Shutting off wireless auto-config in Mac OS X

As a matter of security and simply less annoyance, I prefer my computers to not connect willy-nilly to just any wireless network in range. OS X currently doesn't connect to random open networks, but it does always look for them, and by default it prompts you to connect to new ones. In OS X, all you have to do is un-check the "Ask to join new networks" on the AirPort adapter in Network preferences to stop this behavior.

Once you do that, go into the Advanced preferences and remove all those random access points that you've connected to in the past, leaving only the ones you know and trust on the list. If your access point has a default-ish name (like WLAN, Default, linksys, etc) you should probably change it so that your computer doesn't join up to the first "linksys" network it runs across.

On Linux and BSD, it's easy. You simply have to try -- and mean it -- to get on a wireless network. You don't just accidentally connect.

Also, it's a cold day in hell. Last week, I bought my wife a new computer that came loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium. I can only use it for a few minutes at a time before I have the urge to go take a shower with a steel wool pad to try to get Vista off of me, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to kill Vista's auto-join feature while letting it connect to preferred networks only. If you have any tips, drop us a line. It definitely isn't like XP. The only thing I saw told me to kill the Wireless Autoconfig service (maybe called something a little different) and all that did was completely disable wireless access on Vista.

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