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Posted by
Networking Expert
Member Since: ‎07-28-2003
Posts: 24,238

How to Secure a Wireless Router

[ Edited ]

Comcast's High Speed Internet service is a wonderful thing, and many of us have come to depend on it for many things, from sending email to friends and family, to playing games, to managing our finances, to working at our jobs at home. In households where there is more than one computer, it's becoming more and more common to see routers used to network these computers together to share the same Internet connection. Wireless routers are a very popular choice, especially with laptop users and in those places where it's impractical to run an ethernet cable. But along with them comes some extra security concerns specific to wireless that should be addressed so the user's computers and network are not exposed to needless risk from the more unsavory elements in the Internet community. Since you do not need direct physical access to use a wireless router, how do you ensure that only you and those you approve can use your router? Thankfully, that's an easy question to answer. The router itself can help you with this, it has many configurable options that allow you to control its wireless function so that you can be as secure as you like.

I'll walk through a typical wireless router setup using the Linksys WRT54G as my example. I'll describe the various options that effect wireless security and you can decide what settings are right for your particular situation. Wireless routers come in all shapes and sizes and they don't all share the same options, so I may describe an option your router doesn't have, or you may have an option mine lacks. When in doubt, RTFM. Let me say that again, READ THE DARN MANUAL! Phew, glad I got that off my chest. Your router's manual is an invaluable source of information about your specific model, use it.

At the bottom are links to other posts which describe connecting to a secured router from XP, Vista, and a Mac.

Here come the details, so take a deep breath and dive right in...

Router Configuration
To change these router options, we're going to be using the WRT54G's Web based Setup pages. Most routers have a tiny built-in webserver you can just point your favorite browser at, login, and make whatever changes you need. On my router, I simply use http://192.168.1.1 (which is just the router's LAN side IP address). This is pretty standard on most Linksys routers. Other manufacturers might use http://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.2.1, or http://10.0.0.1, for example. Consult your pesky documentation for what you should use on your router. Once connected, you should be presented with a login dialog that looks similar to this. Enter the router's administration password and press OK. The default password on Linksys routers is usually "admin" with no userid. You should then see your router's home page. Take a few minutes, poke around and familiarize yourself with the way your router's website works and where the various pages and options are. One important thing to note with Linksys routers, once you make a change to an option, be VERY CERTAIN to click on Save Settings at the bottom of the page or you will never actually turn that option on. So anywhere I say change an option, remember to hit Save before you continue to another page or the change will be lost. You have been warned Smiley Happy.

Now let's get right down to the security changes:

1. Change the router's administration password. Strictly speaking this option has nothing to do with the wireless function itself but since it's such basic security, it bears repeating. Your router comes with a default password, but everyone knows what this password is, so it's no protection at all. Change it to something only you know. On the WRT54G, go to the Administration --> Management page, enter the Router Password and confirm it. Then press the Save Settings button at the bottom of the page. You will be presented with a logon dialog again, just use the new password.

2. Disable the ability to get to the router's web setup pages from a wireless system. This is probably of minor usefulness, but I like to be as thorough as possible. Disabling this option means you have to use a system directly connected to the router (or through the Internet, more on that in a minute) in order to make changes to the router. A couple of caveats here. If you only have wireless systems, leave this enabled or you won't be able to control your router! Also, if you're doing this procedure from a wireless system, you'll need to move to a wired system to complete further changes. So think about your needs before clicking here. On the WRT54G, this option is "Wireless Web Access" on the Administration --> Management page. Don't forget Save Settings to lock the change in.

3. Disable the ability to control to the router from the Internet. By default this option ("Remote Management") should be disabled and you should leave it that way unless you have a specific need to allow this. Valid reasons include: you're away from home and need to adjust the VPN passthrough settings, or you want someone on the Internet to help you do some troubleshooting, etc. Bear in mind that you have no control over WHO on the Internet is allowed to connect, other than controlling the password. Think long and hard before enabling this option. If you do, consider using HTTPS so that information going back and forth to the connected user is encrypted and protected from prying eyes. You will find this option on Administration --> Management page.

4. Disable UPnP. This is just plain evil and allows a program to configure the router without your knowledge. Unless you have some very specific need for this, disable it. Again, on the Administration --> Management page.

