I've been burned a few times by the Microsoft Loopback Adapter (MLA). It's a nice idea to have a loopback adapter, but it appears to me that when a program asks Windows for an adapter (pick an adapter, any adapter) Windows either provides the loopback adapter as the default, or when a program asks for a list of adapters, the MLA is the first adapter in the list.
So what? There is lots of software out there that once it finds a connected adapter, it stops looking for better adapters. Yeah, I know that isn't the fault of the MLA, but here's the effect:
- I've got a program that works well enough.
- I enable the MLA.
- Sometime later (maybe months later), I try to use the program again, and it fails.
- The action I took that caused the problem was to enable the MLA.
Here are some programs that have failed after enabling the MLA:
- Oracle database server
- I forget the details. It was months ago.
- Belkin USB Network Hub (Model F5L009)
- "Control Center" can't find the Belkin device. The list comes up empty.