DHCP Client List puzzle

  Pineman100 18:27 06 Jul 07

I run XP SP2 Home (Media Center Edition). I connect to the internet via a Belkin wireless router/ADSL modem, with a Belkin USB wireless adapter plugged into my computer. There are no other computers in the network.

Since I set up this wireless network about a year ago I've never really bothered to look at the router's settings, on the principle of "if it ain't broke don't fix it". However in preparation for connecting my wife's new laptop to the network, I've been poking about in the router's settings today.

In the DHCP client list (which I don't think I've ever looked at before), I am surprised to find two entries. One of them has the MAC number of my USB adapter, but I don't recognise the other one's MAC number.

I'm not any kind of expert on networking - I just do what the instruction book tells me. Should I be worried about the two DHCP entries? Could someone else be infiltrating my wireless network? Or is it normal to have two DHCP client entries for one computer?

By the way, I have MAC filtering enabled in my router's settings, with only my adapter's MAC number allowed.

Many thanks for any advice.

  VoG II 18:43 06 Jul 07

Is it a secured network? I've just checked my Belkin router's set-up info and with just my PC connected I see just one MAC address. If I power up my wirelessly connected laptop, it appears in the list. Could somebody be piggy-backing onto your network?

  Pineman100 18:54 06 Jul 07

Thanks for responding.

No I don't run any security protocol. I just rely on the MAC filtration (OK - it's stupid I know, but the WEP setup has always scared me a bit).

What symptoms would I see if someone was piggybacking? I think it's unlikely, because I live in a quiet country area with only a few houses around.

  VoG II 19:03 06 Jul 07

I would set up a WEP code - it is fairly painless. Just write down the code somewhere and keep it secure. When I first set up a network a few years ago I didn't set up any security either but then I became concerned when I saw how many other wireless networks were available to me (I live in a built-up area).

Once you've set a WEP key, Windows will 'remember it' - this will go for your wife's laptop as well.

  Pineman100 19:08 06 Jul 07

I think that's good advice.

I'm clear about how to do this on the router, but I presume I have to enter the same key in my computer somewhere. Please could you explain where I do this?

  VoG II 19:23 06 Jul 07

Once you've set up a WEP key, the next time that you attempt to connect to the network (i.e. turn on your PC), Windows should prompt you to enter the key (in duplicate). You should only have to do this once unless you change the key.

  Pineman100 19:29 06 Jul 07

It's that easy, huh?! I should have had more faith! Many thanks for that.

I've been looking at my Network Connections (in Control Panel), and I find that I have two connections listed. One of them is my wireless network, and the other is called "Realtek RTL8139/810x Family Fast Ethernet NIC (network cable unplugged)". Is this the ethernet card in my computer? If so, do you think that could be the second entry in my DHCP client list?

  postie24 19:48 06 Jul 07

Yes that is the ethernet connection,does it say unplugged?
Also you need to set wpa security,not wep,its too easily accessed.
Choose a nice long password from here
click here

  Pineman100 19:57 06 Jul 07

Thanks postie.

Would setting WPA up in Windows be the same as VoG's explanation above for WEP? In other words, will Windows automatically prompt me for the key?

  postie24 20:00 06 Jul 07

Yes its exactly the same as VoG,s explanation.
Make sure you write it down tho because you will need to enter it the 1st time you connect

  Pineman100 18:20 10 Jul 07

Well it perhaps wasn't quite as straightforward as VoG suggested - when I implemented WEP on the router my restarted computer didn't prompt me for the WEP key.

However, I found that if I browsed to the wireless network via Control Panel, and right-clicked on it, I then got the opportunity to enter the WEP key.

Anyway, thanks to your help I have now set up MAC filtering and WEP 32-bit security on the router and both computers.

Many thanks to everyone.

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