Vista laptop auto-securing the wifi router

My wife’s grandparents bought a laptop running Windows Vista that is somehow auto-securing the wifi router so that no other devices can use it. The router is an old Belkin router. My wife called and I talked her through turning off the security on the router so her phone and other devices in the house could use it, but when she tried to connect to it with her grandparents’ laptop, the laptop did something to secure it, and now her phone and another laptop both show the router as having a password. Is there some setting in Vista that she can turn off so it won’t do that, or is this a sign of some sort of malware? (Note that she’s there and I’m at home, so I’ve been trying to diagnose this over the phone, and I can’t tell you exactly what the screen says since I don’t have it in front of me.)

AFAIK, there’s nothing in the OS itself that would do that. If their laptop is indeed securing the router (how? Adding a password? Turning off SSID broadcasting? Adding a MAC filter? There are lots of ways to secure a router) then it’s because they’ve installed something on the laptop that does that.

My guess would be the router came with a CD of software that is set to do that, or it’s possible they’ve installed some other third-party app with that feature, perhaps some anti-spyware or anti-virus app.

I think you need to be in front of the screen to diagnose this one.

seconded…not gonna happen. Windows asks the router what security it is using, it has no ability by itself to force a router to do anything.

you may want to try setting up Copilot

https://www.copilot.com/

or something similar so you can see once she is connected.

Once you are in, setup the free version of logmein or teamviewer.

that way as long as the computer is online you can log in and look.

Whatever it was, my wife managed to turn it off.