Updated May 22, 2017
I’ve been running Windows 10 at home for a while now but it seems that I find more details of the new OS when a client brings in a device and asks their questions. One client brought in a brand new laptop running Windows 10 and complained they were no longer able to get on to their WiFi at home and confirmed that they were also not able to get on WiFi at my office. They were not getting any IP information from the network, so I checked that antennas were turned on, network connections were enabled, and tried a USB-to-Ethernet adapter to the same results. While checking that the DHCP client service was running in Services.msc, another service caught my eye.
I did not recall seeing the ‘AllJoyn Router Service‘ service before and it has the following description:
Routes AllJoyn messages for the local AllJoyn clients. If this service is stopped the AllJoyn clients that do not have their own bundled routers will be unable to run.
The description made me very suspicious at first. With ‘messages’ and ‘routing’, it certainly sounded like a third party IM client that was trying to do too much and took over this laptop’s networking ability. (I’ve seen it before…) I compared services with another Windows 10 device that was working and found the AllJoyn service was there as well.
I refocused my efforts on tracking down the laptop’s problems. With the timeline of when the WiFi was working to when it stopped, I found that a piece of adware was installed and in conjunction with a McAfee trial that came pre-loaded with Windows, was blocking Internet access. I uninstalled the adware and McAfee and then rebooted. Upon coming back up, I was able to connect to WiFi and get Windows Defender up to date.
Piquing my curiosity, I wanted to look into that AllJoyn service to learn more about it. It turns out that AllJoyn is a component of the AllSeen Alliance, run by the Linux Foundation, to enable the “Internet of Things” with devices talking to each other. Windows 10 certainly wants a future in that, so the service allows it to talk to other AllJoyn devices for home automation and many other future tasks embracing the IoT.
AllJoyn® is a collaborative open-source software framework that makes it easy for developers to write applications that can discover nearby devices, and communicate with each other directly regardless of brands, categories, transports, and OSes without the need of the cloud. The AllJoyn framework is extremely flexible with many features to help make the vision of the Internet of Things come to life.
For more information on Microsoft’s efforts with the Internet of Things, you can see their AllJoyn page on the Microsoft IoT GitHub site or the Microsoft Open Technologies site which had an announcement for AllJoyn implementation in Windows 10 in November 2014.
In October 2016 AllJoyn merged into the open-source project – IoTivity. It was announced during the merger that all current devices running either IoTivity or AllJoyn would be interoperable as well as backward-compatible.