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Wireless router security and efficiency


Laurence WM

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I purchased a laptop for the first time two days ago. Consequently I have set up wifi in my house, using a Linksys Wireless-G broadband router (connected to my broadband modem and my Desktop PC) which was in a cupboard in my house - it must be about seven years old.

Any things I should be aware of with regards to wireless routers? What about security? What are the dangers, and how are they best prevented? I have set my router to:

SSID broadcast enable (what is a broadcast in this context?) Firewall enable Block anonymous requests Disable access restrictions Mode - mixed

Just guessing that these were the best options.

Also, does the quality of the router affect the performance/speed of the laptop online?

Thanks very much indeed, Laurence

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Laurence WM

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Thanks again, Chronus.

I have a Linksys Wireless-G. In small letters it says that the model number is WRT54G.

I have the instructions. I have followed them, they tell me how to access some of the settings, but don't really advise on the pros and cons of each setting.

I have set up my own router user name and password.

I have found this article, which, with the others to which it links, is helpful:

http://www6.nohold.net/Cisco2/ukp.aspx?pid=80&login=1&app=search&vw=1&articleid=19073

This article tells me how to set up encryption, which the instructions do not at all. Is WPA Personal good (the other options are Radius, WPA Radius and WEP)? Setting up encryption includes creating the 'security key' which the laptop asked for on first connection, but not subsequently. The article helpfully explains that this is not the same as the router password.

I'd still like more knowledge of the context, i.e. what is at risk. Is it just a matter of preventing neighbours from using my wifi? Or are wifi networks more vulnerable to hacking than are online PCs?

I've read other stuff about about things like MAC address. Is bothering with this being over-cautious?

Thanks, Laurence

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