Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My new laptop will arrive in a few days, and much as I would prefer to avoid it, this time I'll be keeping Windows (going back to school and I'm sure some of the professors will expect everyone to use it). So now I have to think about all the security problems I never have to worry about with Linux.

The very first thing I want to do when it arrives is make sure it's not connected to the internet until I can install the antivirus software that I just downloaded. Obviously I won't plug in any cables, but it might pick up a wi-fi signal or something -- you know Windows, it's so helpful, always doing things without being told. How do I make sure it's totally disconnected? I suppose good old ping will work? If it is online, how do I disconnect?

share|improve this question
i would not worry too much about the security of windows7, m$ invested a pretty decent sum into security. check out also… – akira Aug 22 '11 at 11:10
Jeez, why do you think Windows just connects to.. "somewhere" when you don't explicitly deactivate the wireless device? Wow, talk about paranoid. – sinni800 Aug 22 '11 at 12:07
XP used to have nasty habit of connecting to any unsecured networks it found. It's not an issue with 7 though. – Col Aug 22 '11 at 14:42
Hmm, sounds like M$ finally managed to get their act together on security. High time. – Tom Zych Aug 22 '11 at 23:47
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Disable the wireless adapter through Network and Sharing Center → Change Adapter Settings.

share|improve this answer
Very specific, that should do, thank you. – Tom Zych Aug 22 '11 at 11:04
The best and most reliable way! – BloodPhilia Aug 22 '11 at 11:14

Usually laptops have a switch for activating/deactivating Wifi. If no cable is plugged in and Wifi is disabled, I think you can be sure there's no cloud connection ;)

share|improve this answer
I think it's still called "Internet connection". – grawity Aug 22 '11 at 11:02
There's no standard place to find this switch? – Tom Zych Aug 22 '11 at 11:03
@Tom Zych - Laptop Designs are not standard. Just look for it, I think your over thinking this "security issue" to be honest, you don't instantly get infected with Windows 7, which unless you format your computer is what you will be using. – Ramhound Aug 22 '11 at 11:06
@Ramhound: yes, years ago. not the case anymore with windows7. there were also times when you could sneak into unix mainframes by the use of finger. so, get over it. :) – akira Aug 22 '11 at 12:10
@Tom - that's extremely unlikely if you are connected to a router with a firewall and you don't go surfing the web before you've installed the AV software. – ChrisF Aug 22 '11 at 12:11

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.