If your laptop or desktop has a wireless card in it then just right click on it from within the network and sharing center and search for available networks. If you are in some urban locality then for sure you the search will list more than one wireless networks available in the vicinity. You will find the network name (SSID) and the type of security (whether it is secured or unsecured) mentioned in the list. if you see any network which is appearing as unsecured than this network can be used by anyone because if you select it and try to connect you would be able to do it without any further restrictions. Just imagine the same for your network. If your wireless network is unsecured than any one can access your network if he/she is in the range of your wireless router. Wireless routers though help in connecting all the computers in your house without the cumbersome wire installation, but also invite the intruders if proper security setup is not done. In this post we will discuss how we can secure our Wireless network on Vista computers.
To be true the wireless security would depend upon the router which you use and not the operating system which you are using. Operating systems only use and compliment the security provided by the router and they themselves have nothing to do as far as the setup of security is concerned on the Wireless network. To enable security there are two ways. First is to encrypt the wireless signals using encryptions like WEP are WPA, and second is to stop the broadcasting of your wireless SSID. Let us discuss the two in detail.
WEP stand for Wired Equivalent Privacy and if we enable this on our wireless routers than anybody who will have the decoding password of your network would only be able to use your wireless network. Others will not be able to use your wireless network as they won’t know the password to connect. This is the best way of securing any wireless network. For the first time when you will connect your computer Vista will ask you to enter the password. After entering the password it will offer you two choices. One will be to save the network and other would be for saving the password. You can select both of them so that in future you are not prompted for entering the password and your computer connects to the network automatically whenever it comes in the range.
The other method mentioned above is to disable the broadcast. Broadcasting the SSID means allowing others to see your network name in the list of available networks when they search for available networks from their computers. If your networks name wont be visible then people wont be able to connect to it. Though this is also a good way to secure but there are some sniffing tools which can sniff the existence of your network even if it is not broadcasting. So it is always good to have some kind of encryption enabled on your wireless network so that no unauthorized person can connect to it.