What is Windows Connect Now?

Microsoft Windows Connect Now (WCN) is a technology designed to address the need for a simple and more secure way to configure network devices and computers. In addition to easier device configuration, you can use WCN to save wireless network settings to a USB flash drive and then plug that drive into devices (such as routers) and computers so you can quickly and easily add them to a network.


  • Windows Connect Now is easier to use and more secure than manual network configuration methods, but you must have WCN-compatible devices to take advantage of it. Check the information that came with your device to see if it is WCN-compatible, or look for a "Certified for Windows Vista" or "Works with Windows Vista" logo on the device itself or the device packaging.

To take advantage of the latest Windows Connect Now technology, you’ll need:

  • A computer running Windows Vista.

  • WCN-compatible devices, such as routers and printers.

  • A USB flash drive (if you want to use the USB configuration option).

The Windows Connect Now options are:

  • USB Configuration. You can put wireless network settings on a USB flash drive and then insert that drive into another computer or a WCN-compatible device such as a router or printer.

  • Wired (Ethernet) Configuration. Using an Ethernet cable, you can connect a router or access point to a computer running Windows Vista, and then run a wizard to configure the router or access point. Once the device is configured, you can add additional devices to the network wirelessly.

  • Wireless Configuration. This is the same as Wired (Ethernet) Configuration, but without the cables.

  • Wireless Join a Network. You can connect to a wireless router or access point that is already configured.

For information about setting up a network with or without Windows Connect Now, see Setting up a home network. For information about adding devices or computers to a network, with or without Windows Connect Now, see Add a device or computer to a network.