Logo
programming4us
programming4us
programming4us
programming4us
Home
programming4us
XP
programming4us
Windows Vista
programming4us
Windows 7
programming4us
Windows Azure
programming4us
Windows Server
programming4us
Windows Phone
 
Windows Vista

Configure and Troubleshoot Wireless Networking (part 1) - Managing Wireless Connectivity in the Enterprise

- How To Install Windows Server 2012 On VirtualBox
- How To Bypass Torrent Connection Blocking By Your ISP
- How To Install Actual Facebook App On Kindle Fire
3/18/2011 5:41:41 PM
Wireless networking has slowly begun its acceleration into becoming a must-have solution. It is the single fastest growing network service within every enterprise network next to unified communications. The days are slowly dwindling down for using security as the excuse not to implement a wireless network. This is not to say that security is not the main objection for implementing a wireless network. On the contrary, wireless network security is the single largest obstacle in implementing a wireless network.

Without going into detail on 802.11 wireless standards, the following sections discuss the basics necessary for implementing mobile desktops using a wireless connection. Once again, though, Windows Vista has made it exceedingly easy to configure new wireless connections.

This discussion of wireless connectivity focuses only on 802.11 wireless connections. Although Windows Vista supports other types of wireless services such as Bluetooth Personal Area Network (PAN) and Infrared (Ir) connectivity, these services are used primarily for connecting mobile devices to the computer. Here, the concern is setting up wireless communication between network devices to form a wireless local area network.

802.11 Wireless Standards

Windows Vista supports the latest 802.11 standards. This section provides a quick review of the 802.11 wireless standards related to WLAN connectivity. These Wi-Fi (802.11 standards) are outlined in Table 1.

Table 1. 802.11 Wireless Standards and Descriptions
802.11 StandardDescription
802.11aWireless standard using portions of the 5GHz frequency with maximum connectivity speeds up to 54Mb/s
802.11bWireless standard using the 2.4GHz frequency with maximum connectivity speeds up to 11Mb/s
802.11gWireless standard also using the 2.4GHz frequency with maximum connectivity speeds up to 54Mb/s
802.11nWireless draft standard with a theoretical maximum speed up to 250Mb/s+. Current 802.11n drafts support both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Allows support for longer distances than 802.11A/B/G while also being compatible with 802.11A/B/G devices.

Caution

802.11n Still a Work in Progress As of August 2007, 802.11n was still going through another draft stage. Windows Vista even had troubles recognizing the radio type (802.11A/B/G or /n). 802.11n networks appeared as an 802.11G radio type in some dialog boxes. Search Microsoft’s website for article ID KB935279. The recently released Windows Vista SP-1 addressed most of these issues. Please view this article for further details:

technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVista/en/library/005f921e-f706-401e-abb5-eec42ea0a03e1033.mspx.

The 802.11n draft standard may have more changes to come. Tread slowly here before taking the plunge with any one vendor’s product. More than likely, you will be locked into that vendor even when the standard does arrive. Some experts estimate that ratification for 802.11n will not come sooner than the last quarter of 2008 or early 2009.


Wireless Basics

To create a wireless connection from a Windows Vista desktop, you typically start by selecting the notification window in the system tray that states wireless networks have been discovered. Wireless networks use a Secure Set Identifier (SSID) to uniquely name the wireless network. Windows Vista uses the SSID as the network name. Wireless access points have the ability to turn broadcasting on or off for the SSID.

There are two modes of wireless connections: infrastructure mode and ad hoc mode. An infrastructure mode connection involves connecting to an access point (AP) that has connections to wireless stations as well as a wired network. This is also referred to as a Basic Service Set (BSS). Ad hoc mode involves wireless devices connecting directly to one another without the use of an AP. Infrastructure mode is the mode most commonly employed in enterprise networks.

