Eric's Networking

Understanding the Wireless Network Connection Dialog Box in Windows XP


The Wireless Network Connection dialog box is one of the biggest improvement in Service Pack 2 (SP2). It shows you a list of nearby wireless networks. For each network connection, it shows the Service Set Identifier (SSID), connection status, and signal strength making it easy to connect to a wireless network. To view the wireless network connection dialog box, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, Run, and type ncpa.cpl, and then click Ok.
  2. Right-click the Wireless Network Connection icon, and then choose Properties. (Or you can right click the Wireless Network Connection icon and choose View Available Wireless Networks from the shortcut menu.)
  3. Click the Wireless Networks tab.
  4. Under Available networks, click the View Wireless Networks button.

More Information

From the wireless network dialog box, you can refresh the network list. This performs another scan of wireless networks within range. The wireless network connection dialog displays the following for each detected network. The following shows the new connection box.

When the wireless network adapter displays the detected networks, you'll able to select a wireless network name and attempt to connect to it. The antenna icon indicates an infrastructure mode wireless network. The icon that shows two wireless client computers indicates an ad hoc wireless connection.

The lock icon and the "Security-enabled wireless network" label indicate that the wireless network has security enabled. The gold lock means you need a network key in order for you to connect to a wireless network. If it's not security enabled, you'll be able to connect to the network without a network key.

Last Modified: 2015-04-29.