Why Is the Internet Gateway Showing Up in My List of Connections?

by David Weinberg

Windows allows you to view a list of your computer's Internet connection options so that you can configure and select an ideal method of connecting to the Internet. Windows XP displays these connections in its "Network Connections" folder. Windows XP may also display an icon for an "Internet Gateway" in the "Network Connections" folder as well.

Purpose

The Internet Gateway icon represents a device that acts as an intermediary between your computer and the Internet. In many cases, the icon represents your local network's router. The icon provides easier access to the router's settings and configuration utility. You can right-click on the icon and select "Disable" to shut down the gateway. This will prevent anyone else who uses the same gateway from connecting to the Internet. Double-clicking the icon will direct you to the router's IP address via your web browser. You can access the router's configuration utility at this IP address by entering the correct log-in credentials. In the configuration utility, you will be able to change the router's SSID and security settings.

Importance

If you are not the primary administrator of your network, it is unlikely that you will need to use the Internet Gateway icon. You may need to use the icon to remotely shut down the network, for example, if you realize that your computer or another computer on the network has been compromised by malicious software. In that case, shutting off the Internet Gateway will prevent the malware from sending your personal information over the Internet. You can also use the Internet Gateway icon to configure the gateway's port forwarding. Port forwarding ensures that certain programs or games can connect to the Internet through open ports in your Internet Gateway.

Removal

If you don't want the "Internet Gateway" icon to appear in your "Network Connections" folder on Windows XP, you can remove it from your computer. Open the "Add or Remove Programs" window from the "Control Panel" and select "Add/Remove Windows Components." Click the check box next to "Internet Gateway Device Discovery and Control Client" in the "Networking Services" section of the "Components" list. Click "Finish" and restart your computer. The "Internet Gateway" icon should remain absent from your "Network Connections" list. If you need to configure your router, you can access its configuration client by entering the router's IP address in your web browser's address bar.

Other Versions

Other versions of Windows also have an Internet Gateway management client, but they display it in a different location. In Windows 98 and Windows ME, the client has to be installed manually from the Network Setup Wizard on the Windows installation CD. After installed on the client, the "Internet Gateway" icon will appear in the "Communications" folder of the "Programs" menu and in the computer's taskbar. In Windows Vista and Windows 7 the icon appears in the computer's "Network" folder. The icon may take the name of the router instead of being labeled "Internet Gateway."

About the Author

David Weinberg began writing in 2005 at New College of Florida, composing articles on history and political science for publication within the school and for online circulation. Weinberg has been a professional outdoor educator for more than five years with experience throughout the United States.

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