5. Disable SSID broadcasting. By default, most wireless routers sit around constantly shouting to anyone in range who can listen "HELLO OUT THERE! I'M RIGHT HERE AND MY NAME IS XYZ! COME USE ME!". Not very secure. What you want is an access point that sits there quietly and unobtrusively until someone comes along who already knows the access point is there AND knows its name. In order words without foreknowledge, the access point is mostly invisible. Now the more knowledgeable among you might be saying "Hold on, that's not true!" and you'd be technically correct, but this will prevent the majority of ne'er-do-wells from finding you, and that's a good thing. It's true a really smart and determined hacker will still know you're there, but that requires smarts and effort which is severely lacking in your typical script-kiddie. Now when you do this, the onus is now on you to specifically configure your various wireless clients with the proper (case sensitive) SSID for your wireless router. Since the router is no longer broadcasting, you can't bring up the XP wireless client (for example) so you can see your router. You have to add it by hand. This is a simple process, just see the instructions for your wireless client on how to do this. Change this option with Wireless SSID Broadcast set to Disable on the Wireless --> Basic Wireless Settings page and press Save Settings.  EDIT 08/24/2011: I have decided to remove this section, not because it's a bad idea (I do it here), but because it has the side effect I mention above about making it harder to connect (which is it's purpose).  With the proliferation of wireless devices (cell phones with WiFi, iPads, laptops, blue-ray players, game systems, etc), more and more folks with limited wireless knowledge find connecting to their router much harder if the router is not broadcasting.  After trying to explain unsuccessfully to countless people why their wireless network really IS there, I've decided this option is more trouble than it's worth for most folks.  So from now on, I only recommend this option for people who have a solid technical understanding of their wireless network and how turning off SSID broadcasting effects their wireless client setup.

6. Change the default SSID (or Service Set Identifier) to something unique. A wireless access point has to have a name associated with it called the SSID. All the access points (there might be more than one, but in our setup there is only one, the wireless router itself) in a single wireless network will share the same name and the same security setup. Most routers come with a default value here. For example, all Linksys wireless access points have a default SSID of "linksys" (original, huh?) You want to give your router a unique SSID that only you know. The SSID must be no more than 32 alphanumeric characters and it IS case sensitive, so that "charlie" is different and distinct from "Charlie". Supply your chosen SSID in the Wireless Network Name field on the Wireless --> Basic Wireless Settings page.

7. Enable Wireless MAC filtering. Please do not confuse MAC (media access control) address with the Apple Macintosh computer, they are two totally different things. Each wireless adapter has a unique hardware address that can be used to identify that particular wireless adapter. The router has the ability to accept or deny connections based on this MAC address. You can set this up to deny or allow access to a list of specific MAC addresses. I use the more restrictive of the two, which is only allow access to MAC addresses I have listed. On the Wireless --> Wireless MAC Filter page, select Enable for Wireless MAC Filter, select Permit only, press Save Settings, then press Edit MAC Filter List, enter your wireless adapter's MAC address in the list, press Save Settings and you're done. To find your adapter's MAC address, on XP/2K /ME, use the command ipconfig /all and find the Physical Address field for the wireless adapter. On 95/98, use winipcfg and select the wireless adapter, you're also looking for Physical Address. On Linux, use /sbin/ifconfig and you're looking for "HWaddr". On the Mac, ifconfig also works in the Terminal, and here you're looking for the "ethernet" field which is kind of misnamed, or you can also use Applications:Utilities:Network Utility and on the Info tab select the wireless adapter (on my PowerBook, it's en1) and you want the Hardware Address.  For those that have lots of people or devices coming and going and want to allow access, this option can be troublesome and I would recommend turning it off in those situations.  Also remember this a year down the road when you have a fancy new iPad that you are trying to connect and it won't work, did you remember to add the new device's MAC address to the table if you this option enabled?

