Since installing the latest Metro/Modern Store updates today, I’ve noticed that explorer.exe opens a permanent TCP connection to Microsoft (wns.windows.com).
I previously posted a similar topic HERE, however in that case the TCP connection was only established when using live tiles. However, now explorer.exe establishes a connection even though I don’t have any live tiles on my Start page (or any Metro tiles at all for that matter) and am using a local account.
So, why does explorer.exe need a permanent connection to Microsoft Windows Push Notification Services (WNS) servers? And given that it’s a HTTPS connection, what data is it sending/receiving exactly?
How did you notice that explorer.exe opens a permanent TCP connection to Microsoft?
I found an article which includes the "wns.windows.com" you mentioned. As what described in it, it seems that the address is related to Windows Store apps, Microsoft apps that are included with Windows 8 or Windows Update.
Using authenticated proxy servers together with Windows 8
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It shows up in any applications that monitor network connections, 'netstat -ban' from Command Prompt for example.
Although explorer.exe would make TCP connections with live tiles before to retrieve live data, since the latest Apps update it happens even without any live tiles or apps running. So, I don't understand why it needs a permanent connection, when I don't have any live tiles running and don't use Store Apps, as there's nothing it needs to send push notifications to.
I had the same problem. I started turning off notifications for the apps and also turning off live notifications, just to troubleshoot.
I even started uninstalling apps, and uninstalling and reinstalling the news app made that persistent connection disappear, why? I don't know.