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Understanding How WM6 Network Connections work


Guest tomw2505
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Hi there

I've just returned to Windows after a few years with a Palm Treo 650, and I'm delighted with the improvements that have been made in the meantime. My new Vodafone V1615 (HTC Kaiser) is a joy!

One thing I have never been able to get my head round is how the networking and connections model is structured on a Windows Mobile device. I run an IT company, so I am not a complete cretin with networking (my networking guys would disagree I'm sure..), the windows desktop model of get a LAN or Wireless connection then run whatever you need on top of it (VPN etc.) makes complete sense to me and I do have a reasonable understanding of TCP/IP etc.

However, on WM6 I simply cannot understand the object model for internet, network and VPN connectivity. What the heck is My Work Network for example, does WM6 use the mobile carrier (Vodafone in my case) to first connect to the internet then establish a VPN on top of this, how do I know how this is all working?

I should say at the outset that the phone is working perfectly; I'm simply trying to understand the structure of the connections in order to be able to make educated decisions on the security of the data transmitted from the device and in order to be able to diagnose any issues that occur. Also I need to set up VPNs from the phone and again I want to understand how this is working.

I'm hoping that one of the gurus here will be able to point me at a really detailed discussion of all of the networking components in WM6?

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I'm a sysadmin and I don't even begin to understand it. In wireless networks there are countless places to set "Work" or "internet" and it doesn't really seem to make any difference. I'm sure there is some logic behind it somewhere ;)

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There actually is logic. And its all to do with providing all the options to everyone. Hence it isnt that simple.

You have three main connections:

1) GPRS/3G - to connect via your networks APN when mobile

2) Internet - using above/wifi/activeysnc

3) Work - using activesync or wifi to connect either to a private LAN or to use a work proxy server for web access.

If you use those basics, then every connection follows the simple rules - ignore 1) as that is set up once and forget it (unless you wish to swap between two APN's), then with the others ask "am I setting it up to connect to web directly or via work proxy?"

Hence the options to set a network card (eg wifi) to connect to work or internet and an option to set up a wifi connection to connect to internet or work.

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@lozzd - ;) Glad it isn't just me!

@jimbouk - Ah, that begins to make some things clearer. A few questions following on from your post with regards to the network card options [start-> Settings->Connections Tab->Network Cards->Network Adapters Tab]

1) It looks like from your list of the three main connections that '2) Internet' uses any available connection to get to the internet where as '3) Work' doesn't use the 3G/GPRS, is that correct?

2) Are these 'Work' and 'Internet' labels related to the 'My Work Network' and 'My ISP' settings in the Networks form [start->Settings->Connections Tab->Connections->Advanced Tab]?

3) Is the only difference between Work and Internet that one doesn't use the GPRS/3G connection, or is there somewhere to set different properties specific to Work and Internet?

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1) Yes but the device is preprogrammed to use wifi or activesync if that is available before using 3g. (Thank God as WM5 devices werent)

2) Yes. You can thus set up a proxy or whatever you need for "work" when connecting to your work LAN whereas your home (or hotspots) wifi connections can connect to the "internet" and thus not via the proxy.

3) See above.

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Ah this is all beginning to make sense now. More stupid questions to follow later no doubt, but that gives me a good basis to get started on, many thanks.

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