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Windows 7: Connecting 3 (or 2) PCs via WiFi + security question

08 May 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 
Connecting 3 (or 2) PCs via WiFi + security question

Hi. I live in an apartment here in Bangkok and have my own wireless router, provided by the apartment block. The management have changed things recently though and I have a few questions - some probably a bit basic: wifi and networking is not one of the areas of IT in which I have much know-how... Apologies in advance!

1. Each apartment has its own router - but my new one is not encrypted, so anyone can use it I guess. Not that they would need to, as they have their own, and as it comes 'free' with the apartment someone using my wi-fi is not an issue re. usage. But should I worry about this in other ways? If so, can I add encryption myself, or must they do that centrally? A bit worried about messing the connection up (I connect to my printer via the wi-fi too) so am happy to leave the connection unencrypted unless there are major issues..

2. When I click Networks on the start menu of my laptop, I see my other PC there. When I try to connect, I am asked for a username and password. Where do I find these? I was given a password when I set up a network on this new laptop, but have no idea about the username - and neither username or password on the PC I want to connect to. (Or is the username just my PC account login name, as in C:\Users?).

3. Both this laptop and the PC run Windows 7 x64. Another laptop here also uses the wi-fi but runs Win XP. Can I connect to that too from the Windows 7 laptop?

Have Googled for 20 minutes but am clearly not hitting the right threads, hence this one...

Thanks,

Martin

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

08 May 2012   #2

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1
 
 

Hi Martin,
The first thing you should do is access the router's set-up page and change the SSID and input a new password using the older XP pc as a guide as to what encryption method is used. (it might not be WPA2 compatible).
Now read this File sharing.pdf


My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

Hi, thanks for the reply. I'll read through the PDF file (and post back if I don't understand anything, although it seems simple enough).

As for the router, I am very tempted to leave things as they are: 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it', and all that. Things are working fine at the moment and I am pretty certain that if I start fiddling with SSID settings, something is going to go wrong: I won't be able to connect to my printer or some such thing. Presumably as no one knows my workgroup name or any pass code they can't access files on my computer...

Thanks again,

Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


09 May 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Have a look at this useful article: Router Setup and Configuration Guide - Setup a Router


It's not good practice to use an unsecured wireless router:
  1. Freeloaders can piggy-back your wireless connection, which won't help your bandwidth.
  2. Security issues if you use things like online-banking services.
At the very least you should be using wireless security: WPA and WPA2 is a good choice.

You haven't told us which router you've got so we can't advise how to use the manufacturer's setup guide, but if you use their support site you should get all the information you need there.

You should also speak to your apartment management people to see what they have to say about security issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

Ok, will look at that, thank you. The router is a TP-Link TL-WA501G ..

M.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Check here for TP-Link Support: http://www.tp-link.sg/support/download/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

Thanks for the link. I did go down to the apartment block office today however to ask about this,and they said that it was not possible to secure the routers in the rooms as they were all linked to the central wifi system and every flat would need to ave the same password. Or some such explanation - it seemed to make sense at the time (less so now!). I will leave things as they are..

Will look at the pdf though when I can and see if I can connect between the three PCs/laptops I have..

Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

OK, thanks for the update.

Providing the main wi-fi system is secure you shouldn't have too much of a problem, but what they were saying about passwords makes sense.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

OK, thanks again for your input ...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Connecting 3 (or 2) PCs via WiFi + security question




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