Windows Vista includes a new wireless network configuration setting. The new setting indicates whether a wireless network is broadcast or non-broadcast. You can also use the new setting to configure how a Windows Vista wireless client connects to a non-broadcast network.
We recommend that you do not configure access points as non-broadcast (hidden) networks. If you have to connect to a non-broadcast network, we recommend that you do not use the automatic connection option. The automatic connection option discloses the Service Set Identifier (SSID) of the network, even when it is not in range.
To address this behavior, Windows Vista includes a new wireless network setting that indicates whether a wireless network is broadcast or non-broadcast. In Windows Vista, you can locally configure the new setting:
- In the Manually connect to a wireless network dialog box.
- In the properties dialog box for the wireless network.
- At the command prompt by using commands in the netsh wlan context.
- By using Group Policy.
You can also configure a non-broadcast wireless network to be manually connected. You can then control exactly when to send probe requests. A manually connected non-broadcast wireless network always appears in the list of available networks. Therefore, you can connect to the network as required.
You can use the Connect to a Network wizard to connect to non-broadcast networks in Windows Vista. When a Windows Vista wireless client computer receives a beacon frame that includes a null SSID, Windows Vista adds the wireless network to the list of available networks. Then, Windows Vista names the wireless network "Unnamed Network."
For more information about non-broadcast wireless networks and Windows Vista, visit the following Microsoft Web site: