Windows 8 is able to combine PC computing with Wi-Fi. You can roam seamlessly across networks using 3G and 4G mobile broadband (MB). Setting up this technology is now much slicker than with Windows 7 or Vista.
Windows 8 Wireless Topics
It’s freedom from those RJ-45 cables that makes mobile computing feasible. Windows 8 tablets make the most of a new generation of hardware and software. For example, ‘instant-on’ means a reduction in scanning time so there is only a 1 second delay between coming out of sleep and connecting to the internet.
Mobile broadband is now integrated with the OS, that means users don’t have to research mobile operators’ software because Windows Store takes care of that chore. And there is no need to search for the correct device driver because Windows Update already has downloaded the driver.
Access Point Name (APN)
Windows 8 looks-up the mobile broadband information from the SIM, or internet card, and then interrogates the APN (Access Point Name) database for the most suitable mobile phone operator. The operating system then connects to the wireless network without user intervention.
This technology is also able to switch automatically from broadband to Wi-Fi should it detect a more suitable connection. It also enables a wireless computer to roam from one access point to another, constantly locking-on to the access point with the best quality.
Keep Track of Usage
Windows 8 keeps track of your usage and it’s a particularly good use of the Metro-style Tiles to display the information. See 'Estimated usage' in screenshot above right.
Here is a free tool to troubleshoot network connection and latency problems. Key concept: this is a free tool from SolarWinds that analyzes network packets captured by Wireshark (also a free tool).
When you inspect the data in the Response Time Dashboard, if you hover over an application such as Teredo or TCP, then you get an orange box showing a breakdown of network and application response times, note the 'Peak value' in addition to the 'Average'.
Configuring Windows wireless couldn’t be more straightforward. From the Control Panel, navigate to PC settings and then down to Wireless. It’s now a matter of toggling On / Off for each device
Although Microsoft's connection manager gives priority to trusted Wi-Fi devices, it will switch to mobile broadband if no trusted Wi-Fi device is available. Just remember that this could mean that your connection is not secure, especially in public places.
You can see from the screenshot where to find the Windows 8 Airplane mode. Let us check the logic here, Airplane mode 'On' means that your device will not send or receive any data via Wi-Fi. The benefit is that you can still work with programs that don't require the internet. Furthermore, just as with a mobile phone, you can start receiving messages again by flicking the Airplane mode to 'Off'. See more Windows 8 PC settings.
Be carefull when using Mobile broadband in public places, while it may be easy enough to connect you may unwittingly rack up a huge bill. My advice is to leave Mobie broadband 'Off' unless there is a particular reason for accessing that particular network.
Encouraging computers to sleep when they’re not in use is a great idea – until you are away from your desk and need a file on that remote sleeping machine!
WOL also has business uses for example, rousing machines so that they can have update patches applied. My real reason for recommending you download this free tool is because it’s so much fun sending those ‘Magic Packets’. Give WOL a try – it’s free.
If you see a little triangle with squares in the corners, then you are connecting to another computer by wireless directly. Normally, at least in my experience, the two or three computers would see one another courtesy of a wireless access point, but in the case of the triangle symbol the Windows 8 machines make an direct ad-hoc connection.
Troubleshooting Wireless Connections
Resist the temptation to disable IPv6. I seriously doubt it will solve the problem, and could actually create connection difficulties with other Windows 8 features.
See More Windows 8 Features
Summary of Guy’s Windows 8 Wireless
The mobile network configuration in Windows 8 will be as easy as it is on modern smart phones. It will move automatically between the 3G or 4G phone networks and the Wi-Fi networks used in homes, in the same seamless way as a smart phone.
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