WPA2 hack: How secure is your Wi-Fi?
I have just changed to BT as my ISP and thought it a good time to go wireless......Yeah right!...
Below is listed the (old I know) specs. of my machine (Also details of the laptop I was also hoping to make wireless too)
Manufacturer ; Time Window XP Professional
GHz ; 1.4, 256 MB RAM, ACPI UNIPROCESSOR
SAMSUNG CDRW/DVD SM-308B
SAMSUNG SV4002H DISK
NVIDIA GeForce2 MX100/200 Display Adapter
Primary IDE Channel
Secondary IDE Channel
VIA Bus Master IDE controller
Processor ; AMD Athlon XP1600+
Laptop ; Dell C640 Windows XP Professional
Pentium4 - GHz 1.8 512MB RAM, mobile Intel Pentium4 M CPU
SAMSUNG CDRW/DVD SN-324F
HITACHI DK23EB-40 DISK
Primary IDE Channel
Secondary IDE channel
Intel 82801CAM ultra ATA storage controller-248A
Processor ; Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M CPU 1.8GHz
Router ; BT Voyager 2500v
Laptop Adapter card - NETGEAR WG511T 108mbps Wireless PC card.
As of yet no PC wireless adapter purchased/available
I have installed the BT Voyager 2500v software (Not Wireless but by cable at this stage)
I have also installed the NETGEAR adapter software on the laptop.
Using the NETGEAR 'Smart configuration' software I have tried to connect wirelessly to the BT router....It states I have to use WEP encryption ???? and I can create with a passphrase ??? or enter 'key manually' ???...I have no idea what this refers to at all......
The machine has identified the SSID - as the BT Voyager 2500v.... The 'Network type' is 'Computer to computer'.......there is also the choice between 64 BITS and 128 BITS.....Help...What does it all mean and how, in very simple laymans terms please, can I set the laptop up to be wireless ( I will in due course get a PC wireless adapter..I'd quite like to get over this, seemingly enourmous, hurdle first.... Any assistance gratefully welcomed... If I neglected to give any technical info. then please ask away.. If anything I have listed is irrelevant I apologise in advance.... Roy
Unprotected wireless networks are no more secure than any other wireless type of communication, which means that anyone can listen-in. The WEP protocol was an attempt to make wireless communication as secure as wired communication - hence the name Wired Equivalent Privacy.
In very simple terms, WEP uses an algorithm that is linked to a key to encrypt the data that is transmitted wirelessly. You create the key automatically by entering a "passphrase" or you can enter it manually. You can usually choose the level of security by selecting either 64 or 128 bits, the latter being more secure. Providing the "sender" and "receiver" have the same key then they can exchange encrypted data easily.
Sounds pretty good doesn't it? Unfortunately experience has shown that WEP is not nearly as secure as was hoped and certainly not anywhere near as secure as a wired connection. Therefore think very carefully before you move very private data (e.g. bank details) over a WEP-protected wireless connection.
If you want to learn more then a book like the "Idiots Guide to Networking" will be an excellent starting point and serves as a good troubleshooter when things go wrong in the future.
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