MAC address and general security

  willo500 01:02 31 Mar 2006

Hi People.

First thanks to all of you who helped me get my network set up and especially Danoh who spent lots of time advising. I eventually got my network going with a Netgear DG834G and D111 USB adpater for my desktop.

I have set it up using the WPA-PSK set up on my router and assume that windows xp sp 2 has taken care of the WPA stuff on the desktop with the USB adapter on it ( because the adapter can't)

Is this right?

Secondly, I have also configured it to accept only the MAC addresses of the desktop and laptop. Does this mean nothing else can access the network? Is there anything I have missed or should do?

Thanks for your help


  willo500 01:08 31 Mar 2006

Hi again. I meant to say I have also noticed that sometimes my desktop connection speed is incredibly slow: going down to 1mb per second at times. Surely this can't be right? I notice this even when the laptop is giving me 24 mbs in the same room. The signal strength on both devices shows as excellent.

Is there fault with my configuratin of the router or perhaps with the USB adapter since it is always the desktop which is slow


  Danoh 01:14 31 Mar 2006

Hey Willo ~ thanks for the compliments; previous thread of yours click here
I've already added a link from that to this one.

To set WPA on your USB adapter, you need to set that when you Add the Preferred Wireless Network (via Windows XP's Control Panel, etc).
But you must have succeeded or else you would not have been able to connect wireless at all!

  Danoh 01:22 31 Mar 2006

But there is a WG111 which is WEP only?
Now I'm puzzled as to how you manage to connect to your router if that has been set for WPA only? :-)
It also makes me wonder if this has anything to do with your desktop's speed ~ you are sure you have connected to your own router's wireless network, aren't you? (e.g. by setting your own unique SSID on the router via cable?)

  willo500 01:26 31 Mar 2006

LOL thanks Danoh. I was grateful for your help and thanks again. Seems I am fine for now. My connoection speed does waver a bit but maybe just the vagaries of wireless!

Anyway glad I am secured properly and thanks again


  Danoh 01:28 31 Mar 2006

MAC address filtering; if only your Desktop & Laptop's MAC address has been added, then no one else can get in
(unless they find out what your kit's MAC addresses are and have equipment that can spoof/clone them! Thus proving you can never get 100% secure, just closer to it!)

Change your SSID from default, which tells everyone what make and model of router you have, to save them having to guess when trying to hack in (if you broadcast your SSID, that is).

Your Router's Login password should not be left as default; change to one of your own a.s.a.p.

The F.E. posted a great checklist in a thread; must find it for you.

  Danoh 01:33 31 Mar 2006

Forum Editor Mon, [email protected]:06

The problem with WEP security
is that it's far too easy to crack. I am pretty certain that I could gain access to a WEP secured router within three or four minutes if I set my mind to it.

WPA is a different kettle of fish however, and here are a few tips for both WPA in particular and routers in general:-

1. Make sure you use a WPA passphrase consisting of at least 20 random characters (you can use up to 63 characters).

2. WPA-Personal is vulnerable to what are called 'dictionary' attacks, whereby outsiders attempt to connect to your network by trying passphrases based on commonly-used words. For that reason, don't use common words or phrases, easy sequences of characters (such as all 'A's or consecutive numbers). Use random strings of alpha-numeric characters, and use upper and lower case with letters.

3. Change your passphrase from time to time.

4. Never use the default router SSID provided by the manufacturer.

5. Don't use the default password provided by the manufacturer for administrator access to your router.

6. Site the router away from a window if possible.

7. It's surprisingly simple to connect to your neighbour's unsecured network without knowing that you've done so. To avoid the possibility,make sure you turn off the setting to automatically connect to non-preferred networks. This is disabled by default in Windows XP.

  Danoh 01:36 31 Mar 2006

... but I'll let others comment for a change, as I feel I'm hogging the responses otherwise!

  willo500 08:48 31 Mar 2006

Thanks again Danoh. I was told by the guy at broadband buyer that although the WG111 (not D 111 as I wrongly typed) was WEP only, that XP SP2 would take care of the WPA side of things automatically as it is set up to do this. When I look at my list of connections available mine shows as WPA on the list so I assume he was right and it is working as it should. If this is wrong could you let me know please. My connection speed seems to be back up at 54 Mbs now; maybe just a glitch last night!
Anyway if you could confirm my WPA is working all right I would be most grateful. Thanks


  Danoh 09:08 31 Mar 2006

As you have set the router to encrypt with WPA, your desktop with the WG111 USB adapter must be running WPA to be able to get any internet access.
In addition, if you can also see your Laptop via your desktop's "My Network Places" "Workgroup Computers as well, it's WPA and also proves your desktop's fine.

Personally I'd assumed that USB adapters had to be shown specifically as WPA on OEM web sites which is how I'd short listed ~ perhaps I too should have asked BroadBandBuyer first, and saved myself a few pounds!!
Well done, you!!

  Danoh 09:11 31 Mar 2006

Wireless networking uses the same frequency range as DECT cordless phones and microwave ovens.
If the DECT base station is too close to your router or a DECT phone is being used close to your desktop, it could interfere with your wireless networking.
A friend of mine suffered from this but I haven't so far.
Same with microwave ovens being on.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Alienware 17 R4 2017 review

Illustrator Sylvain Tegroeg created thousands of intricate line drawings for the mobile game…

Best iPad buying guide 2017

Comment télécharger une application indisponible en France ?