The “Service Host: Network Service Using Internet” is one error notification that can be troubling for users of Windows computers. For most, this has a toll on the speed of the internet as it seems something is diverting all of the internet speed we are supposed to use somewhere else on the computer.
In some cases, the “Service Host: Network Service” has a really heavy toll on the CPU, as we’d be seeing unusually high CPU usage without an idea of what is running in the background. Attempting to close or stop the “Service Host: Network Service Using Internet” in task manager sometimes returns the message “doing this will make the computer unstable”. What can you do if you’re having this issue? And what could be causing this? We’d be talking about these in this article.
What Does Service Host: Network Service Using Internet Mean?
The “Service Host: Network Service” keeps pretty much all the stuff on your computer connected to the internet, so from you browsing the internet with your computer to checking for and downloading Windows 10 updates automatically, the “Service Host: Network Service” is in charge of it. So if you’re getting the “Service Host: Network Service Using Internet” notification, chances are that some app, or the Windows OS update is stuck and wouldn’t complete, or an app is updating over itself, and in some cases, will be a sign that some malware is on your PC.
Generally, this shouldn’t be showing up for too long, but if it remains for longer than usual, there are a couple of things that would be responsible for it. Let’s talk about them here.
Adjust Windows Update Settings
This is one we always recommend as it seems like the best way to have this fixed since it works for our cases of the “Service Host: Network Service Using Internet” issue.
To do this, go to the Windows Start Menu >> click on Settings >> scroll down to and click on Updates & Security >> click on Windows Update >> on the right side of the screen, scroll down to Advanced Options >> disable “receive updates from other Microsoft products when you update Windows” and “download updates over metered connections >> scroll down and have updates paused for around 20 days >> exit and restart your computer after which you can check to see if there are changes in the network speed and CPU usage.
Turn On Metered Connection
Something we would recommend is checking what apps and services are using data on your PC, and setting just how much data you want these to consume.
To do this, go to Settings ( Windows + I) >> click on Network & Internet >> click on Status to see the connected network on the right pane >> click on Change Network Properties >> scroll down and toggle ON the Set as Metered Connection option >> go back to the Windows Start Menu >> click on Settings >> scroll down to and click on Updates & Security >> click on Windows Update >> on the right side of the screen, scroll down to Advanced Options >> disable “download updates over metered connections.
Stop Downloads From Other PCs
The next thing we will recommend you try is disabling downloads from other PCs. To do this, click on the Start menu >> click on Settings >> select Updates & Security >> click on Windows Update >> click on Delivery Optimization >> toggle the “Allow Downloads from other PCs” option OFF.
Block Traffic from Microsoft Ports
For some, the first three fixes stop the “Service Host: Network Service” notification from showing up, but the internet speed doesn’t improve. So we will have to stop outgoing traffic from some Windows ports to stop any traffic leaks. The Windows Updates Delivery Optimization uses TCP port 7680 and UDP port 3544, so we will be creating a firewall rule so that any outgoing traffic on these ports is blocked.
Another way to disable the Windows Update Delivery optimization is through the registry. To do this press the Windows key + R >> type “regedit” in the Run dialog box and press Enter >> in the Registry Editor window, navigate to this registry key on the left pane, and click on it: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DeliveryOptimization\Config” >> on the right pane, you would select New, then DWORD Value >> you will now name the registry you created “DODownloadMode” >> to modify the DWORD Value data, you just have to double-click on it >> you now have to enter the Value data that corresponds with what you’d like to do, in our case that will be turning OFF Windows Update Delivery Optimization (1) >> you can now save, close the registry and have your PC reboot.
Here are other value data below:
- 0 – turn Off Windows Update Delivery Optimization
- 1 – turn On Windows Update Delivery Optimization for local network only
- 2 – turn On Windows Update Delivery Optimization for local network private peering only
- 3 – turn On Windows Update Delivery Optimization for local network & Internet
- 99 – Simple download mode
- 100 – Bypass mode
Scan Computer for Malware
The next thing that could be causing the “Service Host: Network Service Using Internet” issue is malware on your computer. So you would want to scan and remove any malware. To do this, you can use Windows Defender or any other antivirus software.
To use the Windows Defender go to Settings in the Start Menu (or by pressing Windows + I) >> click on Update & Security >> on the left pane, select Windows Security >> click on Open Windows Security >> click on Virus and Threat Protection >> click on Quick Scan or Advanced Scan and just wait for the scan to complete. You will be notified of any issues and recommended actions.
Delete the SoftwareDistribution Folder
If the above fixes don’t work, deleting this folder fixed the issue and improved network speed for many users. To do this, press the Windows + R keys >> type services.msc in the box and press Enter >> when you find the Window Update service, right-click on it and select STOP >> in the File Explorer, go to C:\Windows >> select the SoftwareDistribution Folder, right-click on it and delete it >> reboot your PC and see if there is a fix.
Update the Windows OS
Updating to the latest version of Windows is something else that you should attempt to try to fix this issue. In fact, for many “Service Host: Network Service Using Internet” issues, this has fixed things permanently. To do this, go to the Settings (Windows + I keys) >> click on Update & Security >> on the Windows Updates tab, click on Check for Updates >> if there are new updates click on the Install button.