How to Secure Wi-Fi

Setting up a Secure Wireless Network (Even if you do follow the advice on this site you could still get hacked.) 

1.     Giving your network a SSID (a name)

Set A UNIQUE SSID for technical reasons that I wont go into it is important that you set a unique SSID be original.  If you are not that creative use random numbers and letters.

2.    Setting an encryption key.

The encryption key is your networks primary defense against hackers.  In layman terms it makes your computer and network talk to each other in code.

There are four types of encryption (but this may change):

  •  First we have NONE, and which unless you feel comfortable handing out your social security number to everyone in your local city you should NEVER USE.
  •  Next we have WEP. WEP is a broken encryption scheme that can be cracked in under a minute. just like an insecure wireless network you should NEVER USE WEP offers very little protection of your data.
  •  WPA Encryption is a much more secure option.  It accepts almost if not all of the standard characters. It also supports passwords up to 63characters long.  I personal recommend you use all 63.  I also recommend you use a random password generator to make your key.  There is a good one at http://www.winguides.com/security/password.php.  Unless you have an excellent memory you will not be able to memorize this key, so copy it to a text file, or a word document.  Then I would save this file to a cd or a floppy, and place the disk in a safe location.  When you go to load this key to your wireless device you can just use copy and paste.  If you are can not find a WPA security option on your device, it may not support it.  WPA has been out for a couple years, but some devices still do not support it.    A network using WPA encryption with a strong key is extremely secure, sure it can be hacked, but it is extremely hard to do.
  • WPA2 see WPA as WPA2 is just a slightly better version of WPA.

 

  •  MAC Address Filtering: I have found that in most cases this is a waste of time, as it would be very easy for a hacker to change their MAC address if they have already broken your encryption.

    If you insist on filtering MAC addresses I will give a brief overview of it. A MAC addresses I must tell you what a MAC address is.  A MAC address is a hexadecimal code that is “written” on the network card.  This address offers you the chance to identify which computers are trying to log on to your network.  On your router or access point you should be to set it so it will deny all MAC addresses on a list, or deny all MAC address that are not on the list.  The second is what most people for their home networks.  Now you have to enter the MAC address of each device on your network.  To find the MAC address of a Windows computer (if the network card is removable make sure it is in at this time) click start-run-cmd now you should be at the windows command prompt type ipconfig /all hit enter and your computer should return a bunch of information.  Look through the information for something to do with a wireless network card. 

 

 


 

Notes

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If you have multiple access points on your network and want uses to switch seamlessly from one to the other make all of the settings the same on each access point except for the channels.  The only channels that don’t overlap are 1, 6, and 11.  So you could have one access point on 1, another on 6, and another on 11.  You may have problems using these channels if your neighbor is already using them. 

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