What's a 'Loopback Adapter'

  Liverbird 17:59 29 Sep 06

I've recently downloaded Zone Alarm (free version) and the above item came up in the 'internet zone' with an IP address. Does anyone know what it is, and should I be concerned about it?

I'm aware that it's probably my ignorance which leads me to this question.

  ade.h 18:11 29 Sep 06

A loopback is what the name suggests - a communication with only one endpoint. ie, the starting and ending locations are one and the same. A PC's loopback IP is and is an integral part of internet and network communications. One of its most common uses is to access a web page on a local server from that same PC, fo example.

A loopback adapter is used for testing a virtual network in which conventional network access is not possible. This also allows its use when there is a conflict between network adapters or endpoints.

Microsoft has a Loopback Adapter component that can be used in Win XP - search the Knowledgebase if you want to know more about that.

In addition, there is a form of "virtual" loopback that some network components use to configure themselves. It is virtual because the endpoints are not actually identical, even though it behaves in that way.

I hope that goes some way to allaying your concerns.

Well, you did ask.... ;o)

  Liverbird 23:50 29 Sep 06

I appreciate any bit of info' that increases my knowledge. I cannot say that I understand fully, despite you obviously good explanation. But, bit by bit I get there eventually (I usually do anyway). Am I right to assume then, that in my case it must be part of the activity of our wireless network at home. And thus nothing suspect. I just wanted to be sure as I was wondering if I should put it in the 'Trusted Zone' of the firewall (Zone Alarm).

Thanks again.

  Liverbird 23:52 29 Sep 06

I don't have XP, but a (currently problematic) Windows Pro'

  ade.h 23:52 29 Sep 06

Yes, the loopback IP can and should be in the Trusted zone (depending on what firewall happens to be used).

  Liverbird 23:58 29 Sep 06

Thanks ade.h I'll tick that solved. That was painless with your help :)

  ade.h 00:12 30 Sep 06

No problem. It's nice to get a real technical question now and again!

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