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How To Set Up Wireless Zero Configuration in Windows

Microsoft has included in Windows XP the ability to automatically configure a WiFi connection. This feature is known by many names, including Wireless Zero Configuartion, WZC, and WLAN AutoConfig.

Since, according to Microsoft, this feature requires "zero configuration," it is fairly straightforward to set up. This tutorial will walk you through how to do it.

How To Enable Wireless Zero Configuration in Windows

In order to use this feature, your WiFi services must be activated from startup. To check if this is the case, go to Start > Run, and enter the services.msc command. You will see a window with all local Windows services.

In this list, look for Fast Wireless Configuration. Right-click this option, and select Properties.

Here, make sure of two things. The first is that the Startup Type is set to Automatic. Secondly, verify that the Service State indicates Initiate. If not, click the Start button. After you have done this, click OK and close any open windows.

Once the wireless automatic configuration service is active, you need to activate the network connection manager. To do this, go to Start > Control Panel
> Network Connections.

Right-click the Wireless Network Connection icon, and then select Properties.

In the window, click the Wireless Network Settings tab. At the top of this window, check the Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings, then press OK to confirm.

How To Connect to WiFi

If the network is detected, you simply need to double-click the name and enter the network key. Click Log In. You will receive a message confirming your connection, at which point you may close all windows and begin browsing.

If the network is not detected, you must manually add a configuration profile to Windows. Start by closing the window. Then, right-click the Wireless Network Connection icon, and select Properties > Wireless Network Configuration.

At the bottom of the page click Add. A window will appear asking for the SSID. Enter it, and select either WEP or WPA (according to your settings) for your network key. After you have entered the key, click OK twice. You should now be connected.

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