8. Turn on wireless encryption. This is the single most important thing you can do to secure your wireless router. There are two main encryption methods in use at this point, the older and not very secure WEP, and the newer, more secure WPA. Unless you have some overriding reason to use WEP (like your adapter driver won't support WPA), stay far away from it. It's easily cracked and there are open source programs that do this. Last resort use only and then you must change the keys OFTEN (once a week at least). Always use WPA whenever possible. To activate WPA, go to the Wireless --> Wireless Security page, select WPA Personal for Security Mode, AES for WPA Algorithms (don't select TKIP, it's been partially cracked), and some phrase for the WPA Shared Key. The key phrase must be between 8 and 63 characters long.  the more random the better.  Short phrases made up of common words found in the dictionary are not good choises since there are brute force dictionary attacks that can crask WPA if you choose such a weak passphrase.  If you have WPA2 Personal avaliable to you, that's a better choice than WPA Personal since it requires AES. Press Save Settings to save the changes.

Mac OS X Wireless Client Configuration

How to Connect to a Secured Wireless Router - Mac OS X

If you are configuring a laptop like a PowerBook and use more than one wireless access point (or WAP) regularly, you can create new locations using the Apple -> Location -> Network Preferences -> Edit Locations option. For example, you can have a Home and a Work location, each of which has their own default secured network, or maybe you often meet friends at Starbuck's, you can create a location for that network as well. You switch locations easily by using the Apple menu on the menu bar, Apple -> Location and select the location you want. Makes going back and forth from your home network to the network at the office (or anywhere else for that matter) very simple.

XP Wireless Client Configuration

 

How to Connect to a Secured Wireless Router - Windows XP

Windows Vista Client Configuration

How to connect to a Secured Wireless Router - Windows Vista



26-Apr-2005 Added Mac OS X Panther client instructions
02-Mar-2008 Added Vista setup link
07-Nov-2008 Changed TKIP to AES as the preferred encryption algorithm

08-Nov-2008 Removed old Mac instructions, replaced with link to post with Mac instructions

18-Nov-2008 Added XP instructions link, finally!

24-Aug-2011 Changed my stance on #5 SSID broadcasting

 

Message Edited by Baric on 11-18-2008 03:28 AM
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎07-15-2004
Posts: 13

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Well guys/gals,

As the forum member "Early Out" stated before in his/her post to me, I am not allowed to post anymore unless I am sanctioned by those in charge here. And then I must as Early out also stated, Sport the Comcast Logo. There are currently enough moderators to assist you guys and they are doing a fine job. Please continue to support them and your fellow forum members

I owe Early Out an apology and I publicy do so now. Early Out you were 100% right and I was 100% wrong. Please dont hold my ignorance of this policy against me. I'm sorry!I wish everyone good luck and GodSpeed!



William
Posted by
Contributor
Member Since: ‎09-15-2003
Posts: 24

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

> Im a bit late to this but here goes.
>
> Great post. Very Informative. Agree with most of the
> tips and a few I have some concerns with.
>
>
> First, your Comcast technician cannot be 100%
> 0% educated on every piece of equipment you may link
> to your wireless router. We do our best and attempt
> to provide you with the best service possible.
> Understand that when something goes wrong and you are
> forced to call "Customer Support", chances are, (and
> these are great chances) you wont be talking to
> someone who has installed any of the services we
> provide. These are people generally who generally
> been involved with customer support or phone support
> operations at some other job and chose to join our
> team.
>
> They mostly are there to listen to your complaint
> t and get the right guy/gal out to your home as soon
> as possible. They may or may not attempt to resolve
> your issues over the phone with the usual, "Unplug
> for ten seconds", or I'm sending a converter hit now,
> or "Release IP, Refresh IP etc etc etc. We are not
> trained in XBOX wireless setups, Playstation setups
> or any other. We bring the best possible forward
> signal to your home and attempt to ensure you have
> the best possbile return path.
>
> This wireless guide is but one of many ways you can
> HELP YOURSELF and at the very least, have a good
> headstart on things should a ComTech have to be
> dispatched to your home. As Baric said, he couldnt
> possibly post a guide for every single piece of
> equipment out there. So is it fair to expect that
> $9.50 per hour technician to know every single
> equipment combination out there. Sorry, we dont. Some
> of us do. But we are the guys/gals you will speak
> with on the phone when things go screwy.
>
> Lastly, we realize you pay hard earned money for the
> e services you ordered and you expect us to provide
> those without excuses. We recognize and welcome the
> challenge, but understand that when our day is filled
> with driving 10-30 miles just to change batteries in
> a remote control, or change the channel of a TV to
> channel 4, its kind of hard to fulfill that promise
> of prompt customer service to those of you who seek
> out and use these guides in an attempt to help
> yourself. For every one of you who demands prompt
> service and reliable tech support, there are 50 of
> you who wont even change the batteries in their
> digital box remote control or ensure that their "Xp
> network connection" is enabled.
>
> Great guide, sorry for the long wind. But we as a
> a whole do care about your service. I take great
> pride in driving away from a Irrate customers home
> and they are securely surfing the net or recieving
> the video programming they pay for.
>
>
> William
> Tech 526

