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Questions about settings for securely using free wireless (also HP Wir

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I hope this is the right board section to post in...

I recently got a laptop and while 95% of the time I use my dial-up at home, I plan on taking it to places that have free wireless internet (like cafes or whatever). I want to make sure that I have all the settings on my computer set the right way to use the wireless internet and also to make sure I'm all set to do so in the most secure way (meaning, I don't have some settings set to allow other people to get on my computer or to share files, etc.). I messed with some settings at a friends house who had a wireless router, just to see if we could get it to work (and it eventually did -- not sure what wasn't working).

Right now I have something named Wireless Network Connection 2 (not sure why it's "2"). When I do properties on it, in the general tab, it says it uses the following items:

Client for Microsoft Networks
File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
QoS Packet Scheduler
Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

...all four of these are checked. Should they be?

Under Wireless Networks, "Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings" is checked. There is one preferred network listed, which is the wireless router from my friend's house.

Under Advanced, "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection" is unchecked.

Under the 1394 Connection - General tab, all three things are checked:

Client for Microsoft Networks
File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
QoS Packet Scheduler
Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)

I use the free edition of ZoneAlarm, just so you know.

Also, does the HP Wireless Assistant need to run on start-up all the time? Or is there a way to turn it off, and then just turn it on when I actually want to use the wireless (at a place that has free wireless, etc.)?

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