Sunday, October 29, 2006

How to secure your WLAN

I live in an 8 floor building. My laptop detects 12-15 wireless networks when I am near the cable outlet. There is a network called 'Petes', another is called 'looproject', and then there is 'Pleasure Town' (no kidding). The other ones are fluctuating amounts of 'default', 'linksys' and 'NETGEAR'. At the bottom of the list there is also a 'GETNEAR'. So much about my neighborhood.

Until 2 weeks ago I was one of the linksys. Then my software began notifying me of IP-address conflicts with other computers in the network. So, whether by accident (which linksys is mine?) or on purpose, I wasn't surfing alone. Though I pretend that I'm a nice girl, I have a limit on data transfer, and I was repeatedly disconnected from my own wireless, which sucks. Therefore, I decided to secure my WLAN. For my friends and family that now makes me an expert on wireless networking, and I am kind of tired to repeat the same thing. So, here's once and for all, for mum and her colleagues, for Stefan's neighbors, and for everybody else:

How to secure your WLAN

  1. Go online.
  2. Remember your WLAN's administrator name and password. You were most likely prompted to enter it when you installed your software, the default being 'admin' or something like this. If you can't remember what you entered, well, call customer service or so.
  3. Click here. You should be prompted for said administrator name and password. If that doesn't work, try this, or this. If none of that works, well, call customer service or so.
  4. Enter administrator name and password, that should get you to the configuration page of your WLAN. If your password doesn't work, well, call customer service or so.
  5. Go to a section called Wireless and a subsection called Wireless Security.
  6. For the option Security mode chose WPA personal.
  7. For the option WPA Algorithm chose AES.
  8. In the field WPA Shared Key enter a password you can remember. I recommend you take the word 'password' so I can use your WLAN whenever I'm around.
  9. Click on a button saying Save Changes or likewise.
  10. In case you were online via your wireless, you should be disconnected now. Go to the 'available wireless networks' menu. Your network should now show up as secured network. Click on 'connect'. You should be prompted for the WPA key.
  11. Enter the password you set in step 8. If that works, that's it. If that doesn't work, congratulations! You have sucessfully secured your WLAN from yourself. Look for your ethernet cable and repeat steps 1,2,3,4 and 8.
  12. Call customer service and yell at someone just for fun.



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1 comment:

The Raven said...

Interesting Article, just adding my 2 cents here.

* Changing the default Administrator user and password could be another great thing, cuz most routers have user and password as admin admin, so its recommended to change administrator user and password.

* Having your custom SSID could also be a plus point security wise.

* Disabling the "Broadcast SSID" option is also a good thing.


Configurations that i have on my TP Link's TL-WR340G

* Custom SSID 32 chaarcter long

* Broadcast SSID disabled

* Security WPA2-PSK with AES

* 63 character long PSK key (containing all sorts of characters)

* DoS attack prevention, ICMP flood, TCP-SYN flood, UDP flood, protection enabled

* Disabled Ping reply on WAN and LAN ports .

* Changed administrator login ID and password of the WLAN.



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