great post, William - I'm sort of a novice-intermediate but I know enough to know that not everybody knows everything - and I get real tired of folks who constantly bitch in their posts at people who are just trying to do the best they can under limited circumstances. It continues to amaze me that people expect the rep who picks up the call to be the best tech in the world!!

It's so difficult to diagnose and fix stuff over the phone - I think most of us have experienced that when we get a call from the spouse saying "Honey, the computer won't work!"

Jack
Posted by
Connection Expert
Member Since: ‎12-24-2003
Posts: 47,385

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

>> am not allowed to post anymore unless I am sanctioned by those in charge here

That's too bad Bill, seems that your input here could have been beneficial to these forums.

Best of luck to you!
Posted by
Networking Expert
Member Since: ‎07-28-2003
Posts: 24,238

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

That's a shame, William. Sorry to hear you won't be able to post. I think Comcast is continuing to make a mistake in this area. I do think our current moderators are doing a fine job, but there are only 2 we see with any regularity and they could definitely use some help, especially in the Connection forum. And just because someone is a Comcast employee, doesn't mean they have to be a moderator, as long as they can provide technical assistance like the rest of us, that should be sufficient.
Posted by
Recognized Contributor
Member Since: ‎10-01-2003
Posts: 14,085

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

> I owe Early Out an apology and I publicy do so now.
> Early Out you were 100% right and I was 100% wrong.
> Please dont hold my ignorance of this policy against
> me. I'm sorry!

No problem at all - it's a policy that most Comcast employees aren't aware of until they bump into it head-on. Very sorry to see you go - knowledgeable posters are tough to come by, and you'd have been a valuable addition.
Posted by
Contributor
Member Since: ‎11-29-2005
Posts: 15

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

We have a WindowsXP desktop (with USB wireless adapter)and an older Windows98SE laptop (with a PCM-CIA card in a slot) on our home wireless network.

At present we have WEP (128 bit) enabled. I've heard that WPA is more secure, and I have a couple of questions.

Why is WPA more secure?

Can we implement WPA on the Windows98SE laptop or are we stuck with WEP?
Posted by
Bronze Star Contributor
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Member Since: ‎07-13-2004
Posts: 226

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Wow... Thank you so much for taking the time to write out these wonderfully helpful instructions/hints/pieces of advice. I was able to set up my wireless router and follow your very reader-friendly post to secure it with no problems. Thanks again from a wi-fi newbie who really appreciates the guidance. Smiley Happy
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎12-27-2005
Posts: 3

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Thanks, Baric for your wonderfully detailed instructions. They are most appreciated!
Posted by
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Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

There are a few other items I did on my WRT54G as well to minimize intrusion.

- Default IP range changed
- All computers assigned static IP
- Max DHCP assigns set to zero.
Posted by
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Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

I'm not that smart about this stuff,
So my question is why is my network unsecure..
I have a Belkin router...I have read some of the replys
and just dont understand
Posted by
Connection Expert
Member Since: ‎12-24-2003
Posts: 47,385

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Does the router have wireless capability?
Posted by
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Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

yes my husband bought it together.
We have 3 computer set up....
I remember giving it a key name and password.
I have noticed that I can pick up my neighbors
network connection but its secure...
Im just stupid about this stuff
Thanks
Jknee2
Posted by
Connection Expert
Member Since: ‎12-24-2003
Posts: 47,385

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

>>So my question is why is my network unsecure..

>>I remember giving it a key name and password

You say that you have set up a key and a password, so what makes you think that your home network is unsecured? Just because you can see your neighbors Wireless Access Points (Routers), does not mean that they can access your network if you indeed have the security activated, or vice versa, if they have theirs activated.

