Author Topic: Wireless Router & Security: A Step-By-Step Guide  (Read 2714 times)

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Offline Perfect

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Setting up a wireless router is easy. Essentially you turn your cable or DSL modem and your wireless router. Then connect the router to a cable modem and turn off the modem again. It is more or less done. The wireless network wizard on your computer will take the router and if your ISP does not have special requirements, off-you-go ", found on the Internet.

For ease of installation and configuration, manufacturers ship wireless routers with all security disabled. Therein lies the problem. If you do not take any other action to secure your router, and a surprising number of people who do not, your network will be open to all passersby and strangers. It's like you've hung a sign, "The door is open. Please come and help yourself."

The problem is not that foreigners can use your router for Internet access, but that without further protection, potential intruders will be able to monitor and sniff out the information sent and received on your network. Malicious intruders can even upload to the internal network, access to hard drives, and steal, modify or delete files on your computer.

The good news is that it is relatively easy to secure your wireless router. Here are three basic steps to take.

1. The password protects access to the router's internal configuration

To access the internal configuration of the router, open a browser and enter the routers setup URL. The URL is specified in the manual. The URLs for D-Link and Linksys, two major manufacturers of wireless routers, and http://192.168.0.1 http://192.168.1.1, respectively.

For Linksys routers, leave the username blank and type "admin" (without the quotes) into the password field and press Enter. To change your password, simply click the Password tab and enter your new password.

For other routers, please consult the manual. Alternatively, you can search the Internet with the "default logon." Do not be surprised to find a good number of pages listing default login parameters for many different routers, albeit infrequently.

2. Change the SSID (Service Set Identifier)

The SSID is the name of a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). All wireless devices on a WLAN use SSIDs to communicate with each other.

The routers come with standard default SSIDs. For example, the default SSID for Linksys routers is, not unsurprisingly, "Linksys." As you can see, unless you change the default SSID of the router to an intruder armed with a few common SSIDs from major manufacturers will be able to find the wireless network quite easily.

To change the SSID, click the Wireless tab. Look for an input item labeled SSID. It will be at the top. Enter a new name for the network. Do not use something like "My Network". Use a name that is hard to guess.

3. Disable SSID broadcast

Wireless enabled computers use network discovery software to automatically search for nearby SSIDs. Some of the most advanced software see the SSID of nearby networks and even display their names. Therefore, changing the network name only helps in part to protect your network. To prevent your network name from being discovered, you must disable SSID broadcast.

On the same screen that has changed the name of the network, you will see options for SSID broadcast. Select the "Disable SSID" to make your network invisible. Now save all the settings and exit.

Since the wireless network is now invisible, you must configure the computers to connect to your wireless network with the new name. In Windows XP, start by clicking the wireless icon in the Notification Area and proceed from there.

With these three steps, the network now has basic security. However, if you keep sensitive information on their computers, you may want to protect your wireless network even further. For example, you

- Change the channel your router uses to transmit and receive data on a regular basis.
- Restrict the devices that can connect to the router by filtering out MAC (Media Access Control) addresses.
- Use encryption such as WEP and WPA.

As with most things in life, security is a compromise between cost (time, money, inconvenience) and benefit (ease of use). It's a personal decision you make. However, for most household uses, the three basic steps over WEP / WPA encryption provides reasonably strong security.

Turning on encryption is a two-step process. First, configure the router to use encryption using an encryption key of your choice. And then configure your computer to use the encryption key. The actual process of configuring your router for encryption varies from router to router. Please check your router's manual.

There are even stronger methods for ensuring security. A security method is strong and robust RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service). Using RADIUS requires additional hardware and software. However, there are companies that offer RADIUS security as a subscription based service. Rates are reasonable and drop.

Thus, for example, if you have a business in the wireless network, have sensitive data on their computers, such as credit card information, and have a number of users accessing your network, you should consider using RADIUS. Since the service sector for RADIUS is dynamic and growing an Internet search using terms like "RADIUS subscription" or "RADIUS service" is probably the best way to locate one.



Offline Nchekwube

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Great and very very educating information.
Do you want to se my CASH MACHINES at work?|Now do you know that commisions have  SUPREMACY

Offline Perfect

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Nice to know that is helpful and educative.

Offline Nchekwube

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yea you always got me with all your posts.
Do you want to se my CASH MACHINES at work?|Now do you know that commisions have  SUPREMACY


 

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