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Create a Wireless Network connection in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008

Updated: October 14, 2010

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 7, Windows Vista

You can use this procedure to create a connection to a wireless network.

Any user account can be used to complete this procedure.

You can make a connection to the following types of wireless networks:

Most wireless network access points can be configured to broadcast its Service Set Identifier (SSID) or to not broadcast it. If a wireless access point is broadcasting, then Windows can discover it, determine the security requirements, and if you choose, connect to it.

  1. Right-click the Network icon (Network Icon) in the notification area.

  2. Click Connect to a network.

    Windows displays the Connect to a network dialog box that lists all compatible wireless networks within range. If the one you are looking for is not listed, you can click the Refresh button in the upper right of the dialog box to try searching again. If there are several network connections defined on your computer, or several wireless networks within range, you might need to scroll up to see the network for which you are looking.

  3. Select the network to which you want to connect, and click Connect.

  4. If it is an unsecured network, that is a network not using Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), or another supported encryption protocol, then Windows asks you to confirm that you want to connect to that network.

    • Click Continue Anyway if you do want to connect.

    • Click Connect to a different network to return to step 3.

  5. If the network requires it, Windows prompts you for the security key needed to complete the connection. Enter the key and click Connect.

  6. Windows displays the confirmation message that you successfully connected to the network, or if it could not connect, gives you the option to either Diagnose the problem, or Connect to a different network.

If a wireless network access point is not broadcasting its SSID, then Windows cannot display the network in the list of networks within range. You can still connect to it by manually entering the SSID and security information.

  1. Right-click the Network icon (Network Icon) in the notification area.

  2. Click Connect to a network.

    Your wireless network does not appear in the list, because its SSID is not being broadcast.

  3. Click Set up a connection or network.

  4. On the Choose a connection option page, select Manually connect to a wireless network, and click Next.

    Windows displays the Enter information for the wireless network you want to add page.

  5. In the Network name box, enter the SSID of the network.

  6. From the Security type list, select the type of security used by the network.

  7. From the Encryption type list, select the type of encryption used by the network. The choices available in this list are determined by the selection you made in the previous step.

  8. If the security and encryption types you specified require it, the Security key/Passphrase text box is enabled. Enter the key or phrase used by your network. If you wish to see the key or phrase as you type it, click Display characters.

  9. If you want your computer to connect to this network whenever it is within range, then check Start this connection automatically.

  10. If the network is not broadcasting its SSID, then you need to check Connect even if the network is not broadcasting.

  11. Click Next.

    Windows indicates that it created your connection, and gives you the option to either start the connection or to change the configuration settings for the connection.

See Also

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