A Layered Service Provider (LSP) is a feature of the Microsoft Windows Winsock 2 Service Provider Interface (SPI). A Layered Service Provider is a DLL that uses Winsock APIs to insert itself into the TCP/IP stack. Once in the stack, a Layered Service Provider can intercept and modify inbound and outbound Internet traffic. It allows processing all the TCP/IP traffic taking place between the Internet and the applications that are accessing the Internet (such as a web browser, the email client, etc). For example, it could be used by a computer security program, which analyzes the traffic in search for viruses or other threats before transferring it to the final application of the traffic. The Winsock Service Provider Interface (SPI) API provides a mechanism for layering providers on top of each other. Winsock LSPs are available for a range of useful purposes, including parental controls and Web content filtering. The layering order of all providers is kept in the Winsock Catalog.
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