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  1. #1
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    Available network difference for XP and Win7

    Hi,

    Can someone tell me if I have reason to suspect a problem? I'm a worrier by nature. There's probably a very simple reason for what I'm seeing.

    Desktop machine is connected to a linksys router. The available network's name is linksys. (The router is passworded and there is a wireless network passkey, by the way.) No problem here.

    When I look for available networks with my XP laptop, I see the linksys network. I can connect just fine with the passkey.

    However, when I fire up a Win7 laptop, there is no linksys network, but an available network shows up named linksys 2. I can connect to this one also with the passkey so I know it's the right one.

    At first I suspected that someone else in the nearby vicinity had a linksys 2 network of their own, but I disproved that by being able to access it with my passkey. It also crossed my mind that someone else might have tinkered with our system in some way.

    Can anyone tell me why this should show up with linksys 2 only when I go on with the Win7 laptop? Hubby suggested that the 2 might mean that Win7 is telling me that there are now 2 machines on my linksys network. Thanks if you can put my mind at ease here. Judy

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  3. #2
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    Windows 7 does that, sometimes, with wireless networks. Vista used to do it too, so it's a problem with Windows networking. It doesn't mean anything else, no need to worry about it. It's a bit annoying, I think I managed to get up to number 17 or so for the wireless network at work. It hasn't happened much lately, but sometime ago was quite frequent.
    It also does the same with wireless broadband internet.
    Last edited by ruirib; 2011-08-06 at 16:08.

  4. #3
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    Hi Judy, it's most likely to be an Index number, suggesting that the Win 7 machine "knows" about another network with an SSID (network name) of Linksys.

    It could be the laptop has been previously setup on that network and this is the second network with that name. As per ruirib's post above, I've see this before and it's usually nothing to worry about.

    Just keep an eye on it for a while and if nothing untoward happens, it can be safely ignored.

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    judson (2011-08-07)

  6. #4
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    Hi, ruirib and Tinto Tech.
    I'm glad to hear that this is common to Win7. Yes, Tinto Tech, the laptop had been previously set up on that network, but it occurred again after I deleted the first connection and manually set up a new connection.
    I appreciate your input and thanks so much. Judy

  7. #5
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    You're welcome, Judy.

    Just FYI, I just checked my laptop and my mobile internet connection, which I don't use very often is from an ISP named TMN. The registry shows that I'm already on TMN 14. On another wireless network, the last used number was 9.

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    judson (2011-08-07)

  9. #6
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    If you want to see all the wireless networks in your neighborhood (including ones that don't broadcast SSID) and the channel they use, download Netstumbler. useful when you get wireless dropouts and want to choose a broadcast channel other nearby networks aren't using.

    Jerry

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    judson (2011-08-07)

  11. #7
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    Thanks, ruirib and jwitalka. I don't use this one very often either. I'm comfortable with your info and no longer looking over my shoulder for that hacker. ;-) Judy

  12. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I use inSSIDer 2.0 to view my and other networks in the area, both 2.4 Ghx and 5.0 GHz.

    Iinsider5.0.png IInsider2.4.png
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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    judson (2011-08-07)

  14. #9
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    Thanks, Ted. I only access this one network occasionally. Most of the time the network I use is out in the boonies, about 1/2 mile from civilization. So, it just caught my eye when the linksys 2 showed up on this occasional one. I may try one of these programs, though, just to see if there is another linksys network in the vicinity of the occasional network. Thanks again. Judy

  15. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Judy, inSSIDer 2.0 will show you all the networks with proximity of you. Hope it helps.

    Cheers, Ted
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  16. #11
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    I found a little Gadget at Radio Shack that looks like a car alarm remote.
    Push the button and it looks for any WiFi signal in the area and led's give the relative signal strength.
    It's only useful to see if there is a WiFi station anywhere nearby.
    Or, to see if your WiFi router is actually transmitting.

    If distance becomes a problem, moving up to a Wireless 300N router is a great upgrade,
    along with a 300N transceiver at the remote computer.

    Cheers!
    The Doctor

    PS: I downloaded that "inSSIDer" and installed it on my laptop. It works!
    Thanks Ted
    Last edited by DrWho; 2011-08-11 at 13:54.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

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  17. #12
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Glad it works for you DrWho. I learned of this gem from mercyh quite a while ago.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    Wireless Network Security

    Hi Judson

    This re-numbering of network names doesn't happen just with wireless networks but equally with Local Area Network connections. I've been up to Local Area Connection 6 on my PC for the same. It seems as if Windows always remembers each time you set up a network even if it is long gone. I wouldn't worry about it.

    I'd be more concerned about your security. Router manufacturers often provide a default Wireless Network name. I suspect this is the case with your linksys router. I imagine there will be millions of wireless networks around the world with the SSID "linksys". Best practice is not to use default names but to create an SSID of yor own choosing.

    I also note that you say "When I look for available networks with my XP laptop, I see the linksys network". The point is that if you can see it then so can every Tom, Dick and Harry hacker. Routers nornally are set to brodcast the SSID by default. Obviously this makes it easier for your computers to find each other when setting up your wireless network. However once the network is set up, your computers will always find each other. After your network is set up, always go into the Router Setup (I trust you've changed the default Linksys password) and turn off the "Broadcst SSID" option.

  19. #14
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Of course, if you cannot see your own network SSID, this makes setting up any future computers to use the network more difficult. Still, I also would change the default name of the router. This will change the name of the network. When I set up my Windows 7 laptop to use my home network, I just renamed the network's Windows Name to get rid of the confusion. So now if I look for Available Networks, my home network shows up as (Family Name) Home. That's what my Tray Icon shows when I invoke the popup listing.

    I always set up Windows 7 wireless networks as Public Networks for security reasons, even when I am at home.

    The Windows Name is not what inSSIDer shows -- that program shows the actual SSID which is being broadcast. (Which you set at the router.) If no SSID is broadcast, programs like inSSIDer cannot see the network. But DrWho's device will be able to see the network, though it may not be able to exactly identify it for connecting a computer or moblie device. (The SSID may not be necessary to establish a connection to a network, but that is beyond the scope of my knowledge about networks.)
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2011-08-14 at 00:32.
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  20. #15
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I do not set my home network as a public network. But I do use the highest level of encryption (WPA2-Personal with my linksys router), a good password to sign on to the router and use a MAC Address filter to only allow certain devices to connect with my router. I realize this can be bypassed, but it is one more level of protection.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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