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I have seen this question asked in different places, but have never seen a satisfactory answer:

On different computer builds, ASUS/GIGABYTE/MSI, I constantly have outgoing connections to XXX-XXX-XXX.deploy.static.akamaitechnologies.com over HTTP Port 80, and if the connection attempts are denied, the network card (or at least internet connectivity) stops working... LAN connections still appear to work. The outgoing connections occur on every restart, and must be allowed for the network card to function properly. If the attempts are denied, the system must be restated so that the connections will be attempted again and can be allowed.

This post suggests narrowing down an offending application, but I don't see how akamai technologies can be so intertwined in so many systems, cut-off connectivity if not allowed, etc. Something about it feels like unauthorized (or at least unwanted) information transfer, at the very least a phone-home, but I have no Wirshark captures to confirm this :)

My primary guess after looking at all the symptoms: the connection attempt is trying to see if there is internet connectivity, and if the attempt fails Windows assumes there is none... But this sounds really, really dumb.

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    Akamai is a CDN used by most sites to serve static content (images, assets, etc), if you block it most sites will have missing images or stylesheets. – user42178 Jan 22 '15 at 12:00
  • That would be OK. However, denial of the initial connections (they do no occur again after they are either allowed or denied) results in the browser not connecting to the page at all. – user58446 Jan 22 '15 at 12:03
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    This is because a particular page may need content served by akamai. Without their content delivery network, the internet would be much slower. – Rory Alsop Jan 22 '15 at 12:29
  • @RoryAlsop What?! Are you saying all of my http requests are going through deploy.static.akamaitechnologies.com? I could understand something do with DNS, but I don't understand this. – user58446 Jan 22 '15 at 12:31
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CDNs commonly serve their pages based on the geographical allocation of the ip addresses of the connecting user. You could use a proxy server for all your http requests but directed at a country that is nowhere close to where you are located. At the end of it, if the requests still head off towards those ip addresses, you'll know that something isn't quite right.

However, that was a while back. Now CDNs also serve contents such as updates, etc. So if you can corroborate the connection as a valid service for something like Apple updates, especially with real life users, then you can be sure that it is a valid request.

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Maybe there are some Safe Browsing extension somewhere on your platform (browser, anti-virus, etc.)? For instance, Firefox includes by default a check toward Google's safe browsing database, would such database be unavailable I'm not sure about Firefox reaction, but it may looks like what you are describing.

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