Ghosts


Haydon

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I saw a couple of 'Unknown device' in my DSL modem, wondered what they were (even feared nefarious things going on) but found the reassuring quote below, penned by MicroCompsUnltd, a Microsoft Certified Professional. These ghosts can apparently also appear elsewhere in your other than Windows computer(s) and other LAN devices.

So, in my case, I used the 'Forget' button to rid my DSL modem from these harmless ghosts, knowing that they will reappear. Here goes.

"This is not a glitch with Windows. This is in fact by design.

Windows Connect Now searches your network not only for devices that are currently connected, but also for any devices that may potentially be capable to being on your network (if you give them permission.)

These ghost devices in a sense have been on your network, and are continously so. Here's why: Phones and some other WiFi devices, but especially phones, are continously scanning for available networks, even when they are connected to one, to try and find possibly a better one (there's some technical babble of what's they are doing, but basically in laymans terms this is the best way to describe it.) Because of this, your WiFi network is continously being scanned intermittently by these devices, and your WiFi network is acknowledging of course that it is available. This will even occur if your network is a hidden one by the way. This is how a phone (or any other WiFi device for that matter) can actually even begin to connect to a WiFi network.

When you are out and about, and you may need to connect to a WiFi network at say a friends house, or Restaurant even, you first have to pull down the list of available networks to actually connect to it. If you ever notice, depending where you are at that time, there usually is at least one more, and often times, numerous other networks besides the one you're trying to connect to available. Most of the time those devices are listed very quickly for you. This is not because your phone is the fastest searcher in the world. This is because in the background while you were doing other things, or it was in your pocket, it was also searching the area for these, so it could have it available to you at a moments notice. This feature on some phones can be turned off, and those wishing to save battery power even more may look into that, however, that for another post.

The thing is, in order to get the device list, the phone/device sends out a 'packet' of data requesting devices info, that other WiFi devices and routers recognize, and respond to with information that is appropriate, in the case of a router for instance, it SSID (the WiFi network name) and type of security challenge that will be needed if that device wishes to join. The initial sending out the information will almost always include it's MAC address, which is USUALLY assigned to a Manufacturer. I could go on and on about this, however, it's Googly information that is even longer winded than I am.

With Windows Connect Now, it goes and does some further work so you don't have to. It's does similar to what the phone does when you click on the Network in your 'File Explorer', Windows Connect Now, sends out a 'packet/beacon' to not only get a list of the current devices connect to your network, but also 'POTENTIAL' other devices that respond back to it's request via whatever WiFi outlet was available to send the beacon. Also, it reads the logs you usually can not see yourself from a router to see what has within a certain amount of time send out one of those packets, to try and give you the fullest list available of all possible devices you may connect to, if you, and that device BOTH have the proper authority to do so. With Windows Connect Now off/disabled, you only see the actual devices that are currently on your network. In this regard, WCN is not necessary as a feature, so it does not hurt at all to have it off, however, it does make it convenient when you want to connect to a tablet or other WiFi device that really is on your network, or at least you want it to be, then it shows you at a glance if the device itself is at least throwing off it's own beacon.

I know this is long winded, sorry for that, but hopefully in it's entirety it will help someone understand why they see these devices."
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
The main reason I've seen for ghost devices is the simple fact that Router manufactures. use only a few of the network segments that are preallocated in the assigned range used by home users

Basically there are maximum of 256 Segments in the standard range allocated to home / small business users 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.0
Major router manufacturers, tend to default to using 192.168.0.0 - 192.168.0.255 or 19.168.1.0 to 192.168.1.255 and the vast majority of users do not set their own ranges.

This is not an issue as the sets are blocked from communications over the main Internet backbone / hubs, however, it's possible if you have more than one router in a small area that overlaps a second router using the same range as the first then devices from either segment can show on either or Both segments. This is quite common in heavily populated urban areas especially as the WiFi ranges are a lot larger than previously

This is perfectly fine as the routers should have different security passwords and will drop any packets that do not originate from their own set of devices.

