Securing a home wireless network

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by Guest, Jan 7, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I am new to home networking. I have been reading tutorials on how to secure
    my home network, but I am still at a complete lost. So if someone can
    explain this to me in newbie's terms that would be great.
    My first PC is a desktop that I connect to the internet throught a dsl
    modem that my isp Verizon sent me. I have it hooked up through the ethernet
    plug into the phoneline. It is made by Westell. This has been the only PC my
    family has used. This past Christmas I bought my husband and One daughter a
    laptop and the other daughter got a desktop. This was in a way my present too
    as I wanted to be able to use my PC. Anyway when they started there laptops
    they used the wireless network wizard and they were online. Now my daughters
    desktop needed a wireless network adapter which I bought and hooked up. I got
    her connected through the wireless setup wizard too. When it went to show all
    connecton it listed 3 different connection all of which said unsecure. I
    picked the one I think was ours. Well I got to thinking if my neighbors
    signal is unsecure and I can get theirs than of course than can pick up on
    mine too. How do I fix this? When I first set up the wireless I never used
    the USB connecton to transfer settings like it says to do in the wizard. I
    know that the network is working because I can use the printer that is on the
    first PC from the laptop. I am just worried that my neighbors can pick up my
    shared files too
    Guest, Jan 7, 2006
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  2. Guest

    Frankster Guest

    Change your wireless server to secure. They'll still see it (as you can see
    theirs and yours) but will not be able to connect. Anyone can connect to any
    unsecured wireless.

    As for "seeing" your files. Probably not. At least not easily. But why let
    them attempt to see them by running your wireless in unsecured mode?

    You should have a choice of WEP or WPA for security. Choose WPA. It is the
    latest and better of the two. If you don't have the WPA choice, WEP will
    work too.

    Frankster, Jan 7, 2006
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  3. Guest

    J Guest

    On Sat, 7 Jan 2006 10:12:02 -0800, "Lost MOM" <Lost
    Did you read these two ?

    Depending on your router hardware, you want to enter a UNIQUE
    key into the WPA or WEP encryption fields in the router and
    in each computer connected to the wireless router, so the
    signal is encrypted and not open to the world
    J, Jan 7, 2006
  4. Guest

    Frankster Guest

    One more thing, because Microsoft "zero config" gets so screwed up when it
    sees multiple signals with the same name, and you said you saw a few with
    the same name - including your own, I would recommend changing your default
    SSID name to something else.

    You will have to make these changes on the wireless router/access point and
    then make these changes on each workstation.

    See you back here when you have more questions. :)

    Frankster, Jan 7, 2006
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks so much for replying. So how do i go about changinging my wireless
    server to secure? And exactly what is the wireless server? My westell modem
    that is connected to my desktop? Or do I have to enable this WEP on every PC
    in my house? I know I am completely clueless when it comes to how networks
    work. Hopefully I can find a Network for dummies book. I am reading these
    tutorials and they are using all these networking terms that I am unfamliar
    with. Thanks again for the help.
    Guest, Jan 8, 2006
  6. Guest

    Frankster Guest

    The reason I used the term "wireless server" is because I didn't know what
    you had. Basically, a wireless system usually has a base station which the
    clients connect to. Base stations can be either a router (usually built into
    a modem) or a WAP (wireless access point). By your description, I still
    don't know which you have, but I suspect you have a wireless router (your
    'modem'). Whatever has the antenna on it is the one.

    One caveat... if you are configured to run in what is called "AD-HOC" mode
    and you have only wireless cards in each computer but do not have a base
    station, you cannot run more than two wireless devices simultaneously. For a
    network with more than two wireless PCs, you need a base station (router or

    You enable WEP (or better yet WPA) encryption on your base station, and you
    also change the name of the SSID on the base station. Then, yes, you go
    around to each wireless client and change the security to WEP (or WPA).

    Frankster, Jan 8, 2006
  7. Guest

    Bubba Guest

    Might also want to turn off "broadcast SSID" after you change the name to
    something other than the router default. Hardcore hackers can still find
    your network but that will stop casual snoops from attempting to enter your
    Bubba, Jan 8, 2006
  8. Guest

    Bubba Guest

    If you have a wireless router, you need to enter the IP address of the
    router which depend on manufacturer but will be something like Change the default password to something personal to
    prevent others from accessing your router. Change the SSID to something
    also personal and turn off broadcasting. You'll want to enable encryption
    like WPA and then select a unique key or passphrase.
    Bubba, Jan 8, 2006
  9. Guest

    Frankster Guest

    Although turning off SSID broadcasting is a little more secure (so is
    "airgap" - disconnecting the computer from the network), the general
    consensus is that this "cure" is worse than the "disease". I'd suggest
    changing the SSID name, but leaving broadcast on.

    Frankster, Jan 8, 2006
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