Internet security with wireless broadband

  [DELETED] 23:31 29 Sep 2004

Hi guys just a little query really. I have moved onto the wireless broadband with Telewest, after spending four years on dial-up with them. I cannot fault either service, they have been great.
My virus defination annual subscription is due soon and am wondering how secure this wireless set-up is. I must admit, I don't really buy anything on the net, with all the scare stories you hear. I have renewd the virus stuff before on dial-up and purchased flights too. I have heard though that this wireless broadband is less secure than dial-up, so I am a bit apprehensive about dishing out card numbers with these security issues in mind.
Any body got advice for me please.
Thanks Fred

  Jeffers22 23:47 29 Sep 2004

The wireless broadcast has a limited range, how far depends on which standard. In order to protect yourself from casual logging on to your wireless network there are a couple of things you can do. 1. Stop the wireless router broadcasting it's SSID. 2. Turn on WEP encription. WEP is not the most secure but it would still take a pretty determined individual a lot of time monitoring your wireless network to crack it. Unlikely for a home user. Better still, if both ends of your setup support it, turn on WPA. 3. Turn off the router when you go to bed/are out. 4. Another thing you could do is limit the wireless connection to include only the mac addresses of your own kit.

I would not worry too much if I were you.

Note that the router will not stop a virus, only an AV program will do that. The router has a firewall that stops unauthorised entry to your PC/network.

  [DELETED] 23:55 29 Sep 2004

Thanks Jeffers22, I do turn the whole lot off when I go to bed and go out.
I must admit though, I don't have a clue what you mean by :ssip and wep encription/wap stuff.

How do I know the provider has a firewall, or do I have to install one myself?


  Jeffers22 00:06 30 Sep 2004

The router has a firewall built in. (they all do) You need to do nothing it is turned on by default.

When you configure the wireless router, there is a page/tab with various settings. One of these will be a tick box to allow turning off SSID broadcasting. (In simple terms, SSID is your wireless network identity - BTW this should be changed from the default which is probably the name of the kit manufacturer)

WEP is an encription protocol. There will be a section within the wireless setup that allows you to set it.

WPA is stronger, if supported it will be configurable.

Don't forget that the encription type and level must be the same at both ends.

For a good set of guides, visit netgear click here or lynksys click here and look in the support sections. Either that or read the manual that will be on the CDROM that came with your kit. I think you need to do this bit of learning to avoid a) having connection problems, and b) so you have a better understanding of how it works and can be secured.

  [DELETED] 00:14 30 Sep 2004

Thanks for your help, if you are not working for MI5 let me know, I will see what I can do.
This obviously shows you are well versed in this field of stuff. The value you, and people like yourself bring to this helproom never ceases to amaze me.
Thanks ever so much, the next time I drop my mobile phone in the sink.....I will know who to call.
Once again...thanks for your help, Fred

  Jeffers22 00:19 30 Sep 2004

If you drop your mobile in the sink you need to call carphone warehouse for a new phone!

My pleasure - Good luck with the reading and the setting up.

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