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Tech: Wireless router security

Tootler 03 May 10 - 06:30 AM
Andy Jackson 03 May 10 - 06:42 AM
Bonzo3legs 03 May 10 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,The Smiler 03 May 10 - 08:52 AM
olddude 03 May 10 - 08:56 AM
TonyA 03 May 10 - 09:10 AM
olddude 03 May 10 - 09:21 AM
Tootler 03 May 10 - 02:11 PM
treewind 03 May 10 - 02:23 PM
olddude 03 May 10 - 02:32 PM
Tootler 03 May 10 - 04:53 PM
Amergin 03 May 10 - 05:04 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 03 May 10 - 06:08 PM
Tootler 03 May 10 - 07:11 PM
GUEST 03 May 10 - 07:23 PM
Tootler 04 May 10 - 12:11 PM
IvanB 04 May 10 - 07:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 May 10 - 08:41 PM
The Barden of England 05 May 10 - 03:25 AM
Tootler 05 May 10 - 03:53 AM
GUEST,The Smiler 05 May 10 - 04:48 AM
JohnInKansas 18 May 10 - 10:14 AM
Tootler 18 May 10 - 07:05 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 May 10 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 18 May 10 - 08:57 PM
Tootler 19 May 10 - 11:58 AM
Acme 19 May 10 - 12:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 May 10 - 12:56 PM
Arthur_itus 19 May 10 - 01:53 PM
JohnInKansas 19 May 10 - 11:07 PM
Dave Masterson 20 May 10 - 08:27 AM
Acme 20 May 10 - 11:11 AM
Arthur_itus 20 May 10 - 11:30 AM
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Subject: Tech: Belkin Wireless router security
From: Tootler
Date: 03 May 10 - 06:30 AM

I have been trying to reset the security settings for my wireless router, a Belkin 54g.

To set the security, I typed in a passphrase which then set the network key. When I then tried to connect to the wireless network, the computer would not accept my passphrase. The reason I was reseting the security was because I had the problem of the passphrase not being accepted previously. I am not really sure what is happening here. Do I have to note the hex key that the passphrase generates and use that? Surely the whole point of using a passphrase is that you have something you can remember more easily.

A supplementary question

I used 128 bit WEP security as one of my computers still uses WinXP and I am unsure about those on Linux, so I was playing safe. Would I be better to use WAP security?

There are four computers in the house. A desktop PC which dual boots Ubuntu Linux 9.04/WinXP two laptops with Windows Vista and an Acer Aspire1 netbook with Linpus Linux Lite.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 03 May 10 - 06:42 AM

I await replies with interest. I gave up any security measures on my system as all I seem to acheive is clogging up the network.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 03 May 10 - 08:27 AM

I sometimes wonder if it's worth the hassle of network keys for a router. The BT Homehub comes with one so you have to use it, but can be a real pain.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: GUEST,The Smiler
Date: 03 May 10 - 08:52 AM

The good thing about Belkin, is they give you free telephone support (including telephone cost) and a lifetime warranty (and that means lifetime as i have used it).

Call Belkin on this number 00800-22355460 .
Their support line is excellent and they will help you set everything up properly.

You need to tell them what product you are using.
They will create a job report which you use forever. The great thing, is if they require you to do a job that will take some time, you can ring off and call them back quoting the job number and they pick up at that point.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: olddude
Date: 03 May 10 - 08:56 AM

128 bit security will give you a security string that is encrypted ..
it will look like this !23^^^@@!...**   a bunch of special characters. Use those characters, copy and past them into your wireless connection for your password. Do not try to type them but copy and past them in ...   don't use the password that generated the string ... that won't work ... use the special character string ...

if you run a wireless, you have to have security or you are showing your underwear to the neighborhood and any hacker that is driving by your house ... using a program such as Jack the ripper or airsnort they will own you ... try this PM me if you have problems


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: TonyA
Date: 03 May 10 - 09:10 AM

The router provided by my ISP includes wireless capability, but no security code. I don't use wireless myself, so I removed the screw-on antenna, hoping that would thwart interlopers. Am I deluding myself?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: olddude
Date: 03 May 10 - 09:21 AM

Tony that won't work ... all wireless routers has security, call your ISP to see how to configure it ...it is actually pretty easy ...You will have to plug it directly into your computer and configure through your browser by doing something like http://192.168.0.1   whatever the default address of your router is ... the default security on all wireless routers is no security so please set it. I use to drive up and down my streets in my small town, when I found one open I would bang on my neighbours door and tell them and even help them set it up...but then again I know everyone in this small town and they all know me


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Tootler
Date: 03 May 10 - 02:11 PM

Managed to sort it and have wireless networking in the house again.

