Network protocols are used to set network rules and principles in network connections and data transfer. Most of them are not needed though for most users and it aids primarily computer security since and intruder can exploit some of them through their corresponding applications and afterwards network speed when disabling them. The most common and present in a Windows 8 system protocols are:
Client for Microsoft Networks: The Client for Microsoft Networks component allows a computer to access resources on a Microsoft network.
QoS Packet Scheduler: The Quality of Service Packet Scheduler is a Windows platform component that is enabled by default and is designed to control the IP traffic for various network services, as a method of network bandwidth management that can monitor the importance of data packets and based on the priority of the packet.
File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks: The File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks component allows other computers on a network to access resources on your computer by using a Microsoft network. This component is installed and enabled by default for all VPN connections. However, this component needs to be enabled for PPPoE and dial-up connections. It is enabled per connection and is necessary to share local folders.
Microsoft Network Adapter Multiplexor Protocol: The Microsoft Network Adapter Multiplexor Protocol service is a kernel mode driver. If the Microsoft Network Adapter Multiplexor Protocol fails to start, the error is logged. Windows 8 startup proceeds, but a message box is displayed informing you that the NdisImPlatform service has failed to start. This protocol is used
for Netword Interface Card bonding, which is the combining of two ethernet cards to appear as one physical device in order to increase the available bandwidth.
Microsoft LLDP Protocol Driver: The Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) is a link layer protocol used by network devices for advertising their identity, capabilities and neighbors on an IEEE 802 local area network.
Link-Layer Topology Discovery: The Link-Layer Topology Discovery service is a kernel mode driver. If the Link-Layer Topology Discovery Mapper I/O Driver fails to start, the error is logged. Windows 8 startup proceeds, but a message box is displayed informing you that the lltdio service has failed to start. The drivers is responsible for displaying and representing computers and devices on a map. It consists of two components, the Mapper I/O Driver and the Responder which work together for the service to exist.
Internet Protocol version 6 (TCP/IPv6): Internet Protocol v6 (IPv6) is the latest revision of the Internet Protocol (IP), the communications protocol that routes traffic across the internet and is intended to replace IPv4. IPv6 is designed to solve many of the problems of IPv4, including mobility, auto-configuration, and overall extensibility. IPv6 expands the address space on the Internet and supports a nearly unlimited number of devices that can be directly connected to the Internet.
Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4): Internet Protocol v4 (IPv4) is the fourth revision of the Internet Protocol and a vastly used protocol in data communication over different kinds of networks. IPv4 is a protocol used in packet-switched layer networks, such as Ethernet. It provides the logical connection between network devices by providing identification for each device.
Most users don’t need most of these protocols except of course for the TCP/IPv4 protocol which is the fundamental protocol for an internet connection. For instance if you don’t have a server and don’t need file and printer sharing you can disable “File and Printer Sharing over Microsoft Networks” which will increase your security dramatically. If you don’t want to access resources in a Microsoft network you can disable the corresponding protocol. It is nearly certain that your computer does not use the TCP/IPv6 so you can disable that protocol as well. In the same manner if you ‘re not interested to see your connected devices as a map you can disable the Link-Layer Topology Discovery components as well. You can also increase your network security by disabling the Microsoft Network Adapter Multiplexor Protocol and the LLDP protocol since the former can cause port security issues when the MAC address has been granted the right for a connection and one of the NICs fail and the other one doesn’t and the later because it provides the ability for ethernet cards to be discovered over the network which in some cases can cause a security issue. Finally, QoS Packet Scheduler is not supported in most ethernet cards and one might see a slight network speed increase by disabling it.
Go to Control Panel and click on Network and Sharing Center. On the left click on Change Adapter Settings an your network connections will appear. Right click on them and select Properties. Uncheck the items / protocols you don’t want enabled.