Are you using a WEP key, or WPA? If you are using WEP, I would recommend that you switch to WPA (that is, if your router and wireless network card support it), it is much more secure than WEP.
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎01-10-2006
Posts: 3

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

when i view my wireless connections it says
its an unsecured network...
Posted by
Connection Expert
Member Since: ‎12-24-2003
Posts: 47,385

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Well then I guess that you were unsuccessful with activating your security after all. Did the router not come with a manual or a C.D. with this setup information on it?
Posted by
New Visitor
Member Since: ‎08-27-2003
Posts: 11

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

I thought that I remembered reading that you should do this on a wireless connection. Am I remembering this right?

Also, my desktop won't reconginze the WRT router because of a Vonage router that is connected from the computer. If I am suppose to use the desktop to secure the network...is there a way around it?

I want to say thank you for explaining all of this. The first post is very imformative. And even though the router comes with a manual...you helped explain why certain things need to be come....Thank you!!
Posted by
Networking Expert
Member Since: ‎07-28-2003
Posts: 24,238

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

I recommend NOT using a wireless connection to make these changes as the changes themselves will make the router unavailable until you have your client system properly configured as well. you can do it if you stay away frow the disable wireless config option and you make one change at a time in both places in pure lockstep. Personally, I feel it's just easier and faster to do it from a wired connnection to the router itself. YMMV.

Hmmm... multiple routers can make for interesting and frustrating troubleshooting sessions unless you are VERY careful and configure things properly. The default configs will generally NOT work well in a two router setup, but I can't give you exact instructions without knowing exactly what you have and how it's all connected. The way around your problem is to directly connect the configuring PC to the wireless router in question with an ethernet cable. Take out the middleman, so to speak.
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Member Since: ‎03-22-2006
Posts: 8

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

great post baric...

i have an hp with built in wireless lan (802.11g) and linksys router model WRT54GC...

i was able to connect the motorola modem, router and desktop with cables...works fine...able to get online.

but unable to set up the desktop to connect to the router via wireless. i believe i got the proper config on the router.

my desktop can detect the wireless connection. but i can't connect to it. how can i set up the desktop via wireless?

please advice.
Posted by
Networking Expert
Member Since: ‎07-28-2003
Posts: 24,238

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

What is your OS? How do you have your wireless client software configured? How is the router configured?

EDIT: Let's move this to your other thread, it's not a good idea to make the same post in multiple threads, things get too confusing.
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎03-22-2006
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Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

how/where do I get the Network Key?
Posted by
Email Expert
Member Since: ‎04-27-2004
Posts: 18,241

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Hey, how do the volunteers feel about intentionally ignoring posters who ignore our recommendations? Specifically, Let's move this to your other thread
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎08-26-2005
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Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Thanks Baric. Your hints worked great. Here is a link to a pretty good 9 page discussion on wireless.
http://www.us-cert.gov/reading_room/Wireless-Security.pdf
Posted by
Connection Expert
Member Since: ‎12-24-2003
Posts: 47,385

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

>>Hey, how do the volunteers feel about intentionally ignoring posters who ignore our recommendations? Specifically, Let's move this to your other thread

I strongly agree.
Posted by
Security Expert
Member Since: ‎09-25-2003
Posts: 5,341

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Not only that but I 'd like to see requests for assistance posted into the Sticky" topics split off to a new, independent, and re-"subjected" thread unique to the poster.

Signature: 127.0.0.1, Sweet 127.0.0.1 and I recommend all of these Anti-malware tools and Procedures. (updated May 2010)
Posted by
Silver Problem Solver
Member Since: ‎03-12-2004
Posts: 5,958

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

> Not only that but I 'd like to see requests for
> assistance posted into the Sticky" topics split off
> to a new, independent, and re-"subjected" thread
> unique to the poster.

Excellent idea!
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎08-22-2003
Posts: 1,591

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Baric, I can't believe I forgot to thank you back in December when I set up my wireless router.

This article was my saving grace, and everything worked and continue to works perfectly. My Mac performs just fine working with the Linksys router, and so does my PC connected via ethernet.

