Windows Wireless

Dorks: I am about to trash Windows.

Non-dorks: Sorry, nothing to see here.

I think I first used wireless networking on a ThinkPad X31 back in like 2002 or something. The last time I regularly used a Windows notebook was maybe in 2004. Last night, I had the pleasure of helping set up a wireless network at my favorite Halloween scary place on some admittedly not-modern Windows hardware.

My observation: Using a Windows machine to connect to and use a wireless network remains an embarrassment.  The OS might manage it, or your manufacturer may have decided to put their own wireless management software in the way, but getting things to Just Work is fraught with peril.  Much more so if you’re smart and turned off SSID broadcast and enabled the best encryption your access point can manage.

The alternative is this:

Screenshot of Mac OS X 10.6 dialog for joining a wireless network

I sometimes use Windows 7 on a desktop and don’t hate it. I’m sure wireless configuration is better in Windows 7 (not that it could be worse), but I think I’ll stick with the alternative.