How do i make my wireless network secure?

  nebuchan 19:57 06 Oct 05
Locked

Hello,
Is there an online guide somewhere, or could someone point me in the right direction. I am a student in a student house and have got 5 laptops accessing wirelessly the internet via a wireless router. It is working perfectly, however it is not secure.

What is the easiest way to secure it, through windows or through the router.

I only ask, as i had a go with my network at home, and locked all our computers out, so had to completely set everything again, which i am keen to avoid.

Cheers

  mgmcc 20:58 06 Oct 05

Most routers support MAC address filtering. You can enable this so that only those wireless adapters whose MAC address has been entered into the router's settings can access it.

To find the adapter's MAC address (Media Access Control address), open a Command Prompt window and, at the prompt, type:

IPCONFIG /ALL

and press Enter. In the details of the Wireless adapter, you will see the "Physical Address". This 12 character hexadecimal string in six groups of two is the MAC address.

In addition, there should be instructions in the router's manual to enable WEP or WPA encryption.

  Taff36 23:06 06 Oct 05

Which Router is it? We may be able to point you to the manual online for instructions?

  Forum Editor 20:42 08 Oct 05

Somewhere in the router's configuration pages you'll find an option to enable 128 bit WEP encryption. You simply make up your own authentication key - using any combination of the numbers 0-9 and the letters A-F (case sensitive) and then tell each computer to submit that key when accessing the network.

There are other steps you can take, but that method is very easy, very quick, and pretty effective.

  Taff36 23:43 11 Oct 05

I`m sure (s)he`ll getback to us ........

Hi, not the orignal poster but I am hovering on the same questions so thought I'd join this thread (you remember me - waiting an age for laptop to arrive!) Anyway,still haven't got the laptop but have bought & set up router/modem (got the Netgear DG834GT in the end at £53 delivered including a Netgear USB Adapter- thanks to advice on this forum) and I think I have set up security using WPA. Am slightly fazed by the security alerts that I am getting (giving a source address and the destination as DOS). I asked on the Netgear Forum and got a reply which said, "don't worry this is just people sending out data to see what's out there". I haven't a clue what that means other than on a superficial level! I'm not getting any alerts from Norton which is also up to date and running and I currently have the "Broadcast station" or whatever it is called) switched off as I don't have the Laptop yet. so my questions are:-
1) Basically will I know if the WPA is working when I get the laptop and switch it on? (hopefully it will ask for the WPA key in order to access the router/modem?)
2) Do I ignore the security alerts- am I getting them because the router has a firewall itself?
3) Would it be secure to wirelessly network the PC and laptop so that I can share files and my printer (connected to desktop).
PHEW! sorry about the length of the post!
Many thanks!

  Chegs ® 23:38 15 Oct 05

You'll be able to see in SSID whether the WEP is enabled.Once setup on the remote machine(s)it should be possible to save the WEP key on the remote machine(s) so you dont need to input it each time you want to access the router.

I only found out last night howto set up encryption on my WiFi network,had a poke around and tried a few things,expecting my laptop to be booted off the network,but it wasn't.

Chegs- I tried the WPA, got my laptop, it picked up the signal, said that it was WPA protected I entered the key and was online and surfing! There seems to also have been a noticeable drop in security alerts since changing from Wep to WPa!

  Chegs ® 09:25 20 Oct 05

WEP is fine for home networks,WPA is a more secure system.

Either are hackable with use of several d/l'able "live" CD's,by anyone well versed in linux/networking.

So what else do we do?

  Chegs ® 15:11 20 Oct 05

X your pinkies and pray. :-)

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