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Tip: Using Group Policy to Configure Wireless Network Settings

In an Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) environment, you can use Group Policy settings to configure wireless network policies. (Note that you should have Windows Server 2003 SP1 or later installed on your domain controllers.)

But before you can use Group Policy to configure wireless networks, you may need to extend the AD DS schema. To do this, check out the article "Active Directory Schema Extensions for Windows Vista Wireless and Wired Group Policy Enhancements" and follow the directions in the section titled "Extending the Schema for Wireless Group Policy Settings".

After you extend the schema, you can configure a wireless network policy by following these steps:
  1. Open the Active Directory GPO in the Group Policy Object Editor.
  2. Expand Computer Configuration, Windows Settings, Security Settings, and then click Wireless Network (IEEE 802.11) Policies.
  3. Right-click Wireless Network (IEEE 802.11) Policies and then click Create A New Windows Vista Policy. The Wireless Network Properties dialog box appears.
  4. To add an infrastructure network, click Add and then click Infrastructure to open the Connection tab of the New Profile Properties dialog box. In the Network Names list, click NEWSSID and then click Remove. Then, type a valid internal SSID in the Network Names box and click Add. Repeat this to configure multiple SSIDs for a single profile. If the network is hidden, select the Connect Even If The Network Is Not Broadcasting check box.
  5. On the New Profile Properties dialog box, click the Security tab. Use this tab to configure the wireless network authentication and encryption settings. Click OK.
These settings will configure client computers to connect automatically to your internal wireless networks and not to connect to other wireless networks.

Tip adapted from Windows 7 Resource Kit by Mitch Tulloch, Tony Northrup, Jerry Honeycutt, Ed Wilson, and the Windows 7 team.

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