What Is Microsoft Network Adapter Multiplexor Protocol & Should We Enable It?

If you are wondering what does Microsoft network adapter multiplexor protocol do? then you have come to the right place. In this, article we are going to see in detail about the  Microsoft network adapter multiplexor protocol in Windows.

Also, we will see why it is unchecked while the other options are checked in the “This connection uses the following items” option. But before we jump to the explanation about the multiplexor protocol you need to know what is Network Interface card(NIC) and NIC teaming.

What is NIC?

The Network Interface Card is a computer hardware component that connects a computer to a computer network. They are also known as Network adapters, LAN adapters, etc.

The NIC allows both wired and wireless communications. It allows communication between computers that are connected via LAN as well as over large area networks.

The NICs are of two types. Internal Network Card and the External Network Card. The Internal Network Card is mounted on the motherboard as it has a slot for the card. The External Network card is for the computers that do not have Internal NIC. The External NIC can be both wired and wireless.

Also read: Easy Working Methods to Watch Hulu Without Ads

What is NIC Teaming?

NIC teaming is the technique of grouping physical network adapters. It is a feature of Windows Server. This is done to improve performance and redundancy. Most importantly NIC teaming helps in load balancing(distributing traffic over networks) and fault tolerance(ensuring network continuity in case of any system hardware failure) without the requirement for multiple physical connections.

In NIC teaming, the network adapters are the team members and they communicate with each other through Switch. The interfaces of the team are the virtual network adapters that were created when making the team. The NIC teaming uses a single IP address though it maintains a connection with multiple physical switches.

There are two types of NIC teaming modes,

  1. Switch dependent
  2. Switch Independent

In Switch dependent teaming mode, the switch determines the traffic of the NIC team members. Hence the name switch is dependent.

In Switch independent teaming mode, the switch that is connected to the NIC team members is unaware of the NIC team.

Now, that you are familiar with the NIC teaming concept let’s jump on to Microsoft Multiplexor protocol.

What is Microsoft Network Adapter Multiplexor Protocol?

Microsoft network adapter multiplexor protocol option image

The Microsoft Network Adapter Protocol service is a kernel-mode driver. It is automatically enabled when two different network connections are combined. i.e. when we do NIC teaming. This is done with load balancing and fault tolerance. It is also done to increase the bandwidth This protocol is installed in the system by default.

If we have created a NIC team in which there are two physical network adapters then the Microsoft Network Adapter protocol will be checked or enabled for the teamed Network adapter and unchecked or disabled for these two physical network Adapters.

So, from this, you can say that the Network Adapter Multiplexor protocol is usually enabled for a LAN/WAN connection.

Should we enable the Microsoft Adapter Multiplexor Protocol?

There are many questions on different forums where the users complain about not being able to turn on the Microsoft Network Adapter protocol.

As we have seen above, this protocol is triggered only when multiple network adapters are combined in a team. So, unless you are configuring multiple network adapters in a team this protocol shouldn’t be enabled

However, if you try to enable it manually (tick on the box check box in front of the protocol and click on OK ) while the other options from the list are enabled you will face the following popup error.

error message when we try to enable the microsoft network adapter multiplexor protocol manually

If you click “No” button on the popup error it will return back to the Ethernet properties window and the the Microsoft Network Adapter protocol will be disabled. And if you click on “Yes” button on the error then it will take you back to the wifi settings window and the Microsoft Network Adapter protocol will be unchecked again.

Also, if you try to enable this protocol after unchecking all the other options from the list you would still face this error.

So, it is clear that this Microsoft Network  Adapter Multiplexor protocol cannot be turned on or off manually. Hence, we should not try to enable it. This protocol will automatically get enabled if it detects teaming of the Network Adapters.

What are the uses of the Microsoft Network Adapter protocol in Windows 10?

The use of this Microsoft protocol can be distinguished into two scenarios

Scenario 1:

In this scenario, both the network adapters are used at the same time. By running both the network adapters simultaneously, we can transmit and receive more data packets on the network when contrasted with a solitary network adapter.

Scenario 2:

In this scenario, one network adapter is used in the network connection and the other network adapter is used as a backup adapter if the primary adapter fails.

Now, that you have only one network adapter functioning the Windows will deactivate the Microsoft network protocol as you are not able to use multiple network adapters in your system

FAQs:

Q: How to install network adapter multiplexor protocol?
A: The Microsoft Network Adapter Multiplexor protocol is a kernel-level driver and it is automatically enabled when we do NIC teaming.

Q: Microsoft Network Adapter Multiplexor protocol for gaming?
A: Different games have different network requirements for them to play smoothly. It would be better to contact your game support team and get assistance from them.

Q: Disable Microsoft Network Adapter multiplexor protocol?
A: The Microsoft Network Adapter multiplexor protocol is automatically turned on when two different network connections are brought together(NIC teaming). Moreover, if you manually try to enable the multiplexor protocol it will throw an error message and when you go back it will get unchecked.

Conclusion:

Thus, we have successfully discussed what is Microsoft Network Adapter protocol is in Windows 10 and should it be activated. We hope we have cleared all your doubts regarding this protocol. However, if you have any extra queries regarding this protocol, do ask us in the comment box we will be happy to help.

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