WiFi Security...does it matter?

  Charence 12:51 14 Feb 05

I've got a wireless network at home and its working quite well *touchwood* but I've been reading in various threads and other places on the net about securing a wireless network.

I'm not sure whether it is worth the hassle of putting encryption on my wireless network, surely nobody's going to hack into my network and want to access my computers, right? NB - There's also a shop below our house so anybody there should be in range of the network.

What do you think? Shall I leave it or shall I make it secure?


  spikeychris 17:49 14 Feb 05

Depends who you ask. At work the wireless network is encrypted but at home its wide open. click here for a M$ look at things.

  spuds 18:34 14 Feb 05

Recently there as been a number of articles about WiFi security, and this sort of item click here make interesting reading. Another article that I also read, was a test that was conducted within a short radius of a campus using an investigator used a laptop. It was surprising the amount of information, both confidential and non-confidential, that he was able to obtain within a very short period. Scary in the least.

  spuds 18:39 14 Feb 05

Appology for typo errors above 'using'!.

  Chezdez 18:41 14 Feb 05

if you use online banking, or buy things over the internet with credit, or anything of that kind, then yes, you definately should!

if you don't AT ALL (once or twice doesn't count as not using it), then, i suppose it isn't really necessary, but i would probably do it anyway, but i wouldn't deem it absolutely necessary

  Forum Editor 00:23 15 Feb 05

run their wireless networks with no form of security in place, and most of them suffer no ill-efects whatsoever.

There's a chance that your neighbour's computer will detect the wireless network and ofer him the connection, but it's a rare occurrence in my experience. A hacker sitting outside in a car with a laptop is an even more rare experience, although there are people who would have you think otherwise.

Having said all that, if encryption is available then why not use it?

  Charence 00:57 15 Feb 05

...I think I'll try setting it up since I do do Internet Banking.

Hopefully all goes well, thanks for input everyone.


  FelixTCat 10:01 15 Feb 05


If your router has these as an option, they are probably even more useful than encryption: MAC address filtering and SSID transmission.

In MAC address filtering you can tell the router that it should only allow certain MAC addresses to log on and receive an IP address. The value is that every network connecter has an individual identifier, its MAC address. If you set the router to log on only your own cards, it makes it much more difficult for outsiders to gain access.

SSID transmission works on the basis that wireless cards find networks by looking for the SSID, effectively the wireless network name. If no name is transmitted, a card cannot log on unles it already knows the name. You can set the name in the software for your own wireless cards, then tell the router not to transmit the SSID.

Neither of these prvides perfect security, but then neither does encryption. All they do is make it much harder for outsiders to find and then exploit your network.

  Charence 20:48 21 Feb 05

I've setup WEP on my network, and it was a simple 2 minute job! If anyone's thinking about setting this feature up, do it, its quite straightforward (remember to write down the key!).

I'll try MAC filter and SSID at the weekend and see how that goes!

Cheers, Charence

  FelixTCat 22:18 21 Feb 05

You're welcome.

  georgemac © 07:41 22 Feb 05

I was using WEP only - like you say very simple to set up.

I have now added MAC address filtering and turned of SSID broadcasting - again this was very simple to do on my netgear dg834g - and was done thanks to advice on this forum

I agree with FE - if it is there and readily available - use it.

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