"Application monitoring software."
Cyber security is one of the main subjects of interest nowadays, since the consequences of data breaches are usually terrible. That’s why everyone, from the average user to the biggest corporations, try to secure their systems in any way they can to avoid hackers and viruses from creating terrible damages. Apart from antivirus and firewall programs that are the most common lines of defense, other types of software are used to monitor the traffic in a system, such as PortExpert. This nifty program monitors all running processes that connect to the internet, and helps you identify whether they make safe connections or pose a risk to your system.
Downloading and installing the setup package is easy, but you have to watch out for an additional 3rd-party advertised software that gathers information about your internet activity called RelevantKnowledge during installation (i.e. spyware). Select “Decline” once you reach the step in which you’re asked to install it, and proceed normally with the rest of the installation procedure.
Apart from RelevantKnowledge, there is nothing else that could potentially harm your computer (such as viruses, Trojans, etc.).
The Lite version, currently listed as Developer Link 3 on the mirrors page comes without any sponsors.
Supported operating systems are all versions of Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10- 32 or 64-bit).
PortExpert’s interface is neat, without any useless and complicated graphics. At the top of the window you can see the program’s logo along with a “Software Update” button that checks if there are any updates available, and below is a table that displays all currently running processes which are connected to the internet, as well as details about them (PID, Protocol (TCP or UDP), Name, Remote Address and Remote Port). Below this list are 4 buttons (Whois, Search, Web and Folder) and at the bottom of the window are 3 more buttons (Freeze Time, Show System Processes and Show Local Connections).
With PortExpert you can see exactly which processes are connected to the internet, along with their process ID, protocol (TCP or UDP), local address, local port, remote address, remote port, as well as the related service (HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, etc.). Thus, you know where each process is connected to and you can easily find information about the remote server by clicking on the following available buttons:
- Whois: Opens the Whois page of the address that the selected process is connected to.
- Search: Opens a Google CSE (Custom Search Engine) and searches the internet for the name of the selected process.
- Web: Visits the remote address of the selected process directly.
- Folder: Opens the local folder in which the application is run from.
Additionally, you can use the Freeze Time function which keeps all currently displayed processes in the program for as long as you’d like (until you disable the function), even if they stop running in real-time.
Apart from displaying only the processes which connect to the internet, you can also view processes which do not connect to the internet and system processes too.
There are no cons in this program.
Some alternatives to PortExpert are: NetworkProcMonitor (free), Sysinternals TCPView (free, also part of Sysinternals Suite), TCPMonitor (free), NetWorx (free) and Process Explorer (free). The best ones out of these are TCPView and Process Explorer.
PortExpert is a very handy tool that will give you all the information and tools you need to view which processes in your system connect to the internet, and where exactly they connect to, so as to find and eliminate the ones that use your bandwidth or connect to unknown (and possibly dangerous) places.
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