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Network Security


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#1
Thommes

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I have a wireless network and want to ensure that the network can not be hacked. I don't fully understand networking so excuse my ignorance.

I have a Linksys b wireless router and two Dlink cards. One is a b and the other is g. I just bought the g and saw that it was backwards compatible. I wanted to eventually updated to g for the obvious reason of network speed.

I've set up 128 bit encryption with a key. Not sure if this is WEP or WPA? I suspect WEP. Do I need a firewall or is this enough security to prevent someone from accessing the network? I have just set up file sharing so the two systems are accessible to anyone on the network.

Thomas
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#2
SoccerDad

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Hi Thommes!


What make and model of wireless router/access point are you using? Here are the minimum 5 steps I recommend to my clients:

1) Use an oddball name or combination of characters for the (E)SSID. Think of it as a password.
2) Turn off broadcasting of (E)SSID if possible. (not all routers/ap's support this feature)
3) Turn on MAC address filtering. This allows only the MAC addresses you've specified to connect to the router/ap
4) Turn off DHCP. Hardcode your IP's onto your machines. Additionally, don't use a common range like 192.168.0.x....use something whackier like your house number (assuming it's below 254 --> 192.168.137.x for example)
5) Turn on WEP/WPA

Hope this helps!
Be well, SD
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#3
Thommes

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Thanks for the suggestions. After posting I did a little research and found WEP can be broken and several sites are available providing step by step instructions. WPA seems to be a bit more secure and I'm going to go to g which supports WPA soon.

I'm currently using a Linksys router with two Dlink wireless cards. The router is only b while the cards are a b and a g.

I'll see if I can turn off broadcasting the SSID. Funny thing is that last night I couldnt detect the network so it might already be off. As soon as I filled out the info I was able to connect.

I read that the MAC address while it's an additional step can be hacked as well. I'll look at adding that filter though I'm not sure where to add it in the Linksys router.

I didn't see hardcoding IPs suggested. I'll add that too.

Thomas
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#4
SoccerDad

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Hey Thommes!

Indeed correct on WEP and MAC filtering, however, one must work with the tools at hand ;-)
Putting all five suggestions in place will give you a fairly secure network for home use.

ttysoon, SD
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