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2,862 Tutorials

Protect a wireless network without using a password

Sometimes you don't need WPA2

One contributor protects his Wi-Fi network without using a password.

For many years, I didn't bother protecting my home network. My neighbours had their own password-protected networks, so I didn't feel the need to deal with the hassle of WPA2 keys and so forth.

See also: Wi-Fi security dos and don'ts   

But now that I have a premium broadband connection that promises impressive connection speeds, I'm keen to ensure others don't take advantage of it, slowing me down.

Adding new devices to the WPA2 Wi-Fi router's trusted circle is proving troublesome, yet it's something I often need to do. Rather than endlessly entering complex passwords, I wanted a clever way to be able to auto-login.

Digital Inspiration came to my aid. As well as explaining how to check whether anyone was taking advantage of my open network in the first place, it had one simple suggestion: give my network a scary name. Choosing an unappealing or intimidating SSID (network name) may well be enough to ensure non-tech-savvy neighbours steer clear.
The Digital Inspiration site uses the example: c:\virus.exe.

You might also try something that sounds vaguely threatening, such as FBIWatchdog or thievesbeware. I like 'Iwillhackyou', which should keep the pilferers at bay.

A smarter option is not to broadcast the SSID at all, meaning your network will stay invisible to outsiders while remaining available to you.

[Editor's note: it's PC Advisor's contention that WPA2 protection is best in almost all cases. Rick's tips are interesting, and may work for you, but safest is best. If you're not sure, stick to password protection.]

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