I checked all the computers and all were WPA enabled so I set up WPA security. That requires two passwords, one for full access and one for guest access. The latter gives limited access to the network - basically internet and email.

Everything worked fine and connected first time, though I am not using wireless on my desktop PC as it is in "dead" spot in the house where the signal is poor, so the desktop is connected via a homeplug wired connection.

Thanks for the info to those who provided it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: treewind
Date: 03 May 10 - 02:23 PM

Good you are using WPA now.
WEP will keep out only the most casual visitors, and can be cracked in seconds with the right software.
WPA is reasonably secure. Use a cryptic password and it's usually safe to write down your passwords - your neighbours and any would-be wardrivers aren't going know what's written on a label on the bottom of your router, for example.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: olddude
Date: 03 May 10 - 02:32 PM

128 wpa yup


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Tootler
Date: 03 May 10 - 04:53 PM

My password is a jumble of letters and numbers. There is a logic to it so that I can remember it, but hopefully it is not obvious to others.

Having got the Wifi working and with basic security enabled, there are some other security measures possible with the router:-

* Hiding the network device
* Ping blocking
* MAC filtering

What are the pros and cons of these and which, if any, are worth enabling?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Amergin
Date: 03 May 10 - 05:04 PM

Mac filtering means that the router will only work with computers when it recognises the mac address. The mac address is hard coded into the NIC/wireless card. there are no two mac addresses alike.

The problem is if some one came over to your place with a wireless device, they would not be able to get on, unless their mac address was added to the router.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 03 May 10 - 06:08 PM

I always set my SSID to not broadcast - it stops others seeing the router. (I can usually see several other wireless networks from my computer - just looked now and there are two visible, one of them unsecured!).

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Tootler
Date: 03 May 10 - 07:11 PM

My feeling was hide the SSID, possibly set ping blocking but don't setup MAC filtering.

What do others think?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: GUEST
Date: 03 May 10 - 07:23 PM

Don't know specifically about the Belkin but the D-Link and Lynksys routers I've had over the last few years have had a reset button on the back. Press that for 30 seconds or so. That resets everything and then you can start again from scratch. Kind of a last resort thing but it's worked for me when I've managed to lock myself out of my own network


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Tootler
Date: 04 May 10 - 12:11 PM

Yes, I'm aware of that. It's where I started from.

When I first bought the router, I had someone set it up for me. He must have used WEP security so the password he gave me did not work (see OP). This meant that I was unable to add new computers to the wifi network. I eventually bought some homeplug units which work very well giving a wired network round the house, but we wished to connect some computers wirelessly, so I eventually bit the bullet, reset to factory settings and started again. If you look further up the thread, you will see I have the wifi working again.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: IvanB
Date: 04 May 10 - 07:49 PM

When we moved into our winter rental condo last November, it had wireless high speed internet. The router had no security whatever, I suppose because the owner wasn't anxious to have weekly renters in the summer bothering him with router problems. I checked the router and found I had 34 "guests" using "my" internet connection. Needless to say, security was quickly instituted on this system.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 May 10 - 08:41 PM

Today my laptop suddenly stopped connecting to my wireless (Belkin) router upstairs. Kept on telling my I had the settings wrong, and I kept on putting in the right settings, and it wouldn't recognise them.

Tried a system restore to yester5day when everything was working fine. Finally I went upstairs and and disconnected and reconnected the router - and suddenly everything worked fine.

It appears that the router had stopped putting out a wireless signal, for some reason known to itself.

The old principle applies - when in doubt, reboot everything.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: The Barden of England
Date: 05 May 10 - 03:25 AM

When it's available WPA2 is better. Not too sure if it's on Belkin 54g but sure is on my Lynksys.

