Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Wi-Fi

This article is part of the TechnologyTips XP SP2 FAQ: Windows XP Service Pack 2.

If you use Wi-Fi to connect wireless to the Internet with a laptop, then after installing XP SP2 you’ll see a new icon in your system tray in the bottom right side of the screen that looks like a blue screen with radio waves coming off the right side.

Double click on it to get the Wireless Network Connection Status window. And then click View Wireless Networks. You’ll see a list of all the wireless networks in range including their security status and signal strength.

To prioritize which networks get connected to first, click the change the order of preferred networks on the left side of the Wireless Network Connection box.

You can choose which networks to connect to in in what order of priority.

If you want quick access to the Firewall during this process Click Change Advanced Settings on the left side of the Wireless Network Connection box and click the Advanced tab at the top. If you click Settings in the box that opens you get an express ride to the Windows Firewall. If at home you set a bunch of expcetions for the firewall, click the DONT ALLOW EXCEPTIONS to temproarily disengage the exceptions when you visit an untrusted wireless network like the one at the airport or in a coffee shop.

Here’s a web site with more info about SP2 and its new features:
Windows XP Service Pack 2 Feature List