wireless network security

  numinbah 17:56 30 Oct 2006

I recently bought a Dell inspiron 6400 laptop together with a Belkin wireless router.

I now have my main computer with a direct cable connection and the laptop connects online via the wireless router.

Everything works perfectly but I'm not sure if my internet connection on the laptop is secure.
My reason for doubting this, is that when I open up the profiles section I see what is probably a neighbours wireless connection and that says that that network has security enabled.

What do I have to do to make sure my network is secure.

I have tried to add security settings but it keeps useing the default connection which has no security.

  postie24 18:38 30 Oct 2006

Try here for assisstance click here

  Danoh 20:47 30 Oct 2006

Belkin's setup routine stops short of setting security up for the wireless network. To do this;

1) On the main PC with cable connection
2) Type into your browser's address field and hit enter
That will take you to the Belkin router's configuration page
3) Change the default password to access that configuration page, from nothing or blanks to something very obscure, of your own choosing.
Avoid words from dictionaries, your name, address, etc.

If you have a similar configuration page to my Belkin router, on the left hand side working down in order;

4) Change the router's SSID from the default of "Belkin" to something else, not your postcode-address, etc.
Personally, I also avoid broadcasting the SSID but for ease of use you might wish to leave it.

5) Security
Select WPA/WPA2-Personal(PSK)
If your DELL can also have WPA2, select that and its associated AES encryption
WPA uses TKIP data traffic encryption

6) PassPhrase
Construct the longest password with combinations of upper and lower case letters, numbers as well as special characters such as space, #, etc.
Avoid words which can be found in the dictionary, although this is referred to as a Passphrase instead of a Password, as a "phrase" can be more easily remembered then my own weird combination looking more like a martian radio transmission.

7) MAC Address control
This allows you to specify the unique MAC address for your own wireless connected computers, as being the only ones allowed onto your wireless network (also requires the correct data encryption and passphrase)

To get the MAC address for your DELL laptop, go to it and
Start> Run> Cmd>
"Ipconfig /all" entered, again without the quotes
You are after a string of 6 pairs of numbers seperated by hypens, alongside something called the "Physical Address . . . . . . . ."

8) FireWall - WAN Ping Blocking
I would only set this on after everything is working fine for a while. It helps prevent DoS attacks and cloaks your wireless networks from probes.

9) On your DELL laptop
Start> Control Panel> Network Connections>
Right mouse click on Wireless Network Connections and select properties
ADD a Preferred Network
Copy the SSID, data traffic encryption technique and Passphrase setup on your router above.

I think thats about it.

  Danoh 11:07 31 Oct 2006

"I don't know why ~ I said I had a Belkin wireless router when in fact I have a D-Link AirPlus G DI-524 Wireless Router DSL/Cable (802.11g)-UK/I to be exact."

Thank you for a very courteous email numinbah. I don't know that particular make/model but had a look at the relevant User Manual.
click here
Although it does not cover much apart from how to use the setup Wizard, the principles are the same for all wireless routers.

The differences are;

Click on the Wireless button on the left hand side.
3) Change Username from Admin + a new password
4) Change SSID from "default"
5) Your router only offers WEP, choose 128 bit

6) Create as unique a password as possible
7) & 8) Your router probably does not offer MAC address filtering nor WAN Ping Blocking
9) ~ same ~
once working with the new wireless network setup with a new SSID name + WEP, you should delete the old wireless network connection.

Hope that helps!

  numinbah 11:20 08 Nov 2006

Hi Danoh and others,

I have finally got back to my comp and started to following Danoh's instructions, problem was that when I entered nothing happened.
After a lot, a and I mean a lot of waiting I finally got in touch with D-Link who quite professionally began to put me on the right track to sort out my problem, the only drawback was that after carrying out a few tests that seemed to work OK, it would appear that IE7 does not have (or I couldn’t find (File) on the tool bar and the technician wanted me to access it, so he recommended I uninstall IE7 and revert back to IE6
I think he wanted to reset the router.
All of this leads me to another question what’s a safe way to uninstall IE7 and reinstall IE6, or do I really need to do this. Once again any help would be very much appreciated...

  Danoh 12:49 08 Nov 2006

I can get to my router's config page with IE 7 ~ I'm assuming you did not type www. before the
Best to do this on your Desktop which is wired to your D-link router.
What tests did you do which were successful? Can't think why he wanted you to access "File" ~ to reset the router, you can simply unplug the power and replug it back in. Reset back to factory defaults usually requires pressing (& holding in) a reset button somewhere on the router itself.

To get the "File" on IE 7, you simply revert back to "classic mode" by pressing the "Alt" key on your keyboard once.

To get IE 6 back, you just have to uninstall IE 7 from Start> Control Panel> Add/Remove Programs
.. although I have not done this.

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