Of course a lot of users are unaware of this and we often get posts from those who see an unrecognised device and instantly think they have a Hacker or intruder
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro x64 [Latest Release Preview] [Win11 PRO HighEnd MUP-00005 DD]
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Scan 3XS to my design
    CPU
    AMD RYZEN 9 7950X OEM
    Motherboard
    *3XS*ASUS TUF B650 PLUS WIFI
    Memory
    64GB [2x32GB Corsair Vengeance 560 AMD DDR5]
    Graphics Card(s)
    3XS* ASUS DUAL RTX 4060 OC 8G
    Sound Card
    On motherboard Feeding SPDiF 5.1 system [plus local sound to each monitor]
    Monitor(s) Displays
    32" UHD 32 Bit HDR Monitor + 43" UHD 4K 32Bit HDR TV
    Screen Resolution
    2 x 3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    3XS Samsung 980Pro 2TB M.2 PCIe4 4 x 8TB Data + Various Externals from 1TB to 8TB, 10TB NAS
    PSU
    3XS Corsair RM850x 850w Fully Modular
    Case
    FDesign Define 7 XL BK TGL Case - Black
    Cooling
    3XS iCUE H150i ELITE Liquid Cool, Quiet Case fans
    Keyboard
    Wireless Logitec MX Keys + K830 [Depending on where I'm Sat]
    Mouse
    Wireless Logitec - MX Master 3S +
    Internet Speed
    950 MB Down 55 MB Up
    Browser
    Latest Chrome
    Antivirus
    BitDefender Total Security [Latest]
    Other Info
    Also run...
    Dell XPS 17 Laptop
    HP Laptop 8GB - Windows 10 Pro x64 HP 15.2"
    Nexus 7 Android tablet [x2]
    Samsung 10.2" tablet
    Blackview 10.2 Tablet
    Sony Z3 Android Smartphone
    Samsung S9 Plus Smartphone
    Wacom Pro Medium Pen Pad
    Wacom Pro Small Pen Pad
    Wacom ExpressKey Remote
    Loopdeck+ Graphics Controller
    Shuttle Pro v2 Control Pad
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro x64 [Latest release]
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17 9700
    CPU
    i7 10750H
    Motherboard
    Stock
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Stock Intel + GTX 1650 Ti
    Sound Card
    Stock 4 speaker
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Stock 17" + 32" 4K 3840 x 2160 HDR-10
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2400 HDR touchscreen
    Hard Drives
    2TB M2 NVMe
    PSU
    Stock
    Case
    Stock Aluminium / Carbon Fibre
    Cooling
    Stock + 2 fan cooling pad
    Mouse
    Stock Trackpad +Logi Mx Master 3 or MX Ergo Trackball
    Keyboard
    Stock Illuminated + Logi - MX Keys
    Internet Speed
    950 MB Down 55 MB Up
    Browser
    Latest Chrome
    Antivirus
    BitDefender Total Security 2021
    Other Info
    Also use an Adjustable Support for Laptop and Adjustable stand for monitor
I think that these "ghost" devices are quite harmless if their number is reasonable. It reminds the offline devices in the Device Manager, which are not shown by default but can be seen if you select this option. Their existence in configuration means that OS doesn't need to detect a new device, look for a driver and install it: device is ready as soon as it's connected. But if the number of such devices is too high (like the remnant system drivers after replacing the motherboard), they may slow the boot process and can be a potential source of problems.

It would be reasonable time to time clear the list of such Wi-Fi devices which are no longer available or unlikely will be in the near future. At best, it should be done automatically after some inactive time (like several months), but it may be not implemented by devs. Another example, I had to manually remove unused Wi-Fi access points in my Android phone, otherwise they will present forever.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo Legion 5-15ARH05
    CPU
    AMD Rysen 5 4600H
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce GTX 1650 Ti
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
With the ones that I am talking about, the best way to control them is to change the segment ID you are using 192.168.nnn.000 to a segment in the middle of the available segments. (just change the RED entry), and reboot the system to allocate the new range to your devices. Where possible I preallocate the Addresses to specific devices I have that way any new device stands out
 
Last edited:

