What is Wi-Fi sense in Windows 10? What are the potential problems associated with the feature? This post will answer these questions and also show you how to turn off Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10, should you wish to.
Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10
Wi-Fi Sense is a feature in Windows 10 that allows you to connect to your friend’s shared Wi-Fi connections. That is, you and your friends may opt to share your or their Wi-Fi connections. Friends, according to Microsoft, are people on your Facebook friend list, your Outlook contacts, and Skype contacts. By default, all of these 3 are pre-checked.
When you opt to turn it on in Windows 10, these ‘friends’ can connect to your Wi-Fi without knowing your password. It means two things:
- The Friends should be within the range of the Wi-Fi being shared
- The password is sent encrypted to the other computers but could be potentially hacked.
“The password is also stored in Microsoft’s database – in encrypted format so that no one can hack it”, says Microsoft.
But we all know what happened to LastPass and similar password-storing entities. Hackers are everywhere, and there is always a danger of passwords being hacked.
Problems with Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10
There are two problems with Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10. First, you do not want to share your Wi-Fi with all of your so-called friends. You might like to share it with one or two members of your family or your real offline friends, who you trust. But by default, all the people in your contact lists on Facebook, Outlook, and Skype can access the Wi-Fi provided they are in the range. It is the default setting.
Secondly, though the password is sent encrypted to both the friends’ computer and Microsoft, there are chances that it could be cracked. Again, as far as the Microsoft database goes, cybercriminals will always try to hack the database.
Read: How to secure Wi-Fi.
How to turn off Wi-Fi Sense and Why
Microsoft stores the passwords in its database. Security can be breached anytime. If it can happen to LastPass, it can happen to Microsoft or anyone else. No one can guarantee 100% security. The type of encryption used to store passwords is not mentioned anywhere on the net. It is only mentioned that the passwords will be encrypted – although I am sure it will be excellent encryption.
If, after reading this, you feel that you want to turn off Wi-Fi Sense, follow these steps:
Open the Settings app. Click on Network and Internet. Scroll down to find Manage Wi-Fi Settings. Click on it to open the following panel.
This window will give you the option to:
- Connect to suggested open hotspots
- Connect to networks shared by my contacts.
You should set the 2nd option to Off.
Once you turn it off, you can’t access other peoples’ computers which is good as they won’t be able to hack into your computer, and neither can others connect to your computer – the button works both ways to turn off Wi-Fi Sense.
Uncheck the three available options:
- Outlook.com contacts
- Skype contacts
- Facebook friends.
Close the Settings app. You will have now turned off Wi-Fi Sense, and others will not be able to use your Wi-Fi, nor will you be able to use theirs. I have turned it off as I feel it is a danger – as much as using public hotspots. In an enterprise environment, you can disable Wi-Fi Sense using Registry.
Read about Microsoft Wi-Fi in Windows 10.
What are your views about Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10?
How do you get Wi-Fi on a PC?
While laptops have WIFI onboard, PCs need to get it separately. It can be on the motherboard, or you can buy a WIFI adaptor. While most of the USB adapters work fine, it is best to grab a PCIe-based WiFI adapter as it offers more range and data speed.
How can I connect my PC to Wi-Fi without an adapter?
The only way to do that is using Ethernet wires. All motherboards offer an ethernet port, and you can connect an ethernet wire to it. Ensure the ethernet wire comes from the outer or an extender, letting the PC connect to the internet. If your PC supports it, you can choose a 2.5 GBPS Ethernet port for a faster connection.