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Unexpected devices appear in Devices and Printers


Vincenzo

New Member
Power User
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299
#1
My friend happened to look in Devices and Printers, and in the Multimedia Devices section he had about 10 devices showing up that he never heard of. Six of them were computers with names that he had never heard of, the others were devices that we could not tell what they were.

I expect that these entries mean that at some time they were on the same network that he was on. Would that be correct?

If so, then it is a matter for concern because he never goes on public networks. He only goes on his network at home, and a network in a small office that he rents and shares with one other person. They have their own router with security set up on it, and that router is connected to an Ethernet jack that most likely goes to a switch on a network that also provides internet service to some other offices in the same building.

This computer is only about 2 months old, so these entries can't be too old.

When I looked at his computer, he was on his home network and all those other devices showed as Offline. I right clicked on them all and removed them. Would it be a good guess that perhaps the security of the network at his office was compromised, and those devices were connected to that network at some point?

I told him to monitor and see when they reappear, but he won't be back in that office for 2 weeks.

Thanks
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro

pricetech

Member
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Tennessee USA

Posts
69
#2
I occasionally see seemingly random devices show up as well on some of my herd here. I can always sort out what they are though since I know my network well.

Having said that;
Windows found these devices over the network at some point. From what you've described, it sounds like the office is where this happened. I'd see about swapping out the router there if they continue to show up since some older cheap routers actually allowed traffic from their WAN side to pass to the LAN. Haven't seen that in some time, but I'd still consider the router to be the prime suspect.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Constantly changing hardware.

alphanumeric

slightly off center
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#3
If you go into the Network and Sharing Center > Advanced sharing settings > there is an option to "Turn off network discovery". I'd try unchecking the "Turn on automatic setup of network connected devices" first. The other thing that will effect this is whether you set the network to Private or Public. Each one has the settings I mentioned above. By default I believe they are all disabled for Public and enabled for Private. I get some for Media Center streaming devices under Multimedia Devices for each PC on my network. I just delete them. Once I disable the MC Sharing service on each PC they don't come back. If you make a mistake and select Private when you should have picked Public, you'll get all kinds of devices you don't want.
 

My Computer

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Vincenzo

New Member
Power User
Posts
299
#4
Thank you both for the info.

I believe he does use a network printer so doesn't that mean he can't set the network to Public?

I will be looking into either replacing or resetting the router at his office.

Thanks
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro

alphanumeric

slightly off center
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Gold Member
#5
Thank you both for the info.

I believe he does use a network printer so doesn't that mean he can't set the network to Public?

I will be looking into either replacing or resetting the router at his office.

Thanks
I'm not sure to be honest. You could try just turning File and Print sharing off, or set it to public, and then use the Add a Printer option in Devices and Printers to add just that one printer. You can make one network private and one network public if you want, just in case you didn't know. Is the office network password protected?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

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