Socket Communication’s Wi-Fi Companion
I thoroughly enjoyed using and reviewing this product. A good example of how good this utility is: when I go to turn on my iPAQ and the Wireless adapter was left enabled from previous use, I have found that my WiFi network connections to my home router have been negotiated and connected before I even have the chance to complete my password protected login to my iPAQ itself! That’s FAST!
Another fact that I have noticed is that Wi-Fi Companion configures itself to work WITH the operating system’s “Zero Configuration Networking”, instead of trying to hijack the connection and run everything itself. A very smooth working utility, no hiccups or problems were detected. The GUI is incredibly simple to use, yet it provides a great wealth of information, and includes a TRACE and PING capability. As mentioned previously, this product is a definite addition to my personal library of “indispensable” software programs.
CONFIGURING YOUR OWN HOME CONNECTION:
A good way to get to know Wi-Fi Companion is to download and install it, and see how easy it makes hooking your iPAQ to your home Wireless network! The download is free and the software is fully active for the entire 14-day trial period.
In the steps below, I will outline how to connect to your home Wireless network for the first time using this product: 1.) Install the product on your Host PC and perform a USB ActiveSync to install it on your iPAQ. 2.) Enable your Wireless Adapter and start the Wi-Fi Companion program. 3.) Once you start the program for the first time, it will display your iPAQ and it’s device name in the upper left-hand corner of the display, as noted on the right. 4.) Click on the Tower icon in the lower right-hand corner. This will take you to the WiF Finder screen, shown below left.
5.) Press and hold on the SSID name of your Router, this will produce the “Get Connected” option if you have never setup this connection. 6.) If you have already configured your connection profile, the choices will instead be “Edit Profile” or “Delete Profile”. If your connection is indeed working, skip to step x to continue following along. 7.) Once you arrive at the Configure Wireless Network screen, your SSID name should already be filled into the first field. You need only change the “Connects to:” option to WORK, as shown in the screenshot below right.
8.) Now you will need to jump to the “Network Key” tab (bottom of screen) and enter your Key information. For the purposes of this example, I am choosing WPA-PSK as my Authentication method, and TKIP as my method of Data Encryption. In most cases, the Key is not automatically provided to you, so leave this unchecked. Enter your key in the “Network Key:” field. Leave the “Key Index” option alone, as most users will not need to adjust this setting. 9.) On the next tab “802.1x”, you will be offered choices regarding your certification. Check the box next to “Use IEEE 802.1x network access control”, and the “EAP Type:” of “Smart Card or Certificate”. Choose OK, and you’re almost done!
10.) You should now find yourself back at the main Wi-Fi Companion screen, but hopefully you’ll go from the screen at the right (just shows your iPAQ and the Tower again) to the screen showing that your iPAQ’s Wireless adapter has been associated to your Router and picked-up a DHCP assignment. 11.) When your iPAQ does pickup an IP assignment, your screen will change to the screen shown below, which offers your DHCP or STATIC IP address, as well as packets send and received.