Accessing Advanced Wireless Settings for Intel Wireless Adapters

Home > Blogs > Security > Accessing Advanced Wireless Settings for Intel Wireless Adapters

Accessing Advanced Wireless Settings for Intel Wireless Adapters

Like This Blog 1 Mike Danseglio
Added by March 25, 2015

“Does it matter which wireless adapter is in my new laptop?”

I get this question whenever a coworker or friend is buying a new laptop. My first answer is that it depends on what they want to do with it. For basic users, no, it usually doesn’t matter. Any old wireless network adapter (WNIC) will provide the same level of functionality – from their perspective.

Administrators and IT security staff usually want to do more with their WNIC. I always advise those people to buy a laptop with an Intel WNIC.

Firstly, the Intel design and build quality are superb. They are miracles of tiny performance. For example, here are a couple of photos of a brand-new Intel 7260 dual-band 802.11ac adapter that I received today. I added a US dime in these photos for scale reference.


Figure 1. Front of the Intel 7260 dual-band AC adapter.


Figure 2. Rear of the Intel 7260 dual-band AC adapter.

Do you see what I mean? The design is clean, yet this sucker is powerful. However, the power is only really unlocked when you install the Intel PROSet drivers.

Basic Wireless Adapter Drivers Are Limited

Windows drivers are able to expose increased device capabilities. This is especially true in the WNIC category. As an example, I have a Lenovo laptop configured with several WNICs as shown in Figure 3.


Figure 3. Two Intel WNICs and one run-of-the-mill WNIC.

First I’ll show you the very basic WNIC settings for the 802.11 USB Wireless LAN Card device. I just right-click on the adapter and choose Properties to bring up the connection properties dialog.


Figure 4. The Wireless Network Connection Properties of the boring WNIC.

Now I click Configure, and as you can see in Figure 5 this is a RAlink USB adapter.


Figure 5. The Ralink Technology adapter properties.

Clicking the Advanced tab shows me the sparse configuration options available for this adapter.


Figure 6. So very few options…

There’s not much to optimize or configure here. Now compare that with…

Intel PROSet Wireless Drivers Are Awesome

I’ve already installed the Intel PROSet Wireless drivers from the Intel Download Center. Now when I bring up the properties and show the Driver tab as shown in Figure 7 I can see that these are Intel drivers, not Windows inbox drivers.


Figure 7. Verifying the Intel drivers are in use for the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230.

Finally I can bring up the Advanced settings tab as shown in Figure 8.


Figure 8. A hardware hacker’s dream come true.

Amazing! I can now adjust just about any capability and setting on this Intel WNIC. These settings are retained across system restarts, so once I optimize the configuration I’m not required to do it again.


Mike Danseglio -CISSP / MCSE / CEH
Interface Technical Training – Technical Director and Instructor

Mike Danseglio teaches Security classes at Interface Technical Training. His classes can be attended in Phoenix, Arizona or online from anywhere in the world with RemoteLive.

Videos You May Like

Agile Methodology in Project Management

0 156 0

In this video, you will gain an understanding of Agile and Scrum Master Certification terminologies and concepts to help you make better decisions in your Project Management capabilities. Whether you’re a developer looking to obtain an Agile or Scrum Master Certification, or you’re a Project Manager/Product Owner who is attempting to get your product or … Continue reading Agile Methodology in Project Management

Windows 10 Managing, Deploying and Configuring – December 2, 2015

0 441 1

In this recorded Windows 10 training webinar from December 2, 2015, Windows Server instructor Rick Trader presents the deployment and management of Windows 10 Enterprise and the new Provisioning capability in Windows 10. Learn how to manage Windows 10 deployments using System Center Configuration Manager, Mobile Device Management and Intune. Also included in his presentation … Continue reading Windows 10 Managing, Deploying and Configuring – December 2, 2015

Detailed Forensic Investigation of Malware Infections – April 21, 2015

4 630 5

How does an investigator hunt down and identify unknown malware? In this recording of our IT Security training webinar on April 21, 2015, Security expert Mike Danseglio (CISSP / CEH) performed several malware investigations on infected computers and identify symptoms, find root cause, and follow the leads to determine what’s happening. He demonstrated his preferred … Continue reading Detailed Forensic Investigation of Malware Infections – April 21, 2015

Write a Comment

See what people are saying...

    Share your thoughts...

    Please fill out the comment form below to post a reply.