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WEP encription question D-Link DI524
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2002
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Sep 18, 2004, 10:20 AM
I just purchased a DI524 D-Link wireless router and was very pleasantly surprised to find that everything worked out of the box. I now have my 3 macs (2 iMacs 1 iBook) networked and able to share my Comcast cable connection and my one printer. Can anyone give me any suggestions as to the neccesity of encription and firewalls and or what type of encription I should use for my home network?
John Strung
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Ancaster, Ontario, Canada
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Sep 18, 2004, 11:38 AM
There are basically three types of security you can put on a Wireless Router:

1. Change the default SSID and turn off SSID broadcast.
2. Add MAC address filtering
3. Add WEP

Which you use may depend on where you live. If you are in an apartment building where your wireless workstations see two or three other wireless networks, or if you are on a busy street concerned with drive-by "war drivers", you may want all three types of security.

If you live on a two acre lot in the country, you may need little if any security.

Changing the default SSID and turning off SSID broadcast will mean that casual users of workstations will not be aware that your wireless network exists and will not be tempted to connnect to it.

Turning on MAC address filtering will prevent other users from logging onto your system if you have not given permission to their hardware (MAC) address to connect. (There are programs that can spoof MAC addresses, but only a relatively sophisticated hacker would have those).

Finally, WEP encrypts your data so that "sniffers" cannot read what is transmitted.

Having said all that, none of these security measures will stop a dedicated hacker for long.
Blue Flame
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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Sep 18, 2004, 02:33 PM
^what he said.

I'm in a busy part of Vancouver and running all three types. Better safe than sorry I always say.
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
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Sep 18, 2004, 05:21 PM
One thing John failed to mention: CHANGE THE ADMIN PASSWORD!!! Manufacturers have a default password so the buyer will have some way of getting into the thing, but far too many people just leave it. Don't be one of those people! As John said, a dedicated hacker will eventually be able to read your traffic, but he won't be able to make any changes to your network if he doesn't have the admin password.

If you have modern hardware, and if the D-link router supports it, use Wi-fi Protected Access encryption. This is lightyears ahead of WEP (which isn't too difficult to break), and once you set it up it stays secure. Sure, it can be a little bit of a hassle to get going with WPA, but it's worth it.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
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