Before today I had spotted this “connection” in the Network connections area of many PC’s (never my own) and assumed it was one of those old fashioned diallers (you know, the ones which spread like wild fire utilising old 56k dial-up modems, used to connect you to premium rate phone-lines via the pc!!) but I was wrong!!! After researching, this connection is basically Windows NT’s way of saying that a firewire port is present.
In my experience firewire has never taken off, especially for the casual PC user, and this connection is confusing, especially when it displays a network activity icon in the taskbar, misleading the user that they are connected to a network or internet connection. Firewire is used to connect a limited number of peripherals such as digital cameras and camcorders but few new models adopt the firewire protocol. XP shows the ‘1394’ connection to show the possibilty of a firewire network, perhaps to join 2 pc’s or initialise a direct data connection to a peripheral where the number 1394 comes from “IEEE 1394” (the technical codename for firewire).
After researching this I decided to leave this connection present on the pc I was repairing, anticipating the slim chance that the owner of the PC might ever use it. It’s interesting how these little things are represented so badly in XP / Win2K, why not just tell the user this is a virtual firewire data connection! Strange!