VIEW TCP is a free network monitoring tool by MicroWorld that examines TCP/IP activity on your Windows-based systems. This free utility lists all TCP and UDP endpoints on your PC, including the remote address (along with Domain name of the remote address) and state of TCP connections.
With this utility, you can also determine which process has opened various ports on your PC and also whic remote network addresses suspicious applications are accessing.
View TCP is no longer available for download. A solid alternative is the free software CurrPorts which displays all incoming and outgoing connections in a table like interface.
The program is fully portable which means that it can be executed from any location without installation. The software lists the process names on the left with their process ID, the protocol of the connection, the local port as well as remote addresses and ports.
This way it is very easy to see which applications are currently connected to the Internet or a local network. You will also see all the processes running on your system that have ports open which may be very interesting for security hardening purposes. You can go through the list to see if connections are necessary, and if they are not close them down to block the software from sending information to the Internet, or another party from accessing your computer through that port.
Keep in mind though that some applications need to connect to the Internet for update purposes.
The remote address highlights the server they are connected to, which can give valuable information about the connection's intention.
The application comes with the usual options to create HTML reports and to export the data to a XML or tab delimited text file for safe keeping or further analysis.
Update 2: Nirsoft has released TCPLogView recently which comes even closer to the program as it monitors TCP connections in real-time on Windows systems.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.