Connecting to a wireless network is a wizard-driven process. This process is described in more detail later, but here’s the general idea. A new wireless connection usually proceeds as follows:

1.
You are given a list of discovered wireless networks to select and begin the connection process.

2.
A wizard process begins that drives the configuration for the connection.

3.
The wizard prompts you to type a password if the wireless network has employed some security protocol to protect data transmission and possibly network authentication to allow a connection to the wireless network.

4.
You are connected to the wireless network, and the Network Location Awareness service begins its process of employing a network profile for the new connection. You may be prompted to select a network location for the connection profile.

Note

Wireless Discovery If there appear to be more available networks to choose from when you are selecting to connect to a network through the Connect to a Network dialog box accessed from the network status icon in the system tray, there are. Windows Vista, as opposed to previous wireless connectivity implementations in Windows XP and Windows 2000, does not display wireless networks that do not broadcast their Secure Set Identifier (SSID).

In Windows Vista, wireless networks that are not broadcasting their SSID appear as Unnamed Networks. Not broadcasting the SSID is not a true security method; you can see how easily Windows Vista can discover their presence as well as many other available tools.


Managing Wireless Connectivity in the Enterprise

Users within enterprise environments often make incorrect choices when it comes to administering their own network connections. Because the scenario described in the preceding section is quite typical of how easy it is to create a connection, it is left up to the IT desktop administrator to choose between ease of use and security. Certain features present in Windows Vista, such as the wizards used to automate the configuration of a network connection, also make it easy for a user to connect to an unsecure or possibly illegitimate wireless network. Unscrupulous individuals prey on a user’s naiveté for deciding which available network to use.

Because Windows Vista makes it easy to connect and configure wired and wireless networks, Microsoft created Group Policies to disable some of these wizards. Microsoft still uses this name within the user interface (UI) of Windows Vista. Group Policy for the computer has two policies that manage the use of Windows Connect Now. Managing Windows Connect Now services through Group Policy allows you to enable or disable the Windows Connect Now wizards.

Opening the Group Policy Object Editor (GPedit.msc) on the local Windows Vista computer, you can locate two Group Policy settings affecting two wizards that use Windows Connect Now services.

Group Policies to Manage the Windows Connect Now Wizards

To locate these Group Policy settings, follow these steps:

1.
Click Start, type gpedit.msc in the Search bar, and open the MMC.

2.
To find the Windows Connect Now policies, click Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Network > Windows Connect Now.

When you use the preceding steps to drill down to the Windows Connect Now policies, the first listed policy on the right is Prohibit Access of the Windows Connect Now Wizards. Figure 1 shows these policies. Enabling this policy disables use of two of the Windows Connect Wizards. One of these wizards is the Add a Wireless Device Wizard. You access this wizard by selecting Network from the Start menu. Figure 1 shows how to locate the Add a Wireless Device Wizard on the Network toolbar.

Figure 1. Locating the Add a Wireless Device Wizard.

Figure 2 shows the location of the other Windows Connect Now Wizard affected by the wireless Group Policy. You find the wizard named Set Up a Wireless Router or Access Point by selecting the task option Set Up a Connection or Network in the Network and Sharing Center.

Figure 2. The location of the Set Up a Wireless Router or Access Point Wizard.

You can make both of these wizards disappear by enabling the Group Policy Prohibit Access of the Windows Connect Now Wizards, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. The Group Policy that manages use of the Windows Connect Now Wizards.


Caution

What Does “Enable” a Disable Setting Mean in a GPO? Here is a friendly reminder about Group Policy settings. A Group Policy setting configured as enabled on a policy that disables or prohibits access to a feature for use ensures that the feature is unavailable for use. Changing a Group Policy setting to disabled on the same setting that disables or prohibits access to a feature actually ensures the availability of that feature.


The second Group Policy setting affecting Windows Connect Now services is the policy Configuration of Wireless Settings Using Windows Connect Now. Found in the same place as the previous policy, this Group Policy affects all Windows Connect Now services over all types of media. With this Group Policy (see Figure 4), you can disallow the local user the use of Windows Connect Now services over Ethernet (UPnP), Windows Portable Device (WPD) API, and USB Flash drives.