When I first got mine though, I'm sure you can remember I had some issues. It was, thankfully, all software related. Linksys fixed the problem with a firmware upgrade.

Anyhow, thanks again Baric. Thanks a bunch!
Mag Smiley Happy
--------------------
Posted by
Networking Expert
Member Since: ‎07-28-2003
Posts: 24,238

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Sure thing. I woudn't have seen it anyway, I was not around the forums then.
Posted by
New Visitor
Member Since: ‎10-31-2003
Posts: 2

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Baric:

I've followed your instructions and the desktop runs like a top. but.....my laptop needs help. How shall I set it up? It ran fine before I fine tuned my desktop. I cannot now connect to the internet at all on the laptop. Using Linksys wireless router WKPC54G.
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎10-31-2003
Posts: 2

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Thanks for the terrific help on securing my wireless router. The destop is secured. How about my laptop? I can't connect now to the internet. Any advice I'd be grateful for the help. I have a Linksys Wireless router WKPC54G.

Fuzzycuz
Posted by
Networking Expert
Member Since: ‎07-28-2003
Posts: 24,238

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

I'd suggest you start a new thread and give us much detail as you can. The WKPC54G is very similar to the WRT54G, so the setup should be VERY similar. Tell us all about the setup on the router, tell us about the laptop (brand, hardware being used, OS), give is ipconfig /all output, tell us what wireless client you are using, and how it's configured.
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎02-18-2006
Posts: 6

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

This message is about "thanks" to you all! This extensive post and topic bumped up "my" router knowledge base (as not owning router yet). I send everyone I know to the Forums area. I love them myself! They help provide technical answers, relieve frustrations and offer useful and "additional" support to customers that perhaps agents or the website may not have available. I'm hooked! Yes the website is great however limited whereas the Forums may be the extra support received her. Forums ROCK. Thanks for sharing freely!

c.
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎03-05-2006
Posts: 114

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

When I try and go on my webserver. I put in the default password and it doesn't open. I never opened the page before. So I don't know the username. Please help
Posted by
Recognized Contributor
Member Since: ‎10-01-2003
Posts: 14,085

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

> When I try and go on my webserver. I put in the
> default password and it doesn't open. I never opened
> the page before. So I don't know the username. Please
> help

And this has to do with securing a wireless router how, exactly?
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎01-10-2004
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Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

I think the person is referring to this in the very first post in this thread:

"To change these router options, we're going to be using the WRT54G's Web based Setup pages. Most routers have a tiny built-in webserver you can just point your favorite browser at, login, and make whatever changes you need. On my router, I simply use http://192.168.1.1 (which is just the router's LAN side IP address). This is pretty standard on most Linksys routers. Other manufacturers might use http://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.2.1, for example. Consult your pesky documentation for what you should use on your router. ...."


All I can say is what is said above: consult the documentation for your router for the correct address, name and password. If you no longer have the actual manual, maybe go to the manufacturer's website to find an online copy.
Posted by
Recognized Contributor
Member Since: ‎10-01-2003
Posts: 14,085

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

> I think the person is referring to this in the very
> first post in this thread:

Ah, yes, I believe you're correct. Yup, it's time to RTFM.
Posted by
New Visitor
Member Since: ‎06-30-2005
Posts: 1

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Just adding my note of thanks for this great topic. I had never set up any router, much less a wireless one, and these instructions helped so much! It only took a few minutes to go through all this and I'm already up and running.

No internet stealing happening over here! Smiley Happy
Posted by
New Visitor
Member Since: ‎04-14-2004
Posts: 1

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Lately I have been receiving a message at my sign in log that states "someone else is on your computer". This is my home office computer that is the only one hard wired into cable/internet. However , I do have a wireless router for a laptop that I only use late at night & is never on during these messages. Does this mean that someone is accessing my internet, or able to tap directly into my computer?
Posted by
Networking Expert
Member Since: ‎07-28-2003
Posts: 24,238

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

You should start your own thread, I see no direct connection between your question and how to secure a wireless router.

