Home wireless network shows up as ‘Unidentified public network’

Unidentified public network

A curious problem this week from a client in Waunfawr, Gwynedd. I had previously installed a router that my client had bought to improve the wireless signal and coverage. Everything was working well except for one laptop which had problems connecting via wireless. It found the wireless network and could connect but whilst it listed the network by name, it was also marked as an unidentified public network. There is a lot of confusion over this as it appears to be a fairly widespread problem with just as many possible solutions, ranging from setting a static IP address to disabling LMHOSTS (neither of which worked in this case).

After some head-scratching it was found to be an outdated wireless card driver. In circular fashion, the wireless card needed an update in order to connect to the wireless network but couldn’t update because it couldn’t connect to the wireless network. The solution was to connect the laptop to the router using an ethernet cable and update the wireless card driver.