Ralink Linux Client showing up in Windows network

Many Windows users have reported an entry named RalinkLinuxClient is listed among Computers as a part of the network upon opening This PC. Upon observing the same, the first perception is that the system might be hacked. We cannot deny that possibility and would make sure that the system is not compromised for any reason. However, in the usual scenario, it might be another device connected to the same network.

What is RalinkLinuxClient

Ralink Linux Client is basically an internal chipset used by many devices like routers, etc. Ralink is the manufacturing company of the chipset and holds the largest share in the market. Since it is an internal chip, we would never know which product is using it since the brand of the product would be different. Eg. A Samsung television might be using a Ralink chipset.

In many cases, it was found that the Ralink client was nothing but a smart TV connected to the same network and in other cases, an outdoor camera. This could be checked by temporarily switching Off these external devices and observing if the RalinkLinuxClient still remains.

Ralink Linux Client showing up in Windows network

While other devices that are connected to your router do not appear in the Network section of your system under you connect them specifically, the RalinkLinuxClient internal chipset uses the same IP address range as your router, especially if your router uses the default IP address range. The RalinkLinuxClient passes through the filtering to show in your Network list.

Approach towards RalinkLinuxClient showing in the Network list

As discussed earlier, the basic reason we find the RalinkLinuxClient among the list of networks is that a device using that chipset is connected to the same router as the client. However, we cannot ignore the possibility of a malicious threat, thus we could try switching Off devices connected to the router one by one and checking if it was any one of them. An easier way of finding out would be to check the MAC address of the RalinkLinuxClient on the system and comparing it to the MAC addresses of the devices connected to the router. However, we need to know how to use the router’s GUI for this and users could contact their router’s customer care for the same.

If it works, fine, or else we can proceed to the following solutions:

1] Rename your WiFi network and change password

If we do not know which device connected to the router’s network has the Ralink Linux Client chipset, it might be possible that someone might be trying to intrude into your system using the name RalinkLinuxClient to avoid suspicion.

In such a situation, we could assume that the cyber intruder knows your router’s password and is thus able to intrude into your network. Thus we would have to change the router’s SSID and password before anything else. When we change the SSID, all devices connected to the router get disconnected and need to be connected again. In case any person was trying to enter your system via the router, he/she would have to connect through the same path again with the new router password.

Ralink Linux Client showing up in Windows network

You might need to contact your router’s manufacturer for assistance with the same since the parameters need to. However, since I have worked with many routers, I could suggest the general method to change the SSID and password of the router.

1] Press Win + R to open the Run window and then type CMD. Press Enter and it would open the Command Prompt window.

2] Type the command ipconfig and press Enter. It would display a set of information. Please note down the value of the default gateway. For my router, it is 192.168.0.1.

3] Open your browser and type the default gateway in the address bar and press Enter. It would open the router’s graphic user interface.

4] It would ask for the login details which are usually written on the back side of the router.

5] Once you login to the GUI, navigate to the Wireless tab and change the SSID and password. Hit Apply to save the settings and it would disconnect your system from the wireless network. If your computer was connected to the router through a LAN cable, it would remain connected despite the change, else restart the system and reconnect to the new SSID using the new password.

2] Disable the Windows Connect Now services

Once you change the SSID and password of the router, you have eliminated any external intrusion into your system. If the RalinkLinuxClient reappears after reconnecting your home devices to the router again, it is probably one of your own devices. Though harmless, if you really need to remove the RalinkLinuxClient from appearing on your system, try the following steps:

Windows Connect Now service

1] Open the File Explorer and right-click on This PC in the list and then select Manage. If you are not logged in as the administrator, you would have to click on Yes on the prompt window.

2] Select the Services and Applications tab on the list on the left-hand side and then double-click on Services.

3] The list of services on the screen are in alphabetical order. Scroll through the list to find the Windows Connect Now service and double-click on it to open its properties.

4] Change the Startup type to “Disabled” and then on Apply and then OK.

5] Restart your system and the RalinkLinuxClient would not appear upon opening This PC.

Hope this helps!

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Karan Khanna is a passionate Windows 10 user who loves troubleshooting Windows problems in specific and writing about Microsoft technologies in general.