WEP or MAC id permissions - which is most secure

  quaggydog 22:47 20 Mar 05
Locked

Having spent several days trying to get my new Linksys WAG54G ADSL Gateway/Router to communicate with my D-Link Wifi PCMCIA card using WEP - I have given up! They just don't seem to like each other. Instead, I have set up the router to ONLY permit wireless connection from my laptop's MAC id. Is this more (or less) secure than using WEP? Any views?

  Mikè 23:18 20 Mar 05

Mac addresses can be spoofed, but if you disable SSID as well you, will be safe enough on a home network.

WPA (shared key) is more secure than WEP though.

  Mikè 23:20 20 Mar 05

Apologies for dodgy punctuation.

  FelixTCat 10:16 21 Mar 05

WEP is more secure because even if your packets are "sniffed", they cannot easily be read. Note, however, that it is virtually impossible to fully protect any network (wireless or otherwise). All you can do is take reasonable precautions to make it difficult for casual hackers to break in.

The chances of you being hacked are pretty small unless you live in a very built-up area with lots of close neighbours. Look at all the posts here of people who can't set up a network across a room, let alone through the walls to their neighbours.

  BigMoFoT 15:57 21 Mar 05

is by far the safest as it's the only one that hasn't been cracked - upto now anyway!
It's easy enough to use a strong WEP key and use MAC filtering as well but as other posts have suggested the chances of your home network being hacked is very very remote indeed.

  quaggydog 09:36 24 Mar 05

One more question... I now have a second laptop connecting to my WAG54G. It's MAC id has not been added to the list of permissible wireless network connections. But it is still able to use the WAG54G internet connection. Does this sound reasonable? I infer from this that the MAC address permissions apply only to being able to access other networked computers - and not to the ADSL modem connection. Am I correct?

  FelixTCat 10:08 24 Mar 05

If you have properly set MAC address filtering, then the router will only allow those MAC addresses in its database to log on.

If you have been able to log a new laptop on wirelessly using a different wireless adapter, then the MAC filtering has not been set up. Note that if you put the same adapter into different pcs, they will log on - it is the adapter which is managed, not the pc it's attached to.

  The BB 18:02 24 Mar 05

Thats assuming you are using your network. Sounds silly, but a friend at work was having problems - couldn't always access the net even if they rebooted their router etc.. Turned out they had been using next doors wireless network and router and it was the set up that way since before christmas when they bought the PC and broadband and wireless!!

  NT Server 19:24 24 Mar 05

Since when has it been possable to Spoof a MAC address?. They are hard coded onto chips. Only someone that can make the chips could change a MAC address!!!!. So MAC address filtering with SSId broadcast turned off is the best defence possable.

  Mikè 20:38 24 Mar 05

"Since when has it been possable to Spoof a MAC address?. They are hard coded onto chips. Only someone that can make the chips could change a MAC address!!!!. So MAC address filtering with SSId broadcast turned off is the best defence possable."

I have sent NT Server an email with a link to a MAC modifying utility.

  FelixTCat 21:25 24 Mar 05

MAC address spoofing is available on a lot of routers, which will happily spoof the MAC address of one of the pcs on the network to the ISP.

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