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TSF Team Emeritus, Design Team
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Hi all, I'm not all that great with wireless networking, and was hoping you could tell me a bit about security. I don't want or need my broadband wireless connections to be hacker-proof, I just want one level of security so that someone can't just push a button on windows and take all of my bandwidth.
Thanks!
 

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Wireless Security

Hey SixShooter, I can offer some tips for your wireless network.

There are three things that should be configured to be the most secure with wireless: MAC address filtering, disable broadcast SSID, and a WEP key.

The first thing you should do when you access your wireless access point/router is set a password and change the default SSID. The SSID is pretty much the name of your network. Most vendor's equipment puts a default SSID in like NETGEAR or something like that. Change it to something unique to you that is not easily guessed (not your physical address or your name.)

Once that is done, turn off the SSID broadcast option. This option allows your wireless router to advertise its existance to the world. This makes it easy to connect, but it also tells hackers you are out there. Turning off this option only means that you will have to manually enter it when searching for the wireless connection in Windows (or whichever OS you are using.)

Second, set up MAC address filtering. This should be a tab in your wireless router, maybe under security or something. Setting this option allows only the computers (or at least the network cards from those computers) you specify access to your wireless network. To get the MAC address with Windows, open a command prompt (Start --> Run --> type cmd and hit enter). Type ipconfig /all at the prompt and look for your wireless network adapter to get the physical address. It should be in a 01-23-45-67-89-ab format. If you enter that MAC address into your wireless router access list, you will lock your wireless network down to a specific set of MAC addresses.

If you want to really increase your security, create a WEP (wireless encryption protocol) key in the router and enter that in your wireless network setup on your windows workstation. This key will be used to encrypt your wireless traffic so only your computer and the wireless router can actually read the packets. This alone is not enough as there are free downloads out there that can crack this if they figure out your wireless router's manufacture.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I hope this helps!
 

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TSF Security Manager, Emeritus
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SixShooter said:
thanks! is the routers address different than the IP address?
SS - to answer your question (I hope)

The router's address is it's IP address. Yours should be either 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.1.2 by default. Check the documentation which came with it.
 
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