How to Manage Wireless Connections Using Windows

Both Windows 7 and Windows Vista feature a little black book. But unlike former dates, the black book helps you keep track of all the wireless networks your computer has gone out with. You can see the whole list of them by opening the Control Panel’s Network and Sharing Center icon and clicking the Manage Wireless Networks link. When you do, the Manage Wireless Networks window appears.

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The Manage Wireless Networks window displays a list of wireless networks you accessed in the past. By keeping track of those connections, Windows makes it easier for your computer (okay, your laptop) to recognize and instantly connect to those networks when they’re within range. It saves time.

If you have trouble connecting to one of the networks, you can enter updated information as your computer tries to make the connection. For example, you can enter a new password if the old one is rejected or has expired.

You can change any saved wireless connection by double-clicking its icon in the Manage Wireless Networks window. In the connection’s Properties dialog box, click the Security tab to type the new password.

If you’d rather not have a connection made automatically, double-click the Connection icon and in its Properties dialog box, remove the check mark by the Connect Automatically When This Network Is in Range option.

To set a priority for the connections, drag the connection up or down in the window. Connections at the top of the window have a higher priority.

Windows ensures that the computer first connects to the higher-priority networks. Well, that is, unless you turned off that option in the connection’s Properties dialog box. (The setting is titled Connect to a More Preferred Network If Available.)

Close the Manage Wireless Networks window when you’re done messing around.

  • Even when you don’t remember choosing to save a wireless network connection, don’t be surprised to see it in the list.

  • Removing an item from the list is easy: Select the wireless Network Connection icon and click the Remove toolbar button.

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