Thursday, May 19, 2005

Free Wireless Internet

I booted my new laptop with the inbuilt wireless in my house last night ... to my surprise i had too many unsecured wireless network available for me to choose... I think there are too many people out there who dont have enough idea of how to go about setting up a secure wireless network... I am not a networking/wireless guru nor I haven't setup a wireless network of my own yet.. but I was googling around for the steps to make a wi-fi secure.
  • Change the default SSID. Most people don't even bother to change the default SSID provided by a wireless access point. If your neighbor knows that you are using a Linksys wireless access point (say, by seeing the boxes you throw away), they could easily try the default SSID. Always change the SSID to something obscure, and never try to use your company name or your personal name. These names are too easy to guess.
    Disable SSID broadcast. By default, most wireless access points will broadcast the SSID to all wireless devices; anyone with a wireless network card can detect the SSID you use in your network and gain access to your network.
  • Use MAC address filtering. If you have a small number of users in your wireless network (which is usually the case), you can use MAC address filtering. With MAC address filtering, you enter the MAC address of your network card and manually enter this number into your wireless access point. Only MAC addresses that have been registered with the wireless access point are able to gain access to your network. You can usually locate the MAC address of your network card on the device itself.
  • Always change the default user name and password for your wireless access point. It's too easy for people to guess the default user names and passwords used in wireless access points.
  • Turn off DHCP. Use static IP addresses if the number of users on the network is small. Turning off DHCP will prevent wireless sniffers from seeing the IP addresses being used.
    Refrain from using the default IP subnet. Most wireless routers use the default network. It is easy for people to guess the IP addresses used and illegally gain access to the network.
  • Use WEP for encryption of packets. If you are concerned about the confidentiality of information transmitted by your wireless network, you may wish to enable WEP encryption. Though WEP has been proven to be "crackable," it still acts as a deterrent against packet sniffing for everyone but ardent hackers.


Anonymous said...

Hey ! Cool ! That was some much needed info man! u a desi ? :)

premkumar said...

Good to hear that someone found the information useful.. I guess you could know where I am from using my name ;)