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Peer-to-peer WiFi configuration (Windows 7 and Vista)

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2015 10:07AM MST

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TypeWell will automatically detect and use a peer-to-peer WiFi link when it's set up correctly. Follow these steps to set up peer-to-peer WiFi linking between a Transcriber laptop and a Reader laptop running Windows 7 or Vista.

The following steps assume:

  • TypeWell Transcriber or Reader software has been installed on both laptops,
  • wireless hardware on both laptops has been enabled, and
  • wireless cards are working (for example, by successfully connecting to the Internet).

If you're not sure, go back to Pre-Configuring Wireless Settings for Peer-to-peer WiFi Linking.

First, you're going to connect your wireless to a special TypeWell-only network. Once you do this, you will no longer be able to use those wireless cards to connect your computer to the Internet. If you want to use both the Internet and TypeWell wireless from the same computer simultaneously, you can add a second wireless card or plug in an Ethernet cable. Read about sharing wireless or Use batch files to switch IP addresses automatically.

[Find where to set up a special Network]

How you set up a special network depends on your wireless hardware. Start by opening your the Network and Sharing Center and verify that the Set up a new connection or network option is listed.

Windows 7 network and sharing center

If you don't have the option to change your network settings using the Network and Sharing Center, you may need to ask your wireless hardware manufacturer how to get into the configuration screen. If possible, get the manufacturer to tell you how to turn off the manufacturer-specific configuration program so that you can use the standard Windows wireless configuration windows.

The rest of these Network-configuration instructions tell how to set your wireless up using the standard wireless configuration controls in Windows 7 or Vista. If you have a manufacturer-specific configuration method, or a different version of Windows, you'll need to adapt these instructions accordingly, or call the manufacturer's tech support to ask how to achieve the same settings.

[Ad-hoc mode]

Set up a new Network for use by TypeWell, in ad hoc mode. In the Network and Sharing Center, click Set up a new connection or network. This will start the network creation wizard. Choose the option Create an ad hoc network and then click Next, twice.

Windows 7 set up a connection or network

Note for Windows 7 Starter users: The Starter edition of Windows 7 does not show the ad hoc option that is needed for TypeWell linking. To find it, use Start menu search for "adhoc".

[SSID/Network name]

This step is the most important for making sure your two computers can wirelessly communicate — they must be using the same network name. The first field is where you fill in the Network name (SSID). Make up a name for the private network these two machines will be using to communicate. In the example below, we just used the name "TypeWell."

Both machines in a pair must use the same Network name; but if you are setting up more than one pair of TypeWell computers, give each pair a separate Network name so that they won't crosstalk and interfere with each other. For instance, one pair might use the network TypeWellA and another pair might use the network TypeWellB. Use the same capitalization for the network name on both computers.

[Encryption off]

Now in the drop down menu below where you typed in your network name you must select No authentication (open). This will cause the 3rd field in the wizard to become greyed out.

Check the Save this network box and click Next at the bottom of the window.

ad hoc network dialog box with fields for network name, security type and security key

There will be a pause while Windows sets up the network. When it is finished click Close and you should see your chosen Network name (from the [SSID/Network name] step above) listed in the networks list.

[Remove other Networks (optional)]

Cleaning out the list of other wireless networks will help make your TypeWell wireless connection work reliably day in and day out. This prevents Windows from attempting connections to other networks and thereby losing the TypeWell connection.

Network and Sharing Center with Manage wireless networks option highlighted

In the Network and Sharing Center, click Manage wireless networks on the left. You just added your TypeWell network to this list. Your goal now is to remove all the other Networks from the list, so that only your TypeWell network remains.

Windows 7 Manage wireless networks

Click a name in the list (other than the TypeWell one you just added), then click the Remove button. Repeat until all the names except your TypeWell network are gone.

[IP addresses and .2]

To set the wireless IP address to the valid TypeWell values, follow these steps:

In the Manage wireless networks list that you just cleared out, select the TypeWell network that you just created and then click Adapter properties.

dialog with TypeWell network selected and mouse hovering over adopter properties

There's a scrollable box below the label This connection uses the following items. Scroll down to the bottom of this list and look for an entry called Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). If there is more than one such entry, pick the one that mentions your wireless device or Version 4.

Networking tab with IPv4 option highlighted

Select the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) entry and click on the Properties button just below the scrollable box. This brings up the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties window. The General tab should already be selected.

Click on the second radio button Use the following IP addresses.

