TCP Keep-Alive Messages (Windows Embedded CE 6.0)


A TCP keep-alive packet is simply an ACK with the sequence number set to one less than the current sequence number for the connection. A host receiving one of these ACKs will respond with an ACK for the current sequence number. Keep-alives can be used to verify that the computer at the remote end of a connection is still available. TCP keep-alives can be sent once every KeepAliveTime (defaults to 7,200,000 milliseconds or 2 hours), if no other data or higher-level keep-alives have been carried over the TCP connection. If there is no response to a keep-alive, it is repeated once every KeepAliveInterval seconds. KeepAliveInterval defaults to 1 second. NetBT connections, such as those used by many parts of the Microsoft networking functionality, send NetBIOS keep-alives more frequently, so usually no TCP keep-alives will be sent on a NetBIOS connection. TCP keep-alives are disabled by default, but Windows Sockets applications can use the SetSockOpt function to enable them.

See Also


Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)