Configuring Windows Server 2008 & Windows Vista Wireless connections from the CLI using netsh wlan

How to configure wireless networking connections from the command line using netsh wlan? Sure you can configure your wireless network connection in Windows Vista using the GUI. Although it is not always that simple, just about everyone has learned to do it. However, how about configuring wireless from the command line? Let us find out […]

How to configure wireless networking connections from the command line using netsh wlan? Sure you can configure your wireless network connection in Windows Vista using the GUI. Although it is not always that simple, just about everyone has learned to do it. However, how about configuring wireless from the command line? Let us find out why you would want to do this, how you would do it, and then see it in action!

Why would you want to use the command line to configure wireless networking?

Some of you might be asking why you would want to do this in the first place and that is a logical question. Let me provide some justification for the reason behind this and help try to demonstrate the need to you.

  • Using the CLI when no GUI is available - You never know when you will need to configure something (like wireless) from the command line because no GUI is available. This could happen for a number of reasons. With the commands you learn in this article, you will be prepared.
  • Using the CLI when Scripting - The day may come (or it may be here now) when you need to write a script to connect to a wireless network. If you create that script, you will need to know all the necessary netsh wlan commands needed to accomplish your task, inside the script. For example, you might want to configure wireless connectivity in a logon script.
  • Because it is faster – Some of us are just “command line junkies” and we enjoy using the command line to do things over the GUI. In fact, for some of you out there, you are fast enough at the command line that you can do things faster in the CLI than you can in the GUI.

What does netsh wlan offer you?

The netsh wlan command set is only offered in Windows Vista (not in XP, 2003, or 2008 Server). So what can you do with these commands? Here is a list:

  • Configure wireless security settings for this Windows PC or laptop.
  • Configure wireless connectivity and network settings for this Windows PC or laptop. For example, you could configure a laptop, when logging in, to connect, securely, to the company wireless network.
  • View the wireless group policy settings that are applied to this Windows machine
  • Connect to “mixed mode” networks - for example, you can connect to either a WPA or WPA2 wireless network.
  • Hide wireless networks from end users - with netsh wlan, you can hide from your end users or prevent end users from connecting to potentially malicious or just undesirable wireless networks.

With that, let us see how it works[…]

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Windows Server 2008, WS2008, Windows Vista, Networking, Nework Configuration, Wireless, Wireless Network, CLI, Guide, How To, Knowledgebase