Figure 4. The Group Policy to manage Windows Connect Now over all types of media.


In addition, if you disable the Group Policy Configuration of Wireless Settings Using Windows Connect Now, you effectively disable all WCN services. Leaving this policy at its default—the setting Not Configured—allows the use of all WCN services.

Creating a Wireless Connection from an Available Network

In using these policies, it is worth noting that you are still able to create wireless connections with a little extra effort. Even less effort is needed when Windows Vista discovers wireless networks. This section runs through this scenario even with the Windows Connect Now wizards disabled by Group Policy.

By moving your mouse cursor over the network status icon in the system tray, you are able to select one of the available networks. After selecting the network name, you are pulled into the Connect to a Network Wizard. Figure 5 shows how to select the available wireless network from the list.

Figure 5. Selecting an available wireless network in the Connect to a Network Wizard.

After selecting the available network and clicking Connect, you are asked to supply the passphrase. Windows Vista even knows that it is a Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)-personal passphrase (more on this in the next section). Figure 6 shows how to enter the passphrase into the Connect to a Network Wizard.

Figure 6. Entering the passphrase into the wizard dialog box.

After entering the passphrase into the appropriate location in the dialog box, you then select to connect to the wireless network. Figure 7 shows the connection attempt being performed.

Figure 7. Completing a wireless connection.


Finally, Figure 8 shows that the connection was made successfully. You are given the option to save this connection for later use. You also can select whether you want to connect automatically to this wireless network the next time it is available.

Figure 8. Saving the wireless connection for later use.

Although this example demonstrates an obvious hole in managing wireless connectivity through Group Policy, you should understand the point of the preceding WCN Group Policies. These policies were designed to further restrict the user to connecting only to established wireless networks within the environment. If you are faced with laying down restricted access to wireless connections, these policies affecting WCN wizard access are the best thing going. Also note that there is a corresponding Group Policy in User Configuration for the policy Prohibit Access of the Windows Connect Now Wizards. In addition, there are the local Group Policies. There are far more wireless Group Policies available through Active Directory that offer granular control of wireless settings. From these Group Policies, every aspect of a wireless connection can be controlled.

Other -----------------
- Troubleshoot Resource Access and Connectivity Issues (part 2)
- Troubleshoot Resource Access and Connectivity Issues (part 1) - Troubleshooting TCP/IP Configuration
- Configure and Troubleshoot Network Services at the Client Level
- Configure and Troubleshoot Network Protocols (part 3) - Configuring TCP/IP Version 6
- Configure and Troubleshoot Network Protocols (part 2) - WINS & NAT
- Configure and Troubleshoot Network Protocols (part 1) - Configuring Internet Protocol Version 4
- Reliability and Performance Monitor
- Event Viewer and Event Forwarding
- Scheduling Tasks
- Troubleshooting Policy Settings
 
 
25 Inspiring Game of Thrones Quotes
Top 10
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 2) - Wireframes,Legends
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Finding containers and lists in Visio (part 1) - Swimlanes
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Formatting and sizing lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Adding shapes to lists
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Structure to Your Diagrams - Sizing containers
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 3) - The Other Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 2) - The Data Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Control Properties and Why to Use Them (part 1) - The Format Properties of a Control
- Microsoft Access 2010 : Form Properties and Why Should You Use Them - Working with the Properties Window
- Microsoft Visio 2013 : Using the Organization Chart Wizard with new data
- First look: Apple Watch

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
programming4us programming4us
Popular tags
Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Biztalk Exchange Server Microsoft LynC Server Microsoft Dynamic Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8
programming4us programming4us
 
programming4us
Natural Miscarriage
programming4us
Windows Vista
programming4us
Windows 7
programming4us
Windows Azure
programming4us
Windows Server
programming4us
Game Trailer