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro x64 [Latest Release Preview] [Win11 PRO HighEnd MUP-00005 DD]
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Scan 3XS to my design
    CPU
    AMD RYZEN 9 7950X OEM
    Motherboard
    *3XS*ASUS TUF B650 PLUS WIFI
    Memory
    64GB [2x32GB Corsair Vengeance 560 AMD DDR5]
    Graphics Card(s)
    3XS* ASUS DUAL RTX 4060 OC 8G
    Sound Card
    On motherboard Feeding SPDiF 5.1 system [plus local sound to each monitor]
    Monitor(s) Displays
    32" UHD 32 Bit HDR Monitor + 43" UHD 4K 32Bit HDR TV
    Screen Resolution
    2 x 3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    3XS Samsung 980Pro 2TB M.2 PCIe4 4 x 8TB Data + Various Externals from 1TB to 8TB, 10TB NAS
    PSU
    3XS Corsair RM850x 850w Fully Modular
    Case
    FDesign Define 7 XL BK TGL Case - Black
    Cooling
    3XS iCUE H150i ELITE Liquid Cool, Quiet Case fans
    Keyboard
    Wireless Logitec MX Keys + K830 [Depending on where I'm Sat]
    Mouse
    Wireless Logitec - MX Master 3S +
    Internet Speed
    950 MB Down 55 MB Up
    Browser
    Latest Chrome
    Antivirus
    BitDefender Total Security [Latest]
    Other Info
    Also run...
    Dell XPS 17 Laptop
    HP Laptop 8GB - Windows 10 Pro x64 HP 15.2"
    Nexus 7 Android tablet [x2]
    Samsung 10.2" tablet
    Blackview 10.2 Tablet
    Sony Z3 Android Smartphone
    Samsung S9 Plus Smartphone
    Wacom Pro Medium Pen Pad
    Wacom Pro Small Pen Pad
    Wacom ExpressKey Remote
    Loopdeck+ Graphics Controller
    Shuttle Pro v2 Control Pad
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro x64 [Latest release]
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 17 9700
    CPU
    i7 10750H
    Motherboard
    Stock
    Memory
    32 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Stock Intel + GTX 1650 Ti
    Sound Card
    Stock 4 speaker
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Stock 17" + 32" 4K 3840 x 2160 HDR-10
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2400 HDR touchscreen
    Hard Drives
    2TB M2 NVMe
    PSU
    Stock
    Case
    Stock Aluminium / Carbon Fibre
    Cooling
    Stock + 2 fan cooling pad
    Mouse
    Stock Trackpad +Logi Mx Master 3 or MX Ergo Trackball
    Keyboard
    Stock Illuminated + Logi - MX Keys
    Internet Speed
    950 MB Down 55 MB Up
    Browser
    Latest Chrome
    Antivirus
    BitDefender Total Security 2021
    Other Info
    Also use an Adjustable Support for Laptop and Adjustable stand for monitor
I seem to have been exorcized, I have no ghosts not even in my closet :ROFLMAO:
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware M18 R1
    CPU
    13th Gen Core i9 13900HX
    Memory
    32GB DDR5 @4800MHz 2x16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Geforce RTX 4090HX 16GB
    Sound Card
    Nvidia HD / Realtek ALC3254
    Monitor(s) Displays
    18" QHD+
    Screen Resolution
    25660 X 1600
    Hard Drives
    C: KIOXIA (Toshiba) 2TB KXG80ZNV2T04 NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
    D: KIOXIA (Toshiba) 2TB KXG80ZNV2T04 NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD
    Case
    Dark Metallic Moon
    Keyboard
    Alienware M Series per-key AlienFX RGB
    Mouse
    Alienware AW610M
    Browser
    Chrome and Firefox
    Antivirus
    Norton
    Other Info
    Killer E3000 Ethernet Controller
    Killer Killer AX1690 Wi-Fi Network Adaptor Wi-Fi 6E
    Bluetooth 5.2
    Alienware Z01G Graphic Amplifier
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Alienware Area 51m R2
    CPU
    10th Gen i-9 10900 K
    Memory
    32Gb Dual Channel DDR4 @ 8843MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia RTX 2080 Super
    Sound Card
    Nvidia
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Hard Drive C: Samsung 2TB SSD PM981a NVMe
    Hard Drive D:Samsung 2TB SSD 970 EVO Plus
    Mouse
    Alienware 610M
    Browser
    Chrome
    Antivirus
    Norton
Yeah, you were exorcized in a low density (rural) area (y)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
My devices only ever show things that are currently active and available (if you have the log on credentials). They do not keep things for months or weeks, not even days. Only what is currently active and within range will show.