John Barden


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Tootler
Date: 05 May 10 - 03:53 AM

The options in the Belkin 54g are WPA/WPA2 or WPA2 only. I chose the former. Presumably it will default to whichever is available on the computer.

I've hidden the SSID as well.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: GUEST,The Smiler
Date: 05 May 10 - 04:48 AM

Mine has been set up as WEP with Key ID and 4 wireless connections.

Does anybody know what happens, if you change it to WPA/WPA2 in terms of connectivity from each machine. Are their changes that will need to be made, or is it a question of connecting to the router using whatever password is used?

I have a Belkin 54G modem/router


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 May 10 - 10:14 AM

GUESTs, The Smiler and cabsSmams -

For best participation here, it is recommended that you register and get a login name. The "GUEST" will disappear from your posts, and you will be able to access several useful features of the site that are not available to unregistered visitors.

At the top of each page here, there should be a box that says "Quick Links." Click the little arrow/triangle and choose Log In, and then click the "GO" button and you'll get instructions on how to register and become a real "member." Free and no hassles.

Regarding Wireless:

Some may have not noticed that the German Courts have ruled within the past couple of weeks that if you operate an unsecured wireless network that is used - with or without your permission - to download and/or distribute copyright material (or SPAM) - YOU are liable for usage fees and fines, even if you are not aware that someone is using your network. Since anyone who finds your network and "piggybacks" on it can access any place in the world, regardless of where you live you could be subject to hefty expenses if you don't set up adequate passwords (at a minimum) to reasonably protect your wireless setup.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Tootler
Date: 18 May 10 - 07:05 PM

Guest Smiler,

WPA/WPA2 setup was straightforward. Go into the router setup and select the WPA/WPA2 option in the security section. You will be prompted for two passwords, one for full access to your network and one for guest login - the latter just enables internet/email access on a visitors computer and doesn't permit any access to the rest of your network.

Once you've done that, logout and go round and change the wireless access passwords on all your computers, including any smartphones you use. At least that was what I did.

Oh - Don't forget to hardwire the computer you use to change your settings to the router while you are making the changes.

Once you have done that, it is probably a good idea to hide your SSID. That way, casual freeloaders will not become aware of your existence.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 May 10 - 08:42 PM

What a paranoid plethora the phone company has purchased.

GIVE the bandwidth to your community.

SHARE - your gear. For example look at PCTuners.com

For the 20 bucks you pay a month ... to use 20 minutes a day ... it seems a shame to lockout the SKYPE man under the tree. In some places they charge 20 bucks an hour, share your power.

You use mine, I use yours, You are needy and I am not. From each according to his bandwidth, to each according to his download. Guthrie, Seegar, and a boatload of past American folk singers would agree ... communal-ist is the way to be.

Come on - it is just common sense.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Just keep the GOVT out of it!!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 18 May 10 - 08:57 PM

A far, Far, FAR, FAR bigger threat is presented through your browser (Mozilla aka FireFox , Opera, MS, Safari) and your search engines - expecially Google - that "openly share" data.

But, "cookies" are soooooo convenient ..... and I can't be me at Mudcat without them.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Kill your java, kill your cookies, kill your SQML, watch the pop-ups, and view "Page Source." Mudcat is one of the BEST - places to do this. It is open and trasparent and the mods are easy to identify.

Vagina insertion without protection - is MUCH more than an anti-viral protocol.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Tootler
Date: 19 May 10 - 11:58 AM

Gargoyle,

I applaud your philosophy, and in a ideal world it would be fine

However, given the half-baked, ill thought out legislation that was rushed through our parliament by the previous government just before our general election to keep the big media companies happy, I could see the same situation arising here in the UK as is described above for Germany. For that reason, it is wise to set security on your wireless router to prevent freeloaders using your wifi to download and/or distribute copyright material without paying the appropriate royalties.

The freeloaders come, use your bandwidth and disappear and are unlikely to get caught if they are even half way smart. The authorities are determined to get someone, so they go for the soft target; the owner of the router.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Acme
Date: 19 May 10 - 12:38 PM

Looks like you've covered most of the points I would make already. I have a wireless system, but for speed, since sometimes things like hot water tanks, furniture, distance, wiring, metal objects, can interfere, I have wired a closet in the center of the house and run cables through the attic and put in wall ports in most rooms of the house. The modem has 4 slots, so it's like an old fashioned operator switchboard, if you want a hard wired connection in a room you plug that one in. We only have two rooms going right now, my office and my son's room.

