your network is A) Through a VPN connection. B) A VLAN, that allows other VLAN's to see each other. There is no way another network is going to see what is on your network. The security risk, is that there is not one.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 3
    Windows 8.1


    @broe23


    I'm just not sure how I can see them then when they are not on my network. Is there something in Windows 8.1 I can run to list every PC on the Network do you know?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    They can only see you if they are on your network. If you are on a VLAN, there has to be a rule set, to allow the other VLAN(s) to see what is on each other. As for seeing what is on the network, it will show up in Network when you click on it. Or you can open a Command Window and do the following without quotes: "net view"
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Australia
    Posts : 7
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by codman1 View Post
    I'm just not sure how I can see them then when they are not on my network...
    They are on your network, though only in a minimal way.
    They have their own network (they could have one or more PCs, media servers, maybe a NAT, or whatever, plus their own modem-router) as their own LAN.
    But they are contacting your network via your wireless router, therefore they are also on your network, in some very limited ways. That's what you want to limit as much as possible, or preferably block completely.

    There are two boundaries they have to cross... one in your wireless router and one in each of your computers, i.e. Windows Firewall.

    I'm surprised they are getting anything through your router as you set new SSIDs and passwords. That doesn't seem right, but I can't advise what to do about it. Maybe there's a forum about that specific router, or you could try the router maker's support by email.

    But I do have some strategies for the second line of defense, in each of your PCs which are seeing their media devices (and presumable they are also seeing yours).

    First, you could turn off media streaming, if you don't need it.
    Using ordinary file sharing, or the Home network, PC1 can use its own player to play any media file on PC2.
    Streaming is only needed for less capable devices such as a TV which doesn't have its own player. In that case the Windows Media Player on a PC is playing the file and sending it as a stream to the TV.

    You can turn off all streaming in WMP (via the Streaming menu in library view). After doing that, if you go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing > Advanced Sharing settings, you will find Media Streaming has been turned off in the Private profile.

    BUT the bad news is that in Windows 7, that doesn't set the appropriate Windows Firewall rules how it should. You can see in the Advanced view of the firewall... the Inbound and Outbound rules still allow WMP to send and receive streaming (or at least the initial contacting parts of media sharing). That's why your neighbour's media sharing things are still visible in your windows explorer.

    You could experiment with editing some of those firewall rules. First set a filter in the right hand panel, to only see rules affecting the Private profile. Then right click a rule > Properties.

    Never delete any rules, just disable them, or set them to Block instead of Allow. Then if you don't like the result you can change it back. Keep notes of all your changes, because you can't save and restore sets of rules.

    Inbound defaults to denying all access, unless there is a rule permitting it, so you can simply Disable an inbound rule for WMP.

    Outbound defaults to allowing all traffic, unless there is a rule blocking some specific contact. So instead of disabling an outbound WMP related rule, change it from Allow to Block.

    On the other hand, if you want to keep streaming enabled in your own network, you will have to make those rules more specific. Instead of simply blocking the WMP rules for all devices, specify your own machines by their MAC (which never changes) or by their LAN IP (you can give them a fixed IP in your router) as the only things which allow WMP's streaming and sharing.

    I have successfully done all that (in Win 7, and will do it in my Win 8.1 laptop next) because I had a similar problem, my neighbour's media devices appearing in Windows Explorer.
    Changing all the firewall rules that mention Windows Media Player, how I described above, has stopped all their computers showing up in explorer. However it has not stopped their separate media server machine appearing, I think that's because it is not using WMP, which is what I found the right firewall rules for. I'll have to make a custom rule to catch that one.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

PCs on other networks showing as Windows Media Connection
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