In your new thread, post the EXACT message (includign any buttons and message box title), your OS, define "at my sign in log" (I don't know what you are saying exactly), what router and is it secured wirelessly (and how), anything else that you think might be connected.
Posted by
Visitor
Member Since: ‎07-13-2006
Posts: 2

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

I finnally got it in print of how to link up my MAC (apple) wirelessly, after talking to technical assistance everyday for a week.  Hopefully I can now walk myself through this problem, of losing the internet connection everytime the comuter is turned off
Posted by
Networking Expert
Member Since: ‎07-28-2003
Posts: 24,238

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

[ Edited ]
Are you asking for assitance here?  I don't fully understant your post, I've had a REAL long week.  If you need assistance, please post back with specifcs, and it would be best to start your own Home Networking thread.

Message Edited by Baric on 07-22-2006 10:41 PM

Posted by
Email Expert
Member Since: ‎04-27-2004
Posts: 18,241

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

[ Edited ]

Helpmep, please be more careful with your abbreviations.  "MAC" means Media Access Control, and mostly comes up when referring to MAC addresses -- the 12-hex-digit addresses used by Ethernet and 802.11 wireless networks.  The short name for Apple Macintosh is "Mac".  While it's normally not hard to tell which one someone means from context, this is a networking forum so everyone is going to assume MAC refers to the first definition.

I don't know why so many people like to abbreviate Macintosh as "MAC" -- it's not an acronym, it's just the first syllable of the word.

Message Edited by Barmar on 07-24-2006 11:29 AM

Posted by
Contributor
Member Since: ‎04-13-2005
Posts: 15

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

I'd like to offer a slightly different point of view for a moment. While I understand the need for security, and the desire to protect one's network, it can be argued that not every person needs all the high-security settings done all the time.

For instance, in my own network, I've implemented maybe only 3/4 of the changes recommended here, because maintaining things like MAC filtering and using WPA just aren't practical (a few of my older devices don't understand WPA). The plus is that the topology of my property allows me some wiggle room with regard to wireless. I live in a neighborhood where homes aren't right on top of each other, and I have my router set fairly low (on the first floor), so I don't think I get a huge amount of transmission beyond my property border. For someone to get into my network, they would have to park relatively close to my house, and they would have to take a few minutes to break in...and by then, I'd probably notice them sitting there.

Anyway, my point is that while all the points given in this thread are good, there are a lot of things to consider, and sometimes it's possible to take the "good enough" approach without having to implement every last suggestion.

 

Posted by
Networking Expert
Member Since: ‎07-28-2003
Posts: 24,238

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

You make a good point.  But it's much better to know about the security options and consciously decide to not implement them for your own reasons than to be unaware of the security settings in the first place, don't you agree?  I'm not saying EVERYONE should blindly follow every step, that's why I explain each option and what it's useful for.  If you have no need of that option, then don't use it.  Everyone has their own needs and only they know what they are.  I'm simply trying to make folks aware of what's there and how to use them and why.  I'm a firm believer in "Knowledge is Power".
Posted by
Visitor
Member Since: ‎08-15-2006
Posts: 3

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Can you enable both WEP and WPA for an added layer of security?
Posted by
Recognized Contributor
Member Since: ‎10-01-2003
Posts: 14,085

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router



kdogg wrote:
Can you enable both WEP and WPA for an added layer of security?


No.
Posted by
Regular Contributor
Member Since: ‎08-18-2004
Posts: 73

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

I had this problem before and used this TUT and I want to resecure my router ,change pass word etc but this link is not coming up http://192.168.2.1 it brings up page cannot be found.My computer is windows xp hp pavilion.Thanks!
Posted by
Connection Expert
Member Since: ‎12-24-2003
Posts: 47,385

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Posted by
Regular Contributor
Member Since: ‎08-18-2004
Posts: 73

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Ok I went through all the set up but one computer isnt connecting.I had to set it at WEP as the other setting never worked.My computer which has the router etc works fine and another works fine but the other doesnt.Any ideas?
Posted by
Most Valued Poster
Member Since: ‎08-06-2005
Posts: 3,811

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Others know more about this than me, but I suspect the one computer will only work with WEP encryption because the wireless card in it does not support WPA.
Firefox 3
Posted by
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Member Since: ‎09-23-2006
Posts: 910

Re: How to Secure a Wireless Router

Baric---Just letting you know that your words of wisdom are still being read---thanks...also thanks for keeping them here until I found them Smiley Happy
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