Wireless Adapters: Installing, WPA2 and Advanced Features

by Eric Meyer

You will never meet that 108mbps that most wireless routers are saying to have but to come close you will have to purchase a wireless adapter from the same manufacturer.

Installing your wireless adapter
  1. Stick your adapter into your PCIMICA slot on your laptop. Windows xp will automatically recognize the card and ask you for the driver. If you are skilled at installing drivers then I recommend finding the driver manually not by using the manufacturers’ software to install the driver.

    If you use their disk installing program you will also install a bunch of other crap that you don’t need. It will install wireless scanning software and wireless monitors that will just bogg down your system.

  2. Now that you have your driver installed you should be able to scan for wireless networks. In the bottom right hand taskbar you will see a computer symbol with radio waves coming out of it. This is apart of Microsoft’s zero config wireless utility. This feature is good and bad because it will try to connect to any wireless network in range and once you have connected to that network once it’s available it will always try to connect.

    This is bad because if you connect to a network called “Linksys” you will be connecting to a unsecured network because this is the default SSID of alll Linksys wireless routers.

    Connecting to wireless networks can be dangerous because they could be a hackers rogue access point meant to collect password info on you.

  3. I assume you know which network you want to connect to so lets go to the your wireless adapters properties by clicking twice on the wireless icon in the task bar and clicking properties.

    Click on the wireless networks tab and click add. Type in your SSID of you network. If this is your Home wireless network make sure you have changed your SSID to something obscure and change your wireless channel to something other than channel 6.

    Next you need to choose the same type of encryption you have chosen for your wireless router or adapter. Hopefully you have chosen WPA2-PSK with TKIP or AES encryption.

    You might have to install the Microsoft update for WPA2 support for windows xp- click here

    You will Know if you have to install the update because you will not see the option of WPA2.

    Now enter you encryption key hit OK and you should be able to connect to your network.

Advanced options

Go back to you wireless adapters properties and lets take a look at some advance options. Options will vary in name but not in general function.

  1. You should be on the general tab of the wireless adpaters properties and click on the configure button next to the name of the wireless adapter.

  2. Click on the advance tab, (warning some of these setting can cause you to drain your laptop battery a lot quicker but it will improve performance.

  3. First change your channel to 11 or the same as your wireless network. The default channel for most wireless networks is 6.

  4. You can change you MAC address if want

  5. If you want to reduce your power output you can. This will most often be done for security reasons to maks client positions so hackers can’t attack them.

  6. You will have some sort of powersave mode or performance standard to either save battery life or concentrate on the most performance

  7. Roaming options of Maximizing Bandwidth or distance - If you are really close to an access point and are downloading music then you will want to maximize your band with. If you are not close to an access point then you will need to change it to distance.

    These are just some of the advanced options for your wireless adapter. Many people don’t even know they are there.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Eric_Meyer

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  4. Wireless Security: 6 Ways to Stop and Catch Hackers and War Drivers

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