xp wireless :-((

Discussion in 'Wireless Networks' started by Carl DaVault [MSFT], Oct 14, 2004.

  1. First, make sure your AP and your wireless NIC's have the latest firmware
    and drivers.
    Next, unhide the SSID and make sure everything connects properly. Does
    re-hiding the SSID make the problem re-appear?
    If so, it might still be a driver issue.

    A couple of things to note about "hidden" SSID's.

    - If you are using them, then they are likely not hidden if a hacker wants
    to see them.
    - Windows tries hidden SSID's "last", so connecting to them may be slower
    than to visible SSID's
    - Some drivers have had problems connecting to hidden SSID's, so the
    experience varies by NIC/driver
    (what NIC/driver are you using?)

    The way Windows handles hidden SSID's is this:

    * It walks through your list of configured networks and tries to connect
    to any ones that it can see.
    * Then, if it didn't get connected or can't see any visible networks, it
    tries each configured network anyway (in case it is hidden).
    * It tries to connect by telling the NIC to use specific settings (SSID,
    WEP, etc.) for the network.
    (at this point, it is up to the NIC to do the actual
    association, which is why I think it's a driver issue)
    * Windows repeats this process until you are connected - you'll see
    balloons letting you know when new networks are visible.

    So if everything works with a visible, but not a hidden SSID, it might not
    be a Windows problem. On the other hand, if you have a lot of networks
    configured, windows is trying them one by one so it may just take a while to
    connect - you can try moving the hidden network to the top of your list of
    SSID's so it is tried first.

    Hiding an SSID doesn't buy any security from hackers and you can use MAC
    filtering to block regular people from connecting to your network even if it
    is visible. I would recommend making your network visible since it will
    improve your connection experience and doesn't hurt security. Even hidden
    AP's and their clients are still blasting packets everywhere - it's just
    that the beacon packets from the AP don't have an SSID in them. The AP will
    still answer to the probe request for the SSID - the probes and responses
    will also be visible to hackers.

    - Carl
    Carl DaVault [MSFT], Oct 14, 2004
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  2. Carl DaVault [MSFT]

    Anna Guest

    I set up a router ( Siemens se 505),laptop one ( windows xp prof ) is
    connected with a cable,my sons laptop (windows 2000) is connected wireless
    ..Both works fine.BUT--I just can't get my laptop ( windows xp pro) to
    connect wireless.SSID is hidden,WEP key encyption,Mac address for both pc
    given to the router.
    I tried with and without Windows Wireless Configuration,it just says( after
    command,ipconfig/all ),not connected.Can see my wireless network though-but
    not connect.Any clue what to do? With SSID visible it worked once,but I
    don't want that.
    So if there is any advice out there..it would be very much appreciated.
    Anna, Oct 14, 2004
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