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Posted 6 Nov 2004

Using the Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) and Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) COM Interfaces

, 6 Nov 2004
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The NetworkConnectionCollection is a strongly-typed interface that is meant to simplify access to the Internet Connection Sharing and Internet Connection Firewall interfaces for each of the network connections registered on the machine.

Sample Image - NetConColDemo.png


With the release of Windows XP's Service Pack 2, Microsoft's Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) and Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) features quickly obtained a large degree of notoriety. Many developers have been actively looking for ways to easily "peek and poke" at the ICS & ICF configurations on a given machine.

The good news is that Microsoft released the interfaces with a COM wrapper. The bad news is that it isn't well advertised and it's not very intuitive to use. Getting a full set of details on a particular connection's configuration can require several method calls.


This project contains a strongly-typed collection named NetworkConnectionCollection. When you create an instance of this collection, it automatically uses the ICS/ICF COM interfaces to iterate all of the Network Connections on the local machine and create NetworkConnection objects (as members of the NetworkConnectionCollection).

The NetworkConnection class impliments three ICS/ICF interfaces: INetConnection, INetConnectionProps and INetSharingConfiguration. When you use the ICS/ICF COM interfaces directly, you need to reference each of these independantly. By using the NetworkConnection class, you can access all of the members in one place.

Work Remaining

I haven't spent much time on this, since it does what I need at this point. One obvious improvement would be to overload a few of the members to expose/use native types (e.g. the INetConnectionProps.GUID property returns a String, but a System.Guid would be preferable). Another improvement would be to wrap the PortMappings.


Microsoft has exposed the API for the ICS & ICF in a couple of places, but this code uses the COM interface HNetCfg.HNetShare. You can add a reference to this interface to your own projects by using the Reference Browser to select HNETCFG.DLL (typically located in the "C:\Windows\System32\" directory).


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Tony Selke
Architect Wyvern Software
United States United States
Tony Selke is an independant consultant who has spent the last 20 years working with Microsoft technologies (VB, VC++, ASP, J++, C#, VB.NET, SQL Server, etc.) to develop solutions used in all kinds of market verticals (industrial, pharmaceutical, financial, marketing, multimedia, educational, telecommunications, etc.). He obtained his first MCSD certification in 1998 and his second in 2004, with an MCDBA in 2005. In addition, he has taught courses for MCSD certification students as well as programming classes at Penn State University.

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionWhat about? Pin
erm3nda31-Oct-13 16:26
membererm3nda31-Oct-13 16:26 
QuestionWindows Vista Support? Pin
FrEaK_CH2-May-07 3:55
memberFrEaK_CH2-May-07 3:55 
AnswerRe: Windows Vista Support? Pin
Tony Selke2-May-07 3:59
memberTony Selke2-May-07 3:59 
GeneralRe: Windows Vista Support? Pin
FrEaK_CH2-May-07 4:13
memberFrEaK_CH2-May-07 4:13 
GeneralRe: Windows Vista Support? Pin
MFRESA4-Aug-08 9:26
memberMFRESA4-Aug-08 9:26 
GeneralThe connect method is not implemented... Pin
juanm20025-Jul-06 7:07
memberjuanm20025-Jul-06 7:07 
GeneralRe: The connect method is not implemented... Pin
Tony Selke10-Jul-06 3:04
memberTony Selke10-Jul-06 3:04 
Generalhelp me please!!!!!! Pin
ahmed el dosoky12-May-06 6:16
memberahmed el dosoky12-May-06 6:16 

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