Network and Sharing Center in Windows 7 allows you to determine which networks your computer is connected to and the network designation assigned to those networks. The first time that you connect to a network you must choose a network location. This automatically designates the appropriate firewall and security settings for the type of network that you connect to.
The NLA (Network Location Awareness) feature assigns your Windows 7 computer a network profile based on the properties of a network connection. When you connect to a new network, Windows prompts a dialog box asking you whether the network is a Home, a Domain or a Public network. Additionally, Windows 7 remembers the designation that you assign to the network and associates it with the properties of the network so that every time you connect to that network, the same designation will be applied.
Imagine you need to share some files with a friend or with a colleague while in a meeting and do not have any network means to connect to! You can set up a temporary wireless network between two or more computers running Windows 7 or Vista assuming that both computers are equipped with a wireless interface and are within 9 meters of each other. An ad hoc wireless network is quickly set up as you can see from the following steps:
Connecting a wireless-enabled computer running Windows 7 to a wireless network is pretty straight forward however; if that doesn’t work you can try the netsh command line tool. Below, you will find the steps required to connect your computer to a wireless network using the netsh wlan command. Alternatively to netsh, you can either open Network and Sharing Center and click Connect to a network or click the network icon on your taskbar at the bottom right section of your screen.
A small wired network may consist of an 8 or 5 port network switch which connects all computers together, and one Windows 7 machine running ICS bridging the network and the Internet connection through the ISP cable or dial-up modem as shown below. Internal computers can obtain their IPv4 configuration from the ICS machine while the ICS machine get its configuration from the modem which in turn is configured by the ISP. Some ISPs may provide you with a combined modem and router where you may omit the ICS computer as this role will be provided by the modem/router device.
In general, troubleshooting network connectivity issues require the same techniques but with Wireless Networks there is an additional layer that you need to consider. You need to be aware of the wireless layer and the implications it has over your connection. In this article I will point out the most common wireless problems and how to resolve them.
The task of setting up wireless networks is either flawless or drives us crazy. We may be reluctant to modify a working configuration or so much time may have been dedicated in troubleshooting and configuring a practical solution that we tend to ignore the security part of the wireless setup! You must build your wireless setup around the security controls and features provided by WAP devices and not implementing security as an afterthought. There are quite a number of security measures we can take and they depend mostly on your WAP devices but the following features which must be available on most WAPs will help you increase your wireless setup security: