Windows 7 / Networking

Windows Connect Now

To simplify the creation and configuration of wireless networks and their security settings, Windows 7 supports Windows Connect Now, with which users can store network configuration information on a universal serial bus (USB) flash drive (UFD). To configure a wireless network, users first step through a network setup wizard that gathers their wireless network preferences. Then, Windows configures the computer with authentication and encryption settings for a protected wireless network and stores the configuration on a UFD. Adding new computers (running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later, Windows Vista, or Windows 7) to the wireless network can be as simple as connecting the UFD to each computer. Although Group Policy is the preferred way to configure domain member computers for wireless networks, UFDs are an excellent way to grant guests access to an encrypted wireless network. Note, however, that the wireless network should be isolated from your internal networks to protect your intranet from your guests.

You can completely prevent users from accessing the Windows Connect Now Wizards by using the Prohibit Access Of The Windows Connect Now Wizards in either the Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Network\Windows Connect Now node or the User Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Network\Windows Connect Now Group Policy node. In addition, the Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\Network\Windows Connect Now node has the Configuration Of Wireless Settings Using Windows Connect Now setting, which provides the following options:

  • Turn Off Ability To Configure Using WCN Over Ethernet (UPnP) Prevents Windows from being able to configure networked devices that support UPnP.
  • Turn Off Ability to Configure Using WCN Over In-band 802.11 Wi-Fi Prevents Windows from being able to configure wireless networked devices.
  • Turn Off Ability To Configure Using A USB Flash Drive Prevents Windows from being able to store a Windows Connect Now configuration to a UFD. Because the Windows Connect Now information stored on a UFD contains information that can allow computers to access your protected wireless network, you might choose to disable this setting to improve the security of your wireless networks.
  • Turn Off Ability To Configure Windows Portable Device (WPD) Prevents Windows from being able to configure WPDs, which include portable media players, digital cameras, and mobile phones.
  • Maximum Number Of WCN Devices Allowed Enables you to limit the number of Windows Connect Now devices that a computer running Windows can configure. n Higher Precedence Medium For Devices Discovered By Multiple Media Determines which networking type is used when a device is available across both wired and wireless networks.

If you do not plan to use Windows Connect Now, you can disable it safely. The default setting for the Windows Connect Now-related Group Policy settings enables all Windows Connect Now capabilities.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Configuring Windows Networking
  2. Usability Improvements
  3. Network And Sharing Center
  4. Network Explorer
  5. How Windows Finds Network Resources
  6. How Windows Publishes Network Resources
  7. How Windows Creates the Network Map
  8. Network Map
  9. Set Up A Connection Or Network Wizard
  10. Manageability Improvements
  11. Network Location Types
  12. Policy-Based QoS
  13. Selecting DSCP Values
  14. Planning Traffic Throttling
  15. Configuring QoS Policies
  16. Configuring System-Wide QoS Settings
  17. Configuring Advanced QoS Settings
  18. Testing QoS
  19. Windows Firewall and IPsec
  20. Windows Connect Now in Windows 7
  21. Core Networking Improvements
  22. Networking BranchCache
  23. How Hosted Cache Works
  24. How Distributed Cache Works
  25. Configuring BranchCache
  26. BranchCache Protocols
  27. File Sharing Using SMB
  28. Web Browsing with HTTP (Including HTTPS)
  29. DNSsec
  30. GreenIT
  31. Efficient Networking
  32. What Causes Latency, How to Measure It, and How to Control It
  33. TCP Receive Window Scaling
  34. Scalable Networking
  35. Improved Reliability
  36. IPv6 Support
  37. 802.1X Network Authentication
  38. Server Message Block (SMB) 2.0
  39. Strong Host Model
  40. Wireless Networking
  41. Improved APIs
  42. Network Awareness
  43. Improved Peer Networking
  44. Services Used by Peer-to-Peer Networking
  45. Managing Peer-to-Peer Networking
  46. Peer-to-Peer Name Resolution
  47. EAP Host Architecture
  48. Layered Service Provider (LSP)
  49. Windows Sockets Direct Path for System Area Networks
  50. How to Configure Wireless Settings
  51. Configuring Wireless Settings Manually
  52. Using Group Policy to Configure Wireless Settings
  53. How to Configure TCP/IP
  54. DHCP
  55. Configuring IP Addresses Manually
  56. Command Line and Scripts
  57. How to Connect to AD DS Domains
  58. How to Connect to a Domain When 802.1X Authentication Is Not Enabled
  59. How to Connect to a Domain When 802.1X Authentication Is Enabled