Microsoft Surface Network Options

By Andy Rathbone

Because your Surface moves around with you a lot, it has a chance to connect with a wide variety of networks. The Network category lets you control how your Surface may connect with them.

  • Connections: This lists your currently connected Wi-Fi network. (When troubleshooting, tap the icon to see details like an IP address, security protocol and type, network adapter manufacturer, and driver version.)

    If you use your Surface to connect with a corporate network, the big deal is being able to set up a VPN (virtual private network) by filling out a short form.

  • Airplane Mode: Enter here to turn on Airplane mode. (You can turn on Airplane mode more quickly from the bottom of the Settings pane.)

    Visiting the Airplane mode setting here offers two perks: You can stay in Airplane mode but turn back on your Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. That way you can take advantage of the plane’s Wi-Fi service, if available, and keep using your Bluetooth mouse.

  • Proxy: Used mostly by techies, this lets you set up an alternative server, usually to handle your web requests.

  • Homegroup: If you’ve set up a homegroup — a special type of network — on your home or office computers, visit here to join or leave it. There’s one caveat: The Surface RT and Surface 2 can’t start a homegroup, but they can join an existing one. The Surface Pro and Pro 2, by contrast, can both start and join an existing homegroup.

  • Workplace: If you work at a “Bring Your Own Device” company, here’s where you type the user ID that your company handed to you.