IKEEXT: Top 3 Fixes and Important Things You Need to Know

IKEEXT

Windows being Windows. IKEEXT may confuse you, but don’t worry! You will find all the precious information here.

Today we will be discussing a hosting service. Not a tool or not a service, not even a program but a hosting service. Now Windows is such a gigantic operating system that its fluency is almost unbeatable, and thus, to make sure its fluency remains in contact with the users, it keeps on adding new stuff. However, this hosting service is not very new. It is one of those services which triggers the services to make our experience good. I know it may sound a bit confusing but don’t worry, we got you covered.

Foremost, getting into the article, let’s discuss what IKEEXT actually is?

What is IKEEXT?

As stated earlier, IKEEXT is a hosting service. Now you may wonder what it is used for is? It hosts the Internet Key Exchange (IKE) and the Authenticated Internet Protocol (AuthIP) keying modules.

Quite new terms, but we will go through these as well.

These keying modules are used for authentication and key exchange in Internet Protocol Security (IPsec). Now, these are terms related to VPN, Network firewall, Data transportation, etc. The service of IKEEXT runs at startup. This hosting service eats up a lot of your CPU just after the boot. The hosting service takes almost a minute to trigger Internet Key Exchange and Authenticated Internet Protocol launching.

IKEEXT

You may think IKEEXT is a named service, but it is a collaborative name of IKE and AuthIP. Thus these two services make up the hosting service used for authentication and key exchange features required by the IPsec.

Firstly, what is IKE? It is a protocol used to set up a Security Association (SA) in the Internet Protocol Security Suite. For authentication, IKE uses X.509 certificates.

Now coming to AuthIP, in simple words, it is a Microsoft proprietary extension to the IKE cryptographic protocol. Earlier, AuthIP was only supported on Vista and client, but now it is also supported in the entire server. It is usually used for VPN connections as it increases the security and deployability of IPsec VPNs as a further step to authentication.

So you can find the file ikeext.dll with the display name IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules. The type will be share with normal error control. The path is %WinDir%\system32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs -p and the file path is %WinDir%\System32\ikeext.dll

How to disable Ikeext or IKE and AuthIP

Now, if you stop or disable the Ikeext service, it might result in IPsec failure, and you may compromise the system’s security. If you use other external things like VPN, private coded and authorized network, external sole router, or any other such things for privacy and security, you can disable this feature in your windows and get a free system performance boost. Yes, it does boost your system during startup as the system is optimizing no CPU to promote the services.

Thus, to disable the Ikeext service, follow the steps below.

Now to disable the IKEEXT service, two ways are completely different but almost work the same. You cannot disable the entire service due to security protocols, but you can do the needful at least at the minimum area.

First, we have to disable IKE Gateway

You can do this by following the steps below.

  1. Log in to your network foremost.
  2. Then select Network and navigate yourself to Network Profiles.
  3. From there go to IKE Gateways and select the gateway you want to enable or disable.
  4. At the bottom of the screen you will find the two options of Enable and Disable. Choose as per your requirements. Or you may have to select the action first and may have to option to Apply. Click on it and the changes will be done. This depends on the interface you are using.
Ikeext
In this case, we have to choose the network, and the enable option appears on the interface. This is the SonicWall interface. You can use any interface as per your type.

Secondly, we have the option to enable or disable an IPsec tunnel

Firstly, an IPsec tunnel is a kind of gateway for VPN connections. To disable or enable this, follow the steps below.

  1. In the same interface, navigate to Network.
  2. Now from here, locate IPsec Tunnels. This may vary from interface to interface.
  3. Now select the desired tunnel you want to enable or disable and then clivk on the desired action to save the changes.
IPsec
This is the NSX interface used to configure.

It is highly recommended not to change any extra settings of the interface and the gateways that don’t know much about these and who want to experiment. Also, it is highly recommended that you do not switch off the service os IKEEXT as it may make your device and network fully prone to attacks.

If you are very sure about your actions, only then pursue these steps. You may get a module error while disabling. So refer to this link: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/ike-and-authip-ipsec-keying-modules-error-13876/325b285e-92b9-4cf7-b774-513e94613c06.

How to set the startup type of IKEEXT to manaul.

Now many people desire to save boot time and keep the startup service for IKE and AuthIP to manual. This is not advised because you may forget to start the service soon after indulging in your device actions—however, those who are very disciplined and want to pursue this step follow the steps below.

Type msconfig in the search bar near the start button.

Now open the system configuration.

From here, navigate to the Services tab and find the service name IKE and AuthIP Keying Modules.

IKEEXT start up time

Now uncheck the box of the service and click on Apply, and then Ok. Restart your pc to save the changes and enjoy your boot time.

How to fully disable the startup service for IKEEXT

You can also disable the service by the services editor and changing the startup type to disabled. If, after re-enabling the feature, the service doesn’t start, then you can refer to this link for Microsoft’s answer: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/windows-could-not-start-the-ike-and-authip-ipsec/be7442ca-c8f7-4a3b-b552-78d22f803c9d.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Type services.msc in the search bar next to start button and open the Services program.
  2. In there search for the option IKE and AuthIP IPsec Modules
  3. Double click the service to open the properties
  4. Now change the start up type to disabled
  5. Click on Apply and then click Ok.
  6. Now restart the service and the changes will be saved.
Ike and AuthIP properties

FAQs Related to IKEEXT

Will the service does not work entirely if I disable the start-up?

Yes, the service won’t start until and unless you enable it back manually.

What if I only disable the IKE gateway and not the IPsec gateway?

It will protect your VPN connections externally but will disable the IKE Gateway.

Will it give me security if I disable the start-up?

There are certain circumstances where the service becomes online automatically. For example, the time it detects something fishy is going on with the network gateways.

Final Words

I hope this article has cleared most of your doubts regarding the IKEEXT hosting service. The two ways that are given to disable the service removes the quality of the service lifetime. Comparatively, when the start-up is disabled, it will not be enabled automatically until something is wrong. However, the other two methods of fully disabling the IKE gateway and IPsec tunnel are a bit riskier as they may not be in action.

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