Technology Help - Wireless Networking Security Explained

So you're online with your high-speed cable or DSL and now you're ready for wireless.
Take a few minutes and learn how to secure your wireless router from prying neighbors. It's easy!

Why you should secure your wireless router

Connecting to your unsecured wireless router is easy. Plug in your new wireless router, turn on your laptop, and it connects (almost) automatically. The problem is that anyone else within one-quarter of a mile can also connect to your wireless router! Do you want your next door neighbor, or some stranger parked in his car across the street using your internet? Before you answer, consider what those people might be doing: downloading child-porn, planning terrorist activities, sharing illegal music or movie files? If someone is using your wireless internet connection for wrong-doing the FBI is going to knock on YOUR door. It will then be up to you to prove that someone other than you was doing these dirty deeds!

WEP, WPA, PSK, AES, TKIP: What do these things mean?

Don't get worked-up over all these wireless (WiFi) security terms. All new routers are compliant with WPA security. WPA security replaces the now obsolete WEP security. Don't worry about all the other terms, WPA or WEP are the two terms to remember.

Making The Secure Wireless Connection

All routers have a web page that you can connect to for configuring WiFi security. Refer to the instructions that came with your router to access the configuration page. From the security configuration page, turn on the WPA (or WEP if WPA is not available) and enter a password. Remember this password because you'll have to enter it into all the laptops or PC's connecting to your wireless router. Save your changes and restart the router (if necessary).
The next time you connect your laptop or PC to your wireless WiFi router it will ask you to enter the connection password you entered into the router. This password is what keeps strangers from connecting to your WiFi router. You only have to enter that password one time. Windows XP will remember the password.
Securing your WiFi this way does not make it 'hack-proof', but most bad guys will skip yours and move on to an easier, unsecured target.

How to shop for and buy a new wireless router

WiFi routers are cheap. Look for these options when shopping: 802.11g or 802.11n, WPA Security. You can find great deals for wireless routers online, often for as low as $24.99

I can connect to my neighbor's wireless internet, can't I just use his?

Well.. Yes and no..
Connecting to someones WiFi without his or her permission is against the law in the United States. Most people agree that it's also not moral to "steal" someones internet without their permission.
WiFi routers aren't very expensive - buy your own and everyone will be happy. Besides, think of how much fun it will be for you to teach your neighbor how to secure his WiFi connection!

Security tips: What is spy-ware?

Windows tips: How can I speed up my PC?

More technical wireless info made easy:



802.11i is the most up to date security standard to my knowledge; WPA2 is another name commonly used to refer to it, though I'm not certin I think that WPA2 is only a subset of the 802.11i amendment. The 128 bit AES Data-link layer encryption is the key factor making 802.11i better then WPA and WEP.

Can yu use a wireless PC card in your computer and find an unsecure or public wireless network you can connect to and then connect your computer to a wireless router, and use that to create a wireless network in your house?

my neibhors are cool when im at my dads house (no internet they let me access theyre router
i went out and got a belkin usb internet thingy for my desktop and i am good to go thing is i can take my antenna with me and lock out my little siblings mwahahahahaha

have a nice day and "happy computing"

i really need to stop my next door neighbour from using my internet. the son in there house is a little terror (16 years old -goes on porn, steals and is into drugs etc). the trouble is i need a step by step explaination on how to do this. we have 3 laptops in our home so i am worried about stopping us all from using internet. he sits in the car and blatently does this. trouble is his mother is so lovely and i do not want to add to her deep worries that she is having with her son.please could someone explain thanks in advance t

Step one: Open up a browser (IE) and type in:

No "www" or http, just how it looks. That should bring you to your router home login. I'm guessing you never set  a password on the router so go to this link.

Look up your router model and enter in the default username and password. This is something you'll want to change later - to keep the "terror" from changing your settings.

Now, look around. There should be a tab for security or setting a password for the connection. You'll be asked to choose an encryption protocol. To make things easy, just go with WPA (opinions might vary on this) and enter in either an eight or thirteen character password and apply.

Close out the router screen making sure that you first set a username and password...and that you'll know it for the future.

On the laptops, find your wireless access point name and connect. You should be prompted for a "key" or passphrase. Enter in the passphrase and see if it connects.

Should you have any more problems, please post the model of the router you own. If you can not access the router screen, right click the icon that represents your wireless network connection -> select status -> support-> and enter in the number that appears as your "default gateway" into the browser.

Post if you have problems. 

Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don't quite know how to put our love into words. -Harlan Miller

many thanks for that advice i have sorted it now. x

I had a friend tell me that he was able to use a password protected wireless connection without knowing the password. He said that all he did was hide the box that pops up asking you for the password, and then he would continue to go and surf the web as usual. Is this possible? If so, do you have any suggestions as to better secure the wireless connection?


The Truth Is Out There. Trust No One! Deny Everything!

You're upsetting me....on several levels.

-I am The Phoenix that rises again.
-I am The Oasis in this dry world.

I think your friend is confused.

I recently got myself a wireless router, having - I admit - used my neighbors for a few weeks. Oddly, though.. I play WoW. The wifi I was using prior was at two bar strength and my ingame latency was actually pretty good. Obviously this was an unsecured router. I set mine up, it's secured via password and for some reason my latency is AWFUL. Next to bottom line. This coupled with the various other issues my laptop has - among them; restarting when I move it at all, randomly crashing in the infamous BSOD and having a messed up keyboard.. just adds to a list of problems. Any ideas/tips?

Plug in directly to your router with a cable. If the latency is still bad, then it's probably a problem with your ISP, if not then it's something with your wireless setup.


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