And, Wow, a DSL modem? I haven't seen one of those in close to 20 years. LOL
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom built
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
    Motherboard
    MSI B550-A Pro
    Memory
    16 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200
    Graphics Card(s)
    PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6600XT with 8GB GDDR6
    Sound Card
    Realtek integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer Nitro 24" RG241Y 144hz refresh rate
    Screen Resolution
    1920 X 1080
    Hard Drives
    Western Digital Black SN770 1 TB NVMe SSD
    Samsung 860 QVO 1 TB SATA SSD
    Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD
    PSU
    LEPA B650 650 watt
    Case
    Enermax Coenus
    Cooling
    Cooler Master Hyper T4 air
    Keyboard
    CM Storm Devastator
    Mouse
    E-Blue Cobra Jr.
    Internet Speed
    100mbs
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender
    Other Info
    Optical Drives: LG DVD-RW and Pioneer BluRay/ DVD burner
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
    Motherboard
    Asus board (GA402RK)
    Memory
    16 GB Samsung DDR5-4800
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Radeon 680M and discrete Radeon RX 6800S with 8GB GDDR6
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek with Dolby Atmos
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Laptop screen 14" WQXGA, IPS, 120hz refresh rate
    Screen Resolution
    2560 X 1600
    Hard Drives
    1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD (WD Black SN850)
    PSU
    Battery power and Asus power brick/adapter. Also has USB-C charging
    Case
    Laptop
    Cooling
    Laptop fans in vapor chamber
    Mouse
    Touchpad and Omoton bluetooth mouse
    Keyboard
    Built in RGB backlit
    Internet Speed
    100mbps
    Browser
    Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    windows Eleven Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP PAVILION DESKTOP 590-pOxxx
    CPU
    INTEL (R) CORE(TM) i3-8100 CPU @3.60GHz 3.60GHz
    Motherboard
    HP 843B (U3E1)
    Memory
    8.00GB (7.86 GB usable)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Integrated Intel UHD Graphics
    Sound Card
    (Realtec High Definition Audio) Intel Display Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    24W
    Screen Resolution
    1280x720 pixels work 1280x672 pixels
    Hard Drives
    WINDOWS(C:)BASIC NTFS 913.42 GB /WINDOWS (C) (G) BASIC-2794.52
    RECOVERY (D:) 16.85 GB?DISK PARTITION 1) ( E 260 MB0)DISK (4) R0980MB
    Cooling
    42-Celious
    Keyboard
    HP
    Mouse
    LOGITECH (M705
    Internet Speed
    5940 RPM
    Browser
    FIRE FOX 106.0.4
    Antivirus
    WINDOWS SECURITY
    Other Info
    desktop pc #2 PROCESSOR AMD A8-7410 APU WITH AMD RADEON R5 GRAPHICS 2.20 GHZ INSTALLED RAM 4.00 GB(3.45 GB USABLE) DEVICE ID 5c27474D-FCBA-4D)D-89E8-89E8-071DCOAB36AC PRODUCT ID 00325-80450-35140-AAOEM SYSTEM TYPE 64-BIT OPERATING SYSTEM,X64-BASED PROCESSOR PEN AND TOUCH WITH 10 TOUCH POINTS everything else as pc above

