Wireless network security

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by ClydeG19, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. ClydeG19

    ClydeG19

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    I got a Gateway wireless router and a Linksys dongle thing for my desktop. I eventually want a laptop, but there's no cable available at the place we're moving and no phone jack in the room the computer is going in. Enter, the wireless network.

    I installed the dongle plugged in the router and everything worked fine. I wanted to close my infant network off, so I started messing with security settings. I enabled WEP encryption and I think I got my network setting to match...I'm on it after all and while I was playing the network settings it said the network was not available. I only put one 10 digit key in...should I have more than 1? Did I do things correctly? I suppose the real test is to bring someone's laptop here and see if they can get on. I'm not that computer saavy that I'm going to stop the u83r-133t-hax0r5 from getting on, but I don't want joe blow stopping by and checking his email and oh by the way, let me log into alqueda.org and see how Zawahari's vacation to Abu Dali went.
     
  2. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

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    You really really really want to use the WPA or WPA2 option (WPA2 is better, if both router and dongle support it), instead of the WEP option.

    Reason 1 - WPA/2 use normal, reasonable passphrases, where WEP requires you to either us 40 or 128 bit passwords that are difficult to create, enter, and remember.

    Reason 2 - WEP is almost worse than no protection at all. It is now breakable in less than one minute with tools that can be downloaded and used by any idiot, but you think you're protected. For reasons that escape me, lots of people who think that they 'don't need super-duper security' choose WEP. It's only on newer routers so they can be compatible with old equipment that doesn't do WPA, but it's old, it's hard to use correctly, and it's crazy insecure. WPA isn't the 'paranoid' option - it IS the one that people who don't have much to secure use. People who are really paranoid don't use wireless...

    So, switch the router to WPA/WPA2, use a passphrase that's not a dictionary word and has both upper and lower case, punctuation and numbers, and you're set. You'll never need to think about it again, you'll have decent (but not impervious) protection, and you can go forward without much to worry about.