There’s another type of accidental wireless connection. You might have your notebook connected by Ethernet cable and still end up connecting to the wireless network as your Internet gateway.
You can connect simultaneously to as many networks as you have wired and wireless network cards or wireless USB adapters that you have. But, only one specific adapter will be the one used as the Internet gateway.
Windows will select your wired network for your Internet gateway over a wireless network. That’s because a wired network is almost always faser than a wirelss network. It’s also more secure.
But, if you have an Ethernet cable plugged in and you still end up using your wireless to access the Internet, something is wrong.
Actually, there are two things wrong, which enable the accidental connection to occur.
First, you’ve left your notebook’s wireless functions turned on. There’s no good reason to do that. Turn off your wireless connection when you’re not using it (most notebooks have a button or a key-combination to turn the wireless on an off). That stops any chance of attack via the wireless connection.
Second, you’ve got something wrong with your wired network. It might be a loose connection.
Often this simply means that you need to reboot your router and then your computer (or use the commands ipconfig /release * and then
ipconfig /renew to get new IP addresses assigned from the router.
There could be a third thing wrong, too. If you have never changed your router’s SSID (the wireless network ID) and still have the default — like linksys — you might have connected to a neighbor’s wireless network.
If that happens, you won’t be able to connect to your printer or another compuer on your own network.