That said, for years I've run a wireless network and I have a laptop on the wireless portion of my router range. I don't broadcast my setup and it will only communicate with approved devices, so we have all of the approved MAC addresses entered.

If you want to check your system, including what your computer is doing and how secure your settings are, visit ShieldsUP! - Internet Vulnerability Profiling (From Gibson Research Corporation) and learn about vulnerabilities. I think you can still run a scan on your system from that site. That'll give you an idea of what you need to fix. Check the status of your system's ports, for example, or see what your computer is telling the rest of the world about you. I just looked through - there are some old pages, but there is a lot of good stuff in there as well.

Network-Tools.com has a link to the Privacy Net analyzer. It comes up with an interesting array of stuff, including fonts my computer uses (since I do print and web design, that is a very long list).

You could also check your speed while you're at it. SpeedTest.net.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 May 10 - 12:56 PM

Hows that thing about being liable if you don't put in security passwords going to work out for pubs and suchlike that provide WiFi for sustomers with laptops? For example Wetherspoons.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 19 May 10 - 01:53 PM

SrS, thanks for the Shields up link.

Just tried it and the only thing that was questionable was pinging.

For the rest, it told me that things were very secure.

I will check it agin soon.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 May 10 - 11:07 PM

Tootler et. al.

The article on the German court decision implied that any use of a persons wireless portal made the owner liable for penalties.

A (probably) more accurate Associated Press article poste later appears to say that a suitable password at initial installation is sufficient, and it's not necessary to "take all possible measures" to prevent getting hacked.

German court orders wireless passwords for all

[quoting]

Users can be fined if a third party takes advantage of an open connection

By Kirsten Grieshaber
The Associated Press
updated 9:55 a.m. CT, Wed., May 12, 2010

BERLIN - Germany's top criminal court ruled Wednesday that Internet users need to secure their private wireless connections by password to prevent unauthorized people from using their Web access to illegally download data.

Internet users can be fined up to euro100 ($126) if a third party takes advantage of their unprotected WLAN connection to illegally download music or other files, the Karlsruhe-based court said in its verdict.

"Private users are obligated to check whether their wireless connection is adequately secured to the danger of unauthorized third parties abusing it to commit copyright violation," the court said.
But the court stopped short of holding the users responsible for the illegal content the third party downloads themselves.

The court also limited its decision, ruling that users could not be expected to constantly update their wireless connection's security — they are only required to protect their Internet access by setting up a password when they first install it.

The national consumer protection agency said the verdict was balanced.

[end quote - more at the link if it's still up]

Note that this did not involve "new laws," but was a court interpretation of existing law. It's still possible that there are conflicting "precedents" elsewhere in German - or other - law that could allow for differences of opinion in subsequent courtactions.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Dave Masterson
Date: 20 May 10 - 08:27 AM

I wouldn't bother with wireless, it's a total waste of space, not to mention money. I'm sure the only reason the manufacturers/ISP's etc. push it so hard is that they've got so much dosh invested in it.

We use the Homeplug system which uses your home electricity circuit in much the same way as a baby alarm does.

Google 'Homeplug' to see what I mean.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Acme
Date: 20 May 10 - 11:11 AM

Wireless isn't a waste of space or money. And that "homeplug" system isn't available everywhere. I've only ever heard of it being used in the UK.

I have a closet with a couple of shelves dedicated to the modem and router. It isn't complicated, it's central. When I did the wiring I used an integrated system of components and have run phone, data, and cable to each room. My attic is open, it isn't built to have flooring or be used, but it is easy enough to move around to wire in things. So my system is a combination of wired and wireless. My daughter comes to visit and carries her little netbook. She can sit down at my kitchen table and work on an essay for school without having to run a wire from one of the outlets I've set up. I have a wireless setup for my work laptop, though if I'm doing a lot of downloading and uploading then I connect the wire for speed. Most browsing and email doesn't require a super-fast connection.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Wireless router security
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 20 May 10 - 11:30 AM

I have 4 machines wireless and it is definately not a waste of money.


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