by R. K. Bloom

Features of the wireless network settings in Windows XP SP2, and testing the network adapter Gigabyte GN-WPKG

Features of the wireless network settings in Windows XP SP2, and testing the network adapter Gigabyte GN-WPKG


The number of wireless networks is growing every day more and more rapidly. Producers not only create more sophisticated devices, but also continue to develop and direction of the standard equipment.

For example, the company has Gigabyte. Recall that earlier in our laboratory has equipment fell this manufacturer, including adapters for laptops GN-WLMA101, a review which you can always find here.

At this time, weve got a wireless network adapter for PCI 802.11g standard, code-named GN-WPKG. As before, in front of the material to test directly the adapter itself, we offer readers acquainted with the theory of networks. At this time it will be about innovation second service pack for Windows XP, which affected the wireless network.

New in SP2

Thus, the second service pack: to put or not – thats the question. The answer is simple – to put! If someone has not updated their system, then go for it, its worth it! What is new, we saw after the installation? Actually, not so little – theres a new Wireless Network Setup Wizard, built-in firewall system changed, and now it is called Windows Firewall and has a friendly interface, and much more. Next, we consider the built-in firewall and configure a wireless network in Windows XP SP2.

Windows Firewall

Recall that the solution to present and past, but was of a different name – Internet Connection Firewall. However, it changed not only the name has changed the interface, there were no opportunities to work with the ports, and with the programs, and much more:

By default, Windows Firewall is now enabled for all existing and new connections. Of course this is an additional protection system, but also creates some problems when working software products that use the network.

Firewall settings are set for each connection, we recall that previously had set up “by the piece.” In other words, if you change global settings, they apply to all connections. Of course, remained the possibility to set specific settings for each connection.

The new interface firewall settings. Earlier, it was necessary to put the box in the advanced settings connections, is now used tool settings Windows Firewall.

Appeared mode, which allows blocking even the traffic for which the specified exceptions. Actual use for new virus attacks, patches of which has not yet been established.

Before the advent of SP2 Windows XP users are protected only the specified connection. For the protection required to have been running the service. Prior to launching the system was vulnerable. Now before you run these services, there is a policy that limits the network traffic. In this vital task can be performed as before. After starting the services, this restriction is lifted, and starts Windows Firewall.

Previously, exceptions were given regardless of the IP-address with SP2 for exceptions, you can also specify a range of addresses or address list. This scenario is useful in the home or corporate networks, where computers are potentially hazardous outside the local network.

Ordinary users to anything to know what ports are used by programs, and indeed, that such ports, it is important that the correct program could work. Windows Firewall allows you to specify the program itself automatically opens the necessary ports to it. In the beginning there are exceptions to access file and print sharing, remote assistance, and others.

Configuring Windows Firewall can be performed using command line utilities netsh. Accordingly, you can create scripts to automatically configure the firewall. Of course, this feature will be more interesting to system administrators, because not every user knows what the command line and how to work with her. Administrators will be interesting and centralized configuration that can be provided by group policies.

Group policies enable you to create different profiles: when you connect your computer to a network with domain controllers and domain controller is unavailable. This solution is convenient for mobile users, while working in a local network uses one setting, outside of it – more.

Wireless Network in Windows XP SP2

With regard to wireless networks in WinXP SP2, it is necessary to pay attention to the following:

You no longer need to search for and install sapplikant, now all you need to configure WPA can be found in the standard configuration utility. It is only necessary that the adapter and driver support WPA.

A special, simplified setup a wireless network automates and simplifies the setup of wireless connections. The most important in the hotspots and organizations with free entrance to the guest network.

Wireless Network Setup Wizard allows you to step through configuring a wireless network, all parameters can be saved on a USB-drive, and used to replicate the settings.

Logging Wireless Zero Configuration, in the event logs will help to understand the problems that happens in the network really is.

Restore connections. More can not suffer by cutting off the adapter and then turn it back on, simply right-click on the labels and the corresponding compound in the context menu select restore.

The window of wireless connections are also transformed, as before, a list of all available networks, and the available network name, network type (Ad-Hoc or Infrastructure – if the two computers, then the first, if the antenna – the second). From the new note signal (the indicator on the right side of the available network), network security, status (for the connected icon appears) and the preferred network. It became possible to quickly run a search for available networks, installation of wireless networks, change the order of preference and view the properties of wireless connections.

Greatly simplified, and the creation of new networks. Need to select “Install a wireless network”, then the installation wizard starts and guides you through all the steps for setting up a wireless network, where you will be prompted to enter a network name, determine how to use encryption keys and select the method of encryption (WEP or WPA). It is worth recalling that the first defense is now compromised, and therefore, we recommend using WPA (if the adapter and driver support it). In the setting of the encryption keys can be assigned either automatically, or specify your own. Once all the necessary parameters are specified, you need to go to the next screen, which will be asked to either use a flash memory, or configure the network manually. The first method allows you to create a flash drive with the parameters of the network, and connecting new devices to use the “cast”.

Thus, the next step is to correct and supplement Windows XP is not only made the system more self-sustaining, modifying built-in firewall, but also brought it to the end user, simplifying the setup of wireless connections.