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Appendix H: New Connection Wizard and Internet Connection Wizard

Published: August 06, 2004

(Note: This topic describes not just Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2, but also Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3.)

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Overview: New Connection Wizard and Internet Connection Wizard
Controlling the Use of the New Connection Wizard and the Internet Connection Wizard

Overview: New Connection Wizard and Internet Connection Wizard

In Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 (SP2) you use the New Connection Wizard to create Internet and other types of network connections for home and small office networks. While this feature is designed for home and small office use, information about this feature is presented here so IT administrators can be aware of these potential capabilities within the organization’s network.

There is another wizard, accessible from Outlook Express, called the Internet Connection Wizard. To prevent users from running this wizard, remove visible entry points to Outlook Express, possibly by using the Sysocmgr command, as described in the “Outlook Express 6” section of this white paper.

For information about methods for configuring Internet Explorer, see the “Internet Explorer 6” section of this white paper.

The New Connection Wizard in Windows XP with SP2 replaces the Windows 2000 Network Connection Wizard and Internet Connection Wizard. Administrators for a home or small office network can use the New Connection Wizard to create any type of network connection including Internet, incoming, dial-up, virtual private network (VPN), and direct connection.

You can start the New Connection Wizard in a variety of ways:

  • By starting any program that requires an Internet connection when no Internet connection has yet been configured. An example of such a program is Internet Explorer.

  • By opening Network Connections and clicking Create a new connection. Network Connections can be opened in a variety of ways, including through Control Panel\Network Connections.

  • By opening Internet Options and, on the Connections tab, clicking the Setup button. Internet Options can be opened in a variety of ways, including through Control Panel\Internet Options.

  • By clicking Start, clicking Programs or All Programs, clicking Accessories, clicking Communications, and then clicking New Connection Wizard.

A wizard called the Internet Connection Wizard still appears when the user starts the New Connections Wizard, clicks Connect to the Internet, clicks Choose from a list of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), finishes the wizard, and clicks the resulting icon labeled Refer me to more Internet Service Providers.

Another wizard called the Internet Connection Wizard can be started from Outlook Express if a user takes actions to set up a mail account or a newsgroup account. To prevent users from running this wizard, remove visible entry points to Outlook Express, possibly by using the  Sysocmgr command, as described in the “Outlook Express 6” section of this white paper.

Controlling the Use of the New Connection Wizard and the Internet Connection Wizard

You can control how users can use the New Connection Wizard and the related Internet Connection Wizard by configuring Group Policy.

Note   Some of the Group Policy settings described in this section do not affect administrators. The descriptions provide details.

  • Group Policy setting: Disable Internet Connection Wizard

    This Group Policy setting is in User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer. It affects administrators as well as users.

    If you enable this policy, the Setup button on the Connections tab in the Internet Options dialog box appears dimmed. Also, if you enable this setting, and a user running the New Connection Wizard clicks Choose from a list of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), finishes the wizard, and clicks Refer me to more Internet Service Providers, a message appears, saying that the user cannot run the Internet Connection Wizard.

    Note   This policy overlaps with the Disable the Connections page policy (located in \User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Internet Explorer\Internet Control Panel), which removes the Connections tab from the interface.

    A second wizard called the Internet Connection Wizard can be started from Outlook Express if a user takes actions to set up a mail account or a newsgroup account. To prevent users from running this wizard, remove visible entry points to Outlook Express, possibly by using the Sysocmgr command, as described in the “Outlook Express 6” section of this white paper.

  • Group Policy setting: Turn off Internet Connection Wizard if URL connection is referring to Microsoft.com

    This Group Policy setting is in Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Internet Communication Management\Internet Communication settings. It affects users but not administrators.

    This policy setting specifies whether the Internet Connection Wizard can connect to Microsoft to download a list of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). If you enable this setting, and a user running the New Connection Wizard clicks Choose from a list of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), finishes the wizard, and clicks Refer me to more Internet Service Providers, a message appears, saying that the user cannot complete the Internet Connection Wizard. This prevents users from retrieving the list of ISPs, which resides on Microsoft servers.

    Important   You can also restrict Internet access for this and a number of other components by applying the Restrict Internet communication policy setting, which is located in Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System/Internet Communication Management. For more information about this Group Policy and the policies that it controls, see Appendix C, "Group Policy Settings Listed Under the Internet Communication Management Key."

  • Group Policy setting: Prohibit Access to the New Connection Wizard

    This Group Policy setting is in User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Network Connections. It affects users but not administrators.

    This policy setting determines whether users can use the New Connection Wizard, which creates new Internet or intranet connections.

  • Group Policy setting: Enable Windows 2000 Network Connections settings for Administrators

    This Group Policy setting is also in User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Network\Network Connections.

    Note   This policy setting is intended to be used in a situation in which the Group Policy object (GPO) contains computers running both Windows 2000 and Windows XP and identical Network Connections policy setting behavior is required between those computers.

    With this policy setting enabled, policy settings that exist in both Windows 2000 and Windows XP behave the same for administrators.

    The set of Network Connections policy settings that exists in Windows 2000 also exists in Windows XP. In Windows 2000, all of these policy settings have the ability to prohibit the use of certain features by administrators. By default, Network Connections policy settings in Windows XP do not prohibit the use of features from administrators.

For information about using Group Policy, see Appendix B, "Learning About Group Policy and Updating Administrative Templates."

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