WIFI Security

  kentylad 11:34 26 Jun 2003

I have just recently connected a PC and a Laptop, via a wireless network. Now, I have taken all neccessary actions to step up the security of the network i.e. enabled WEP etc, however, I was just unsure whether my laptop (which connects to a PC via wireless PCMCIA card) should have a firewall installed?

The host PC, which is connected to a wireless router already has one

Kind regards


  kentylad 12:47 26 Jun 2003


  John-259217 13:14 26 Jun 2003

Depends how paranoid about security you are!

Enabling WEP, as you have done, will help to prevent anybody gaining access to your network.

Your wireless router may well have built in firewall capabilities/Network Address Translation which provides further security from online attack.

Neither of these will prevent your laptop from sending out information if, for example, a trojan horse was installed on it. A good firewall will.

You need to balance your fears about security against the added inconvenience, in terms of set up and performance slow down.

Personally, I would use full security on the laptop if only because its portable and may not always be used on your own network.

  Gaz 25 13:15 26 Jun 2003

You need to add a GOOD firewall and add IP addreses for ONLY the computers connected.

Also ensure a Firewall is on ALL pcs and encryipt and password protect your shares.

Use the new WiFi security patch from MS.

Also dont leave your network running all the time, only when you use it.

You should also make sure your transmitters/receivers cannot catch outside data, try to make it only in your home.

You should then be safe.

Hope this helps.


  kentylad 17:16 26 Jun 2003

So any computers attached to the host should have a firewall?

The Router does have a built-in firewall


  John-259217 18:21 26 Jun 2003

Is your internet connection thru the router or still provided by the desktop machine?

If its thru the router then your laptop is only protected by the routers built-in firewall. This in itself is good protection against incoming threats but as, I mentioned earlier, will not prevent malicious software on your laptop from "phoning home" like a properly configured software firewall will.

If you are using ICS with the router operating as an access point then the desktops firewall MAY provide further protection for the laptop depending on how it is set-up.

I would always use an independant software firewall on any machine with internet access unless it is provided by a server/gateway machine set-up to operate as a two way firewall.

This is personal preference however, you need to make a decision on how seriously any problems would affect you against how much time, effort and expense you go to in the pursuit of security.

  kentylad 18:54 26 Jun 2003

Well, to be safe I have installed a firewall on m laptop.

The laptop connects to a wireless router which is WIRED to a desktop PC


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