In the IP address field, type on one of your computers. Type in this field on the other computer. If you had a third computer in the same network as these first two, you'd use for it. TypeWell can never use IP addresses higher than

Press the Tab key on the keyboard. This will cause the Subnet mask field to fill in with the value

Radio button for using specific IP address selected, with IP and subnet typed into field

Press Enter or click OK to this window.

Click the Close button at the bottom of the remaining window. This will activate all your changes.

If a message appears about an IP Address Conflict, you've accidentally used the same IP address on both computers. They must each have a different IP address. Set one of them to, and the other to ​

[Turn on TypeWell]

You've finished setting up peer-to-peer wireless network!

There is one last step: find the network icon in the system tray network icon showing five bars and use it to click Connect to the new network you've set up.

dialog of network options with TypeWell selected

Now, we'll test that it's working.

Start TypeWell on both computers. Click on the Link menu on each computer and look for the "by Wireless" or "by Peer-to-peer WiFi" menu item. If the Wireless option is grayed out on one of the computers, or if you see a "Wrong IP" error message, please see "Still Gray?" in the Troubleshooting article.

TypeWell Link menu with Peer-to-peer linking highlighted

[Turn on TypeWell wireless option]

Under TypeWell's Link menu, select the by Wireless or By Peer-to-peer WiFi item and check the box to Enable wireless linking or Enable Peer-to-peer WiFi Linking.

Peer-to-peer WiFi Linking enabled by checkbox

Then check the TypeWell Link menu to make sure that the entry near the top says Linking ON. If it says Linking Off, then click Linking On.

TypeWell Linking menu with check marks by Linking On option and Peer-to-peer WiFi option

​If a window comes up that says something like TypeWell is trying to access the network, make sure you choose the option that lets TypeWell do so! Such a window would be your firewall program trying overeagerly to protect you.

Once you've turned the Wireless menu item on on both computers, the Link menu may flash for a moment and then it should change to say "Linked." (In versions of TypeWell prior to V5, they'll show "Searching wireless" for a moment in the status line at the bottom right of TypeWell's window, and then they both should switch within a few seconds to saying Linked on Wireless in that bottom corner on both computers.) If one or both of the TypeWell programs continues to flash "Linking" or "Searching wireless", see "Still Searching?" in the Troubleshooting article.

Once you see this Linked (or Linked on wireless on older versions) message on both computers, anything typed on one TypeWell will be transmitted to the other. It works! ​

[Set autoconnect (optional)]

Windows 7 won't automatically connect to an ad-hoc network by itself, making you manually click the Connect button each time you start your computer. However, you can set TypeWell to start the connection for you (only available in some versions of TypeWell). Just enter your network name (from the [SSID/Network name] step above) into the box in TypeWell's Wireless Linking dialog box (if applicable).

[Test a power-up]

Sometimes you'll get wireless working once, but it won't work correctly when the machines turn on the next day. Test that by shutting off both computers, and then turning them back on and [Turn on TypeWell] again. If they won't link, the problem is likely that you didn't perform the remove the other wireless network connections (see [Remove other Networks (optional)]), so you're not getting a reliable connection on the TypeWell network. Re-check that optional step to remove interfering networks.

[Add Security afterwards]

If you have any trouble getting your TypeWell connection to work the first time, make sure that you are not using any kind of encryption. Turn if off on both computers until you get TypeWell linked.

Once linking is working through [Test a power-up], you can go back and make the connection secure. The directions above set you up with a connection that will allow any stranger to connect with your computers. They can't necessarily DO anything to your computer, but to reduce the chances of someone accessing your private files, or messing up something on your computer, you should take these steps.

There are two ways to increase security. You can do either or both. The first and easiest is to prevent sharing of your files with others. To do this, go to Network Connections, right-click on your wireless network icon, click Properties, the look in the scrollable list for the File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks item. This item allows other computers to wirelessly connect to your computer. Un-check the box next to it if you don't want to permit this. Note that you'll still be able to connect to someone else's printer on their computer — this just prevents them from connecting to your files or printer, if you have one.

The second security measure you can take is to use encryption over the wireless connection. This can be pretty frustrating to get right, and many people use TypeWell with only the first security step above to prevent outside access to their files. But if you are a techie and understand what WEP is, and you want to go the extra mile, go to the Wireless Networks tab in this same window, click on your TypeWell network in the Preferred networks list, and click Properties. Set the Data encryption to WEP (or to one of the other choices for even higher security, such as TKIP). Make sure the The key is provided for me automatically checkbox is not checked. Fill in the Network key with the password you choose. Make sure that you type the exact same password on both computers, or they won't be able to communicate with each other.

Next: Troubleshooting Peer-to-peer Linking

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