Windows 10 And Wi-Fi Sense – Consider Your Network Compromised?

<sarcasm on> I'm sure lots of people are looking forward these days to upgrade to Windows 10 <sarcasm off>. Personally, the only reason why I'm even writing about it is the new Wi-Fi Sense feature that has jumped over from Windows Phone to the desktop to freely share Wi-Fi passwords with your contacts in Outlook, Hotmail, Skype and Facebook. Great for convenience, bad for security, bad for me.

Bad for me because in the past I let friends access my Wi-Fi network at home. I'm sure I haven't changed my Wi-Fi password since because it's a pain to change it on all of my devices that use the network, especially printers and other devices that don't offer an easy way to change the password. But I guess I have to do it now because Windows PCs of friends with whom I've shared my password in the past that upgrade can now freely share it with their friends, i.e. people I don't even know, with a simple tick in a check box. Obviously, Microsoft get's to see and store it, too.

Fortunately it's not as bad as it sounds at first as users still have to tick a check box per Wi-Fi network they want to share credentials for. Ars Technica has a detailed description of how the feature works if you are interested in the details. Still, I think it's time for a password change at home.

Yes, I know, giving out my Wi-Fi password was never secure to begin with. This is why I have a guest Wi-Fi SSID and password for quite some time now that I can quickly switch-on and off as required. Another benefit of this solution is that I can change the SSID and/or the password every now and then so things don't get out of hand. This way even if friends decide to or accidentally share my guest Wi-Fi credentials with Microsoft and the world it's of little use to anyone as the guest Wi-Fi SSID is automatically shut down after a pre-configured time after the last user has left.

And that by the way also limits the damage done by those automatic 'backups' of private data to Google Servers that Android based devices perform every now and then.

2 thoughts on “Windows 10 And Wi-Fi Sense – Consider Your Network Compromised?”

  1. A pictures tells a thousand words

    Having seen this without having read too many of all the articles, i’m already convinced to never want to use Windows 10 – even if being an eligible free-upgrade customer.

    I stopped reading the windows 10 stuff. What i read so far is already enough. Seems like MS is making it a PITA to install and use Win10 without MS Cloud Accounts.

    Also this ridiculous drive encryption that stores the recovery key in the cloud…

    interesting… erm… frustating times we are living in… in terms of privacy.

  2. You missed two things about Wi-Fi sense that are quite important for this post:
    1) The sharing check box has to be selected when the password is input in order for the network to be shared. I.e. friends that previously got your password on their device can’t share it and if you input the password on a friends device, you can check the sharing check box is blank.
    2) Wi-Fi access through Wi-Fi sense is internet only, i.e. they can’t access your printers or other resources.
    These are explained in the Wi-Fi sense FAQ ( ). However, it would be interesting to know more about how the “only internet connectivity” part is done technically.

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