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Monday, 5 November 2007

How to secure your wireless network

Watched on Crimewatch yesterday on the person who posted the Bomb Hoax on Hardware Zone. He used the neighbor's wireless access point. His neighbor got arrest for no reason. He tapped on her wireless.
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I decided to give you some tips that I know to secure your wireless access point.

1. Put a password - Put a strong but easy to remember password. Add letter and number to make it strong. Like if your intended password is "Peter", set the password as "98t8r". It is easy to remember as P is like 9, e is like 8 and like that you create something strong to ensure that it stops not so tech savvy people from stealing your signal

2. Stop broadcasting your network - Most WLAN access points and routers automatically (and continually) broadcast the network's name, or SSID (Service Set IDentifier). This makes setting up wireless clients extremely convenient since you can locate a WLAN without having to know what it's called, but it will also make your WLAN visible to any wireless systems within range of it. Turning off SSID broadcast for your network makes it invisible to your neighbors and passers-by (though it will still be detectible by WLAN "sniffers").

3. Enable WPA encryption instead of WEP - 802.11's WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy) encryption has well-known weaknesses that make it relatively easy for a determined user with the right equipment to crack the encryption and access the wireless network. A better way to protect your WLAN is with WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access). WPA provides much better protection and is also easier to use, since your password characters aren't limited to 0-9 and A-F as they are with WEP. WPA support is built into Windows XP (with the latest Service Pack) and virtually all modern wireless hardware and operating systems. A more recent version, WPA2, is found in newer hardware and provides even stronger encryption, but you'll probably need to download an XP patch in order to use it.

4. Reduce your WLAN transmitter power - You won't find this feature on all wireless routers and access points, but some allow you lower the power of your WLAN transmitter and thus reduce the range of the signal. Although it's usually impossible to fine-tune a signal so precisely that it won't leak outside your home or business, with some trial-and-error you can often limit how far outside your premises the signal reaches, minimizing the opportunity for outsiders to access your WLAN.

Hope this tips help you.

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