It turns out windows 7 fetches a file from microsoft.com whenever you create a new connection. It does this to verify the connection and to check whether additional authorization is required (like a web-based login screen). I didn't know this and I'm sure I want to disable this fetch so this is just a note to find the how-to easily.
You can find the source blog post at http://blog.superuser.com/2011/05/16/windows-7-network-awareness/
Simply put, you change the registry
key to 0 :)