Why does Native Access keep pinging Google DNS while not in use?

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NashwanP
NashwanP Member Posts: 3 Newcomer
edited July 2023 in Native Access

This has been driving me mad with constant outbound firewall alerts on my PC. I had no idea what was launching ping.exe or why it needed to contact Google's 8.8.8.8 DNS server. Eventually got fed up and tracked it down with Process Monitor, to my surprise it was being launched by NTKDaemon.exe.

Easy enough to fix, right? Just disable the service, except every time you launch Native Access (currently v3.4.0) it reinstalls the service.

Why is NTKDaemon phoning home to Google when I'm not touching anything to do with any Native Instruments products? Can you please update this in future to not do that? It's unnecessary and intrusive. Everything still works if you block the ping, so it's clearly not doing anything important.

Best Answer

  • Rich_NI
    Rich_NI Customer Care Posts: 173 mod
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    Hello everyone!

    I received the following information from the devs regarding this issue:

    • We're pinging google DNS is for DNS resolutions, to check if we have network access
    • The NTKDaemon is required to run in the background in order to be able to get notifications about subscription changes so that we can trigger the needed reactivations on monthly base.
    • The workaround, as Sunborn already recommended:: set NTKDaemon to manual start in Services and only start it before you open Native Access
    • Native Access reinstalling the NTKDaemon instead of starting it when it is not running -> will be addressed in future update


Answers

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn NKS User Library Mod Posts: 2,448 mod
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    There are thousands of users who use Google DNS, and thousands more who use Cloudflare... It is most probably that NTKDaemon trying to predict this, in order to give quicker access to the user.

    It won't harm you, it will not take any extra time (maybe few milliseconds) and it is definitely not intrusive since Google DNS is a public service and not a private one.

  • Jeremy_NI
    Jeremy_NI Customer Care Posts: 9,965 mod
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    @Rich_NI Are you aware of that?

  • NashwanP
    NashwanP Member Posts: 3 Newcomer
    edited July 2023
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    If you guys do get to looking into it, I found it to be 100% reproducible when switching my VPN endpoint, which temporarily blocks all traffic while reconnecting. Every time, NTKDaemon will try to ping 8.8.8.8. Apparently it really likes to have a constant internet connection?

    If anyone else likes to manage their outbound traffic like I do, you can write a small Powershell script to turn the NTKDaemon service on and off when you use NI products. Go to services.msc and set NTKDaemon Startup Type from "Automatic" to "Manual". Then put this in a PS script with admin privileges:

    if ((Get-Service -Name NTKDaemonService).Status -ne 'Running')

    {

        Set-Service -name NTKDaemonService -Status Running

    } ElseIf ((Get-Service -Name NTKDaemonService).Status -ne 'Stopped') {

        Set-Service -name NTKDaemonService -Status Stopped

    }

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn NKS User Library Mod Posts: 2,448 mod
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    Don't you think that many people already tried that? This is not a permanent solution.

    The problem with your solution is that, every time you open Native Access, it reinstall all dependencies if they are not exactly as they supposed to be, instead of doing the simplest thing, which is to just start the NTKDaemonService! An this is why i have called Native Access, a bad program, poorly designed by people who think that "user doesn't need to know" (and i really hate this kind of approach).

    Anyway, the point is that putting NTKDaemonService to Manual is a good solution, only if you have finished with your installations and you don't plan to get something new from Native Instruments, for a long time. And when you want to check for updates once in a while, you just put the service back to Automatic, before you open again Native Access. Which is perfectly fine for an obsessive control freak like me, but for most people it is annoying, even frustrating. :-p

  • Rich_NI
    Rich_NI Customer Care Posts: 173 mod
    Answer ✓
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    Hello everyone!

    I received the following information from the devs regarding this issue:

    • We're pinging google DNS is for DNS resolutions, to check if we have network access
    • The NTKDaemon is required to run in the background in order to be able to get notifications about subscription changes so that we can trigger the needed reactivations on monthly base.
    • The workaround, as Sunborn already recommended:: set NTKDaemon to manual start in Services and only start it before you open Native Access
    • Native Access reinstalling the NTKDaemon instead of starting it when it is not running -> will be addressed in future update


  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,311 Expert
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    Sorry…but NTKDaemon is NOT required to run in the background… you WANT it to run in the background…

    A workaround like this should not be required…it should be how it works normally

  • NashwanP
    NashwanP Member Posts: 3 Newcomer
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    Indeed, it is not required to run in the background to check the subscription that I don't have. And you could just await a timeout error from your own servers in the client, rather than launching ping.exe. Feels like debug code that made it to production without much thought, but I see elsewhere in this forum you have bigger issues, so I guess I'll stick with manually toggling NTKDaemon for product updates. This is not inspiring confidence in the future of NI products.

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn NKS User Library Mod Posts: 2,448 mod
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    LostInFoundation / NashwanP

    There are thousands of Windows programs that are not required to run in the background, yet most of them create auto-start entries on Windows Start up, on Task Scheduler or on Services.

    In 90% of all cases, those start up entries or background services are totally useless, unless you are a very lazy person, or an incapable of do anything person, or a really stupid one.

    It's a very common (and awful!) tactic but you can't blame NI for that, as i said almost everyone doing that, long before NI.

    Same rule apply to many Windows system services. Most of them are on "Automatic" even if your system doesn't have the hardware. Look at my services, i have completely disable lot of nonsense (Telemetry etc) or things that i don't have, such as, for example, the WLAN AutoConfig. I do not have a Wi-Fi on my music computer, so this service is totally useless to me! Same for the Phone service, i don't use a phone with my computer so this service is also useless to me. By disabling things that i don't need, i free up valuable computer sources, for other tasks.

    However, still there is no one to blame. The developer can not "guess" if i have a wi-fi or not, so he enables whatever thinks as necessary to the average user.

    It is the user's responsibility to configure his system correctly!

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,311 Expert
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    I’ll probably start answering you again when you’ll stop repeatedly calling people “stupid, incapable or lazy”.

  • Sunborn
    Sunborn NKS User Library Mod Posts: 2,448 mod
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    Fortunately our world is full of good, intelligent, capable, enthusiastic people...

    Unfortunately it is also full of stupid, incapable or lazy people...

    That's a fact... that's life... if you want to pretend otherwise, is your choice.... as mine is, to bring attention to this fact, for the greater good... :-)

    This is not just "my opinion", many great people talked about this fact. If we choose to ignore it, our world will never become a better place for all:


  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,311 Expert
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    I have a different interpretation of Einstein quote. He is not talking about stupid people but about “human stupidity”, of which a good example is calling someone stupid just because he is not expert in computers (like, e.g., the best theoretical physicist with the biggest brain in the world could be, having spent his time in discovering very clever things instead of studying how to disable a function in a computer)

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,811 Expert
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    NTKDaemon is IMHO important part of NI authentization process. And part of NI antipiracy measures.... So, it may be "needed" to run as much as possible.

    I guess, it pings Google DNS server and not any other IP adress, because avoid questions why that application pings unknown IP adress.... Pinging known DNS server IP is much less suspicious than pinging unknown IP adress.

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