This module covers a few of the changes to the Networking experience in Windows 8.
The View Available Networks window has been updated to use the new Windows UI, which makes this interface much more touch friendly.
From View Available Networks, you can see things like the network that you are currently connected to, the list of available wireless networks, and information about any mobile broadband or remote access connections you have configured on your PC.
You can also enable Airplane mode from here.
To access additional information or controls related to a given connection, right-click on the connection. In the example below, you can see the menu that is displayed when you right-click a Wi-Fi network.
Figure 1: Wi-Fi context menu
Figure 2: View Available Networks
You can access View Available Networks in a couple of different ways.
The Windows® 8 operating system has a new method for handling networks that implement data usage caps or charge by the megabyte or gigabyte for usage with a feature called Metered Networks.
Figure 3: Show estimated data usage
When a network is configured to be a Metered Network, Windows will make several changes to the way that it uses the network to reduce overall network traffic through that connection, including the following:
Similar to the function in mobile phones, Windows 8 now offers an option to enable Airplane mode. Airplane mode automatically disables all wireless devices in the PC, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC.
Figure 4: Airplane Mode enabled
Note: Not all wireless devices support Airplane mode. Wireless devices certified for Windows 8 support this, but if you find that your device does not, then you have three possible options:
Checking to see if Airplane mode is enabled should now be a standard step in your troubleshooting when you have a network issue. Luckily, in addition to the View Available Networks interface shown above, Windows 8 shows you that Airplane mode is enabled in several other locations.
Table 1: Locations where it shows that Airplane mode is enabled
Wireless section of PC Settings
Here, you are also given the option to disable individual radios for more granular control, such as when you want to disable Bluetooth, but not Wi-Fi.
Figure 5: Airplane mode enabled in Wireless
Figure 6: Airplane mode enabled on clock
Figure 7: Airplane mode enabled in system tray
System buttons in the Settings Charm
Figure 8: Airplane mode enabled in the Settings Charm
Windows 8 Networking