Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC)

Description:
Provides automatic configuration for the 802.11 adapters.

The IEEE 802.11 standard specifies optional security improvements for wireless local area networking:
  • Authentication using 802.1x to avoid being vulnerable to attacks such as offline traffic analysis, bit flipping, and malicious packet injection
  • Key Management with rekeying of unicast encryption keys
  • Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) uses Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) for encryption
The Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) is an extension to the IEEE 802.11 standard:
  • 802.1x authentication is not optional
  • Key Management provides rekeying of both unicast and global encryption keys and is not optional
  • Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) replaces WEP with a stronger encryption algorithm and is not optional
Note many times the manufactures of wireless network adapters provides a wireless-client specifically made for their wireless adapter. Usually it is better to use the manufactures wireless-client instead this one from Microsoft. Especially since it has been reported that Microsoft wireless-client routinely drops the WIFI connection when having disabled SSID broadcasts, More Info MS KB811427, or if having checked "Enable IEEE 802.1x authentication for this network", More Info MS KB814123.

Note the Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC) service uses NDIS User Mode I/O (NDISUIO) NDIS protocol driver to query and monitor network adapters (Ethernet, WLAN etc.). Therefore some software firewall will report activity from the NDISUIO.SYS when using the WZC service, but it is perfectly harmless.

More Info MS KB314897
More Info MS KB318710
More Info MS KB328601
More Info MS KB815485 MS KB826942 (WPA for WinXP SP1)
More Info MS KB831749
More Info MS KB870702
More Info MS KB894568
More Info MS KB917021 (WPA2 for WinXP SP2)
More Info WSC WPA Assistant for Win2k (Freeware with security "reminders")

Recommended State:
  • Disabled, if not using wireless network with a 802.11 network device.
  • Automatic, if using wireless netwok AND manufacture of the netcard haven't provided software of their own.
Default State:
  • Win2k SP4+: Manual.
  • WinXP: Automatic.
  • Win2k3 Std./Enterprise/Datacenter: Automatic.
  • Win2k3 Web: Manual.
Process Name:
Supports:
  • None
Depends:

Updated: 3 October 2010

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