Block Users from Seeing or Connecting to Other Wi-Fi Networks

by Eric Geier [Published on 2 July 2009 / Last Updated on 6 March 2009]

Filtering networks using the WLAN Netsh commands.

In Windows Server 2008 or Vista, you can hide networks from appearing in the Connect to a Network dialog and block connections to certain networks. This is a great way to prevent computers from being accidentally or intentionally connected to other networks and compromising security. This functionality is provided by the filter feature of the new WLAN commands for Netsh, a powerful command line utility.

To see list of enabled filters: netsh wlan show filters

To add a filter:

netsh wlan add filter permission={allow|block|denyall} ssid=NETWORKNAME networktype={infrastructure|adhoc}

If using the denyall permission, don’t include the SSID attribute. This lets you block all infrastructure or adhoc networks, while you still can explicitly allow other networks.

To remove a filter:

netsh wlan delete filter permission={allow|block|denyall} ssid=NETWORKNAME networktype={infrastructure|adhoc}

To either display or hide the blocked networks on the Connect to a Network dialog:

netsh wlan setblockednetworksdisplay={show|hide}

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Eric Geier is an author of many wireless networking and computing books including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Upgrading to Windows Vista (Que 2007).

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