Travel Tips

Taking your laptop on the road? Keep the following tips in mind when connecting to the Internet.

Hotel Access

Hotels vary in the type of Internet access they may provide. Some may have wireless, others wired and others only data ports for dial-up access. In the event you experience difficulties connecting to a hotel's provided Internet access, please contact the hotel's front desk. If they do not provide the support themselves, they should be able to direct you to the proper support.

Hot Spot Access

More and more cafes, coffee shops, bookstores and airports are providing wireless access to the Internet. Most are fee-based for specific periods of time. If wireless access must be purchased at a hot spot, pay at a register if the option exists, rather than using a browser and credit card over the network. For obvious reasons, paying for access at a register till eliminates the opportunity for a hacker to attempt to record credit card information over the air. Payment to a live person also creates a trail in the event of a problem.

Wireless Networking Maintenance

Each time you connect to a new wireless access point (WAP), that WAP is automatically added to your computer's list of preferred networks. And, over time, this list can build to the point where it slows down the operation of your computer because it's looking for each of these preferred networks each time your computer boots up. To prevent these slow-downs, you should periodically remove the WAPs you do not connect to on a regular basis.

Removing a Web Access Point (WAP)

Double click the Wireless Network Connection icon in the system tray (you may need to click the left-arrow to expand hidden icons or enable wireless networking in order to see the below icon)

Wireless network system tray icon

Click the 'Properties' button on the General tab of the Wireless Network Connection Status window.

Wireless network properties

Click the Wireless Networks tab; then, browse through the list of Preferred Networks.  Select those that you do not connect to on a regular basis; then click 'Remove'.

Wireless network preferred networks

Once you have removed all of the un-necessary WAPs, click 'Ok' and 'Close' to close the windows. You may repeat this process as often as necessary depending upon how frequently you travel.

Before Returning to the Office

If you use your laptop in the office and connect it to the ILR network (as opposed to connecting wirelessly through RedRover), wireless networking should be disabled prior to returning to the office. When wireless networking is enabled with a network cable plugged in, Windows automatically tries to establish a connection through wireless networking before connecting to the ILR network through the cable. Unfortunately, this situation can cause a conflict and subsequent issues. To disable wireless networking:

Right click the Wireless Network Connection icon in the system tray (you may need to click the left arrow to expand hidden icons in order to see the below icon; if you expand hidden icons and still don't see it, wireless networking isn't enabled).

Wireless network system tray icon

Select 'Disable' from the pop-up menu.

Disable a wireless network