Home > Articles > Operating Systems, Server > Microsoft Windows Desktop

Networking Your Windows 8.1 Devices and Apps

Windows 8.1 devices are capable of connecting to the Internet and other devices in myriad ways. In this chapter from Programming the Windows Runtime by Example: A Comprehensive Guide to WinRT with Examples in C# and XAML you learn some of these more advanced methods and how to integrate them into your own apps.
This chapter is from the book

Network connectivity is a major feature of most Windows Store apps, as you learned in previous chapters. Although you have learned how to connect to services and keep your content fresh, Windows 8.1 devices are capable of connecting to the Internet and other devices in myriad ways. In this chapter, you learn some of these more advanced methods and how to integrate them into your own apps.

In addition to supporting the HTTP protocols, WinRT provides APIs that make it easy to enumerate resources on your HomeGroup network. You can enumerate network information and obtain the current data plan so that your app can modify its behavior to avoid downloading large amounts of data over a metered connection. The sockets APIs enable low-level communications using traditional UDP and TCP protocols, as well as the newer HTML5 WebSockets protocol. The proximity APIs enable communications between peer devices using Near Field Communications (NFC) and Wi-Fi Direct. Finally, the background transfer API allows your app to effectively manage long-running data transfers even when the app itself is not running.

Web and HTTP

In Chapter 5, “Web Services and Syndication,” you learned how to use the HttpClient class to connect to an HTTP server and retrieve content using the REST architecture. The Windows.Web.Http namespace contains several classes that you can use to connect with HTTP-based services. The HttpClient class represents a simple and easy-to-use interface for sending HTTP-related requests and retrieving responses. Other classes provide more advanced features and fine-grained control over interactions.

To provide more control over HTTP requests, use the HttpRequestMessage class. For example, the following requests content from my blog:

var client = new HttpClient();
var httpResponse = await client.GetAsync(new Uri(
    "http://csharperimage.jeremylikness.com/", UriKind.Absolute));

If you want more control over the type of request and process the request immediately after the headers have been read (instead of having to wait for the entire body), you can issue the request like this instead:

var client = new HttpClient();
var request = new HttpRequestMessage(
    HttpMethod.Get, new Uri("http://csharperimage.jeremylikness.
var response = await client.SendRequestAsync(request,

Using the latter method also gives you more control over the response. You can create a cancellation token and convert the response to a Task that uses the token:

this.cancellation = new CancellationTokenSource();
var response = await client.SendRequestAsync(
    request, HttpCompletionOption.ResponseHeadersRead)

When the page takes a significant time to load, from either a slow network or a large amount of information, you can cancel the load automatically or through user input by calling the cancel method on the cancellation token. You see an example of this in the CancelUrl method of the ViewModel class in the AdvancedHttpExample project:


The project enables you to enter a URL and then downloads and displays the content. The initial request ends when the headers are received so that you can stream the content with progress updates. You can cancel longer-running downloads and watch the progress. The content is exposed through the Content property of the HttpResponseMessage that is returned. The LoadUrl method demonstrates creating a progress handler that takes a type ulong and asynchronously downloads the content as a string.

this.progress = new Progress<ulong>(ProgressHandler);
var stringContent = await response.Content
   .ReadAsStringAsync().AsTask(cancellation.Token, this.progress);

The progress handler is passed the number of bytes received and uses the dispatcher to set them as a property on the viewmodel to show the progress to the user.

private void ProgressHandler(ulong progressArgs)

If you use the default URL of my blog, the content loads immediately and the progress method never gets called. Using a longer URL, such as the URL to a large book such as Ulysses in HTML format from the Gutenberg project, results in a longer download and progress updates. The URL, listed in the source of the viewmodel, to make it easy for you to copy, is www.gutenberg.org/files/4300/4300-h/4300-h.htm.

You can also use the request message to post content, including streams, to the server. The Content property of the HttpRequestMessage can be assigned any instance that implements IHttpContent. This includes the following content:

  • HttpBufferContent—Content that uses an IBuffer instance
  • HttpFormUrlEncodedContent—Content that uses name/value pairs for a form post
  • HttpJsonContent—Content that is represented using the JSON format
  • HttpMultipartContent—Content that uses the multipart MIME type for uploading multiple attachments
  • HttpMultipartFormDataContent—A special format for forms encoded using the multipart/form-data MIME type
  • HttpStreamContent—Content that uses a stream, such as when uploading files to the server
  • HttpStringContent—Content that uses a string

The HTTP API also provides the HttpProgress class for tracking and handling the progress of long-running HTTP uploads. Simply create an instance of the progress handler and pass it to the extension method that converts the call to a Task:

var progress = new Progress<HttpProgress>(ProgressHandler);
HttpResponseMessage response = await httpClient.PostAsync(
    resourceAddress, streamContent).AsTask(cts.Token, progress);

The signature of the handler is a simple method that takes an instance of HttpProgress and can query items such as bytes sent versus total bytes sent, number of retries, and the stage of the process (for example, sending or receiving content).

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020