Yesterday, I observed something strange on my Windows 10 PC. After installing a 4G LTE USB wireless dongle (Huawei Wingle E8372) on this computer, I started to see a new “Local Area Connection” in the available networks list that appears when we click on the WiFi icon in the notification area. The surprising thing was that it was always “connected” even when the PC was already connected to another WiFi network.
After investigating a little I found out that it has something to do with the 4G LTE dongle because it was not there before I used that dongle. Actually, this dongle like many other mobile data dongles install a virtual networking drive on Windows system. When this network is not properly handled by the dongle software, it remains always connected.
Here is how you can remove this ghost “Local Area Connection” that always appears in Windows:
- Press Win+R to open the Run dialog. In the Run dialog, type devmgmt.msc and press Enter.
- In the Device Manager window, select View from the menubar and select Show hidden devices.
- Expand the Network Adapters list and find an adapter that is labeled something like Remote NDIS based Internet Sharing Device. There could be more than one such adapters.
- Right-click on this Remote NDIS device and choose Uninstall device.
- Reboot Windows and you will find that the ghost network has disappeared.
In case you have to use the USB networking dongles for mobile data or use your mobile phone’s internet on your PC through a USB cable, Windows will install that remote NDIS driver once again.
In order to avoid this situation in the future, you should try updating the firmware of your USB LTE wireless dongle. It is also a good practice to disconnect the internet access through the dongle interface before pulling it from the USB port of your PC.