    #3 desktop Dell windows 10 home ver 21h1 Intel(R) Pention(R)cpu G2020@ 2.90 GHZ 2.90 GHZ 64 BIT operating System,x 64based Processor Everything else as the 2 pc's above
    Toshiba External Hard Drive--3TB:oin HDWC 130XK3J1
  • Operating System
    Windows
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    AMD A8-7410
    Memory
    4.00 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD RADEON R5 GRAPHICS
My older laptop, which was the first laptop I ever had, was bought in early 2006. It has a dial up phone modem in it as well as wireless and Ethernet adapters. It is still fully operational but being only single core, is pretty slow on any version of Windows past XP. It currently has a triple boot setup of 98 Second Edition, XP Pro, and Windows 7 Home Premium. I have never even changed the CMOS battery.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom built
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
    Motherboard
    MSI B550-A Pro
    Memory
    16 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200
    Graphics Card(s)
    PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6600XT with 8GB GDDR6
    Sound Card
    Realtek integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer Nitro 24" RG241Y 144hz refresh rate
    Screen Resolution
    1920 X 1080
    Hard Drives
    Western Digital Black SN770 1 TB NVMe SSD
    Samsung 860 QVO 1 TB SATA SSD
    Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD
    PSU
    LEPA B650 650 watt
    Case
    Enermax Coenus
    Cooling
    Cooler Master Hyper T4 air
    Keyboard
    CM Storm Devastator
    Mouse
    E-Blue Cobra Jr.
    Internet Speed
    100mbs
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender
    Other Info
    Optical Drives: LG DVD-RW and Pioneer BluRay/ DVD burner
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
    Motherboard
    Asus board (GA402RK)
    Memory
    16 GB Samsung DDR5-4800
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Radeon 680M and discrete Radeon RX 6800S with 8GB GDDR6
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek with Dolby Atmos
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Laptop screen 14" WQXGA, IPS, 120hz refresh rate
    Screen Resolution
    2560 X 1600
    Hard Drives
    1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD (WD Black SN850)
    PSU
    Battery power and Asus power brick/adapter. Also has USB-C charging
    Case
    Laptop
    Cooling
    Laptop fans in vapor chamber
    Mouse
    Touchpad and Omoton bluetooth mouse
    Keyboard
    Built in RGB backlit
    Internet Speed
    100mbps
    Browser
    Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender
A DSL modem is a quite different thing from a dial up modem. DSL and cable modems are pretty well the norm for single family houses these days.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
A DSL modem is a quite different thing from a dial up modem. DSL and cable modems are pretty well the norm for single family houses these days.
Of course. I know they are different. I've had both. I just thought DSL had gone the way of the T-Rex. I guess not.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom built
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
    Motherboard
    MSI B550-A Pro
    Memory
    16 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200
    Graphics Card(s)
    PowerColor Red Devil Radeon RX 6600XT with 8GB GDDR6
    Sound Card
    Realtek integrated
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer Nitro 24" RG241Y 144hz refresh rate
    Screen Resolution
    1920 X 1080
    Hard Drives
    Western Digital Black SN770 1 TB NVMe SSD
    Samsung 860 QVO 1 TB SATA SSD
    Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD
    PSU
    LEPA B650 650 watt
    Case
    Enermax Coenus
    Cooling
    Cooler Master Hyper T4 air
    Keyboard
    CM Storm Devastator
    Mouse
    E-Blue Cobra Jr.
    Internet Speed
    100mbs
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender
    Other Info
    Optical Drives: LG DVD-RW and Pioneer BluRay/ DVD burner
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
    Motherboard
    Asus board (GA402RK)
    Memory
    16 GB Samsung DDR5-4800
    Graphics card(s)
    Integrated Radeon 680M and discrete Radeon RX 6800S with 8GB GDDR6
    Sound Card
    Integrated Realtek with Dolby Atmos
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Laptop screen 14" WQXGA, IPS, 120hz refresh rate
    Screen Resolution
    2560 X 1600
    Hard Drives
    1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD (WD Black SN850)
    PSU
    Battery power and Asus power brick/adapter. Also has USB-C charging
    Case
    Laptop
    Cooling
    Laptop fans in vapor chamber
    Mouse
    Touchpad and Omoton bluetooth mouse
    Keyboard
    Built in RGB backlit
    Internet Speed
    100mbps
    Browser
    Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Defender
Of course. I know they are different. I've had both. I just thought DSL had gone the way of the T-Rex. I guess not.
More like a bald eagle, the soaring dinosaur.

Broadband internet access may be location dependent.

BTW, this old thread came alive all of a sudden.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
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