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VS 2015: Prevent IDE internet access

    Question

  • The IDE has allowed access to the MSFT symbol server. However, it also accesses some other servers right after startup. Why? No project is loaded, the option "Automatically check for updates" is disabled, and I'm not logged into my VS account, so there is no reason to access anything.

    Which option must I disable to stop this unrequested behavior?

    Some servers accessed are Akamai servers, but also...

    93.184.221.200 edgecast.com
    108.162.232.198 cloudflare.com
    191.232.139.254 eu.vortex.microsoft.com

    If I put trust in something by installing it, I expect not to misuse it by not giving the explicit clarity of what it is doing and why.


    Armin

    Tuesday, December 08, 2015 10:45 PM

Answers

All replies

  • Hi,
    In the startup page, the VS would connect and pull up some related Microsoft news, so this feature may need the internet access. You could following the below steps to disable it.

    Tools->Options->StartUp->Disable the "Download content every:" setting.

    Green.

    Thursday, December 10, 2015 10:01 AM
  • The option is already disabled, and I'm starting with an "empty environment" (no startup page).

    Thanks anyway for your reply.


    Armin

    Thursday, December 10, 2015 4:56 PM
  • >>The option is already disabled, and I'm starting with an "empty environment" (no startup page).

    If you already disabled the Microsoft news, could you share how do you monitor the network connection? You could try to change a new clean machine to try again. Maybe, there are some other services in your client machine to connect the addresses above.

    Green.

    Wednesday, December 16, 2015 12:58 PM
  • >>The option is already disabled, and I'm starting with an "empty environment" (no startup page).

    If you already disabled the Microsoft news, could you share how do you monitor the network connection? You could try to change a new clean machine to try again. Maybe, there are some other services in your client machine to connect the addresses above.

    Green.

    Comodo firewall tells me:

    


    Armin

    Friday, December 18, 2015 9:19 PM
  • Hi Armin,

    >>Some servers accessed are Akamai servers, but also...

    93.184.221.200 edgecast.com
    108.162.232.198 cloudflare.com
    191.232.139.254 eu.vortex.microsoft.com

    As you said that it has different servers, whether you have the software applications those are run across multiple servers?

    >>The IDE has allowed access to the MSFT symbol server. However, it also accesses some other servers right after startup. Why? No project is loaded.

    Do you mean that you get symbols loaded in other server when you open a blank VS IDE? How did you get them? Could you share us a screen shot about the symbols loaded?

    In VS IDE, we load symbols in debugging like the following screen shot, but it loads the symbols in debugging apps.

    If you didn't create/open any apps, it would not load the symbols unless like this thread here:

    https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/vstudio/en-US/379f58a1-864a-4f3a-8cb4-2fc639218a76/vs-2015-suppress-symbol-loading-after-project-creation-vb?forum=vsdebug#738c0b01-0743-482c-b86f-525c138bb1a3

    Maybe you use other symbols loaded like the environment variable or others.

    Not the real experts about the Akamai servers, but I did some research about it, it seems that it is related to the Server Load Balancing, that's the reason why I want to know that whether there are software applications those are run across multiple servers.

    In addition, did you install certain extension tools or add-ins in your VS IDE?

    If I have misunderstood this issue, please feel free to let me know.

    Best Regards,

    Jack


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    Friday, December 25, 2015 3:07 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Jack-Zhai,

    >> As you said that it has different servers, whether you have the software applications those are run across multiple servers?

    I'm afraid, I don't know what this means. Loading symbols from the MSFT symbol server is allowed through the firewall. What is observed is additional, unknown access to other servers which is neither due to symbol loading nor due to automatic update checks that are disabled. I'd like to know what other traffic is initiated from inside the IDE. This  traffic appears even without an open project. Symbol loading requires an opened project at least.

    As I've set environment variable _NT_SYMBOL_PATH a long time before installation of VS 2015 (e.g. for using WinDbg or ProcessExplorer), I've enabled this variable in VS options, too, and disabled "Microsoft symbol server" as both of them activated at once wouldn't make sense. The environment variable value is "SRV*D:\Symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols"

    Several extensions have been installed along with VS 2015 automatically, like "Application Insight Tools", "Azure AD authentification", "NuGet Packet Manager", etc. Unfortunatelly, the button "deactivate" is disabled for all of them, only the button "deinstall" is available (with some of them). As I do not know how to install them again other than by installing VS 2015 completely, I do not want to deinstall these extensions now. I would probably have to do this in order to find out whether the traffic is caused by any of these extensions. The only extension I've installed myself is VisualSVN. However, as automatic updates are disabled, I think none of these extensions should create any internet traffic unknown to the user.

    Thanks for your reply.


    Armin

    Wednesday, December 30, 2015 3:29 PM
  • Hi Armin,

    Thanks for your friendly response.

    Sorry for that I couldn't repro this issue in my side even if I test it using different VS environments, to get the issue confirmed and diagnose by product team, would you please create connect report for it? You will get email notification for update.http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/CreateFeedback.aspx

    If you submit it, please share us the link here, so we could also get the latest information from the product team members.

    Sincerely,

    Jack


    We are trying to better understand customer views on social support experience, so your participation in this interview project would be greatly appreciated if you have time. Thanks for helping make community forums a great place.
    Click HERE to participate the survey.

    Friday, January 01, 2016 9:42 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Jack-Zhai. I'll consider creating a report.

    Armin

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016 6:10 PM
  • Thanks Jack-Zhai. I'll consider creating a report.

    Done:

    https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedbackdetail/view/2235194


    Armin

    Tuesday, January 12, 2016 7:23 PM