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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Is it bad to have airport on all the time?

Is it bad to have airport on all the time?
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Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: nyc
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May 8, 2005, 08:51 PM
I find that I shut off my wireless connection when I'm not using my computer for security reasons. However, does having your connection on all the time affect security?

I already password protected it.

Also, my airport base is like 6 feet away from my computer (small apartment) but sometimes I don't get full signal strength. Usually I get 5, but sometimes it drops to 3 or 4. That seems strange since it's so close and no one else can use it w/o my password. Why would it go lower? Does that mean someone else is using my signal?
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
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May 8, 2005, 09:19 PM
It's safe to leave your wireless system on 24/7 if you're taking all the necessary security precautions. A good, strong password is essential, as is a good, strong admin password on the base station.

Someone else using your wireless connection would not necessarily show up as a drop in the number of bars your signal indicator shows. However, anything getting between your computer and your base station, particularly a person or part of one, will definitely reduce the signal level between the two. And I can't tell you how quickly the indicator shows changes, so you may not see the indication change while whatever it is is between the two.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Utah
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May 8, 2005, 09:55 PM
While I can't comment on the security issues, I have found that with a stationary computer and no movement or such to change anything, I get good signal sometimes. Esp when nothing is really moving around the network. Oddly, I can have full signal, but as soon as I start using the network it drops off quickly. So maybe the signal strength drops with higher load? Dunno, just my observations...
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
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May 9, 2005, 12:26 PM
As for security... WEP encryption was broken years ago, but in order to do it, the cracker has to "collect" a lot of data, so on a home network with one person, it may take a long time to do. WPA is a better option. If you really need total protection, use a VPN as well. But frankly, nobody's gonna bother cracking a home network -- there are bigger fish to fry. WPA is a convenient and sufficient method.

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