How To Share Wireless Connection Settings Through A USB Drive

While securing your wireless connection is as easy as entering password, it is often not the security mechanism that makes the wireless connection vulnerable. If you are sharing your security key with many other people (such as in the office environment), the chances of them compromising your wireless security is higher. Most people leak out the security key even without them knowing. However, there is an easy way for you to copy the wireless setting from one computer and apply the same settings to multiple computers without giving people access to the security key. The settings are configured automatically without installing anything.

This method is especially useful for network administrators who have multiple computers using a wireless connection. The administrator does not need to run on every system to configure the wireless connection, but instead use this method to auto-configure the wireless settings on any computers he wants.

Note: This method works in Windows 7 only but the saved wireless settings can be applied to any other Windows Operating System.

Let’s see how to save the wireless connection settings in a USB Flash drive.

1. On a Windows 7 computer where you have already configured the wireless settings, go to:
Control Panel –> View Network Status And Tasks

view network status and tasks

2. On the left pane, select Manage wireless networks.

manage wireless networks

3. Select your wireless network which you want to share among others using your USB drive, right click the wireless connection and select Properties.

wireless properties

4. On the next window, you’ll see “Copy this network profile to a USB flash drive“. Click on it.

copy network profile

5. You’ll need to insert the USB Flash drive in order to continue to the next step, otherwise the Next button will remain disabled.

insert a usb drive

6. When you click the Next button, the settings will automatically be copied to the USB Flash drive.

copy network settings

7. Separate instructions for installing these settings on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP will be given. You’ll only need to insert the USB flash drive and then run the EXE file named setupSNK.EXE from the Flash drive. The settings will automatically be configured in the target Operating System. There is no need for extra configuration.

When you look into the USB Flash drive, there are two files (SetupSNK, AUTORUN) and one folder (SMRTNTKY) which have been created by the Wireless connection wizard. You can copy the folder and the EXE file anywhere else on a network drive or on any other shared location if you want all the users to configure their wireless connections themselves. You can also write these files on a CD-ROM drive and take the settings anywhere you want. The settings will work as it is.

If you are a network administrator and want to apply the same settings on Operating Systems other than Windows XP or later, you will have to do it manually but you can get all the details about the wireless network connection inside the folder SMRTNTKY. The text file WSETTING will give you all the details about the settings.

Lastly, keep these files secure. Losing them is equivalent to opening your door wide for hackers to enter.

Image credit: dana~2