Network Profiles

The Nokia card groups settings into profiles, which allow users to switch easily between networks. Immediately after installing the driver, the user is prompted to create a profile if none exists. Administrators may create customized driver installation disks or smart cards to distribute settings more easily. In addition to the run-of-the-mill network settings, the Nokia driver can control whether the system attempts to log in to a domain and a Microsoft workgroup. Profiles can also contain WEP keys as well as a number of 802.11 parameters. Chapter 12 shows the initial Profile Wizard screen. Profiles are assigned text names; the name need not have anything to do with the SSIDs in use.

Figure 12-4. Initial Profile Wizard screen

Figure 12-4. Initial Profile Wizard screen

After naming the profile and entering a detailed description, the user must then select the type of network in use. Infrastructure networks use access points, and ad hoc networks are independent BSSsm After selecting the network operating mode, the user proceeds to a network selection window (Figure 12-5). Networks are distinguished by their service set IDs, which are called names for simplicity.

[1] Earlier Nokia products also had an operating mode called Instawave, which allowed direct station-to-station communication simultaneously with station-to-access point communication. Instawave was nonstandard and never found extensive use in production networks.

Figure 12-5. Network parameter dialog box

Figure 12-5. Network parameter dialog box

This window allows you to enter channel information. Unless you have an overwhelming reason to set the channel explicitly, leave the channel set to automatic, which means that the driver scans all channels when it is initialized. There are two ways to select the network name. One is to type the SSID for which the driver should search. To make it easier for basic users, the small unobtrusive button to the right of the network name field pops up a list of networks currently in range (Figure 12-6). This window is a nice touch; it shows you data rates and signal strengths to help you make an intelligent choice.

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