How To Use Windows 10’s New WiFi Sense Feature

Windows 10 comes with a whole host of new features, one of which being the WiFi Sense feature. WiFi Sense was designed to make it a lot easier for you to share network credentials without giving out your WiFi password. While some people may not like it, it can be a convenient way to pass credentials around to multiple people quickly, if you trust them that is. WiFi Sense does two things. The first is that it allows you to share the login information for your WiFi network with your contacts. This is good if you are constantly changing the password to a network that multiple people use. The other thing it does is that it allows you to connect to networks shared by your contacts.

If this is something you are interested in, then here is how you turn it on.WiFi Sense is actually on by default if you set up your computer using Windows 10’s Express Settings. This will allow you to see and connect to any WiFi networks shared by your friends. It does not, however, mean that WiFi networks you connect to will be shared by default. If you didn’t use the Express Settings to set up your Windows 10 computer then you can turn WiFi Sense on by going to Settings > Network & Internet > WiFi and then clicking Manage WiFi Settings. To turn it on, toggle Connect to Networks Shared By My Contacts to On. From here you can set up which of your contacts will receive any WiFi information that you decide to share. You’ll have to check or un-check boxes next to Contacts, Skype Contacts, and Facebook Friends.

Even if WiFi Sense is already on, the networks you connect to are not automatically shared with your contacts. In order to share a network, you will have to go into the WiFi Sense menu and manually share it by reentering your password. In order to do this, go to Settings > Network & Internet > WiFi and click Manage WiFi Settings. The bottom of the page contains a section titled Manage Known Networks. This section will show you all of the known WiFi networks that you have connected to in the past. To share a certain network with your contacts, click the name of the network and hit Share. You will then have to type in the password for the network and click Share again, though once you do this that network’s log-in information will be shared with your contacts in an encrypted form. Nobody will see the password though they will be able to automatically connect to that WiFi network if they are in range.

WiFi Sense does require that you manually choose to share each network with contacts and retype each network’s password. This extra step isn’t going to stop your friends from sharing your network information with their contacts, however. In order to make your network unable to be shared by those you have shared it with already, you’ll have to do a couple of things. First you have to open up the settings for your wireless router and change the name of your home network to something with _output in it. The best way to do this is to just add _output to the end of your network. By adding this one thing, you allows your network to opt out of WiFi Sense completely, meaning nobody will be able to share your network information with their Facebook friends, even if they connect to your network.

Sure WiFi Sense makes sharing your WiFi network and passwords easier though it does so at the expense of network security. This might not be that bad for a home network that is only used by friends and family, but I can’t see businesses or corporations being very comfortable with something like this running on their network.

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