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Whats the best way to secure your wireless internet connection?

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  • PipPip
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Im getting a laptop and wondering how secure the wireless stuff is. are there special firewalls that work good for wireless routers or any kind of software that will enable my connection to be super encrypted/secure so i can still check my bank acount etc?
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It's not the router that needs firewall protection (most routers have a hardware-based firewall built in anyway) but the PC you are using, whether it's connected wirelessly or not is immaterial in this context --- the PC needs it's own software firewall. There's no firewall that's specifically for wireless use. ZoneAlarm seems to fairly popular, but I personally prefer 'Kaspersky Internet Security' which is a firewall and antivirus combined.

What DOES need an extra layer of protection against "freeloaders" however is your local wireless network. This is provided by means of a password or key entered into the router's configuration settings (often it's a web page) and prevents anyone in your street (or in a nearby flat) from getting internet access through your router without your permission. More importantly, it also prevents them from getting into your browser-based router settings and messing about with them. The type of security is either a 'WEP key, or a 'WPA' passphrase. Some routers come with the wireless access key already in place, whilst others may need to have one manually set by the user. Once that's done, any wireless device will need to have that same key entered in it's setup software in order to get past the router. WPA is more secure than WEP so should always be used if it's available on the router (and provided all your other wireless devices you intend to use are compatible with WPA).

Edited by pip22, 22 April 2008 - 01:43 PM.

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