Broadband Internet and Routers - Wireless Security Help
Simple steps to secure your wireless connection.
If you are using a wireless router for broadband internet via DSL or Cable, you MUST secure your connection. If you are not using a router, then there may be even bigger problems (read below). If you do not secure your wireless router connection, you are allowing anyone to access your connection and your own pc. This also means people can use your system to download movies and music (making it look like you are the one doing it!). Be smart and use some simple security steps to secure your connection. I'll keep this short and to the point, here are the basics and anyone can easily do this.
These are the basic steps simplified. Most modems today are also routers, but the steps are the same either way.
1) First off, have your router manual as you need the password to sign on to it. Note that many DSL or Cable modems today are a router and modem in one, unlike the old days where the router was a separate box and connected to the modem.
2) Connect your router to your computer with the wire plugin (or use wireless access which is fine).
3) Open browser and go to http://10.0.0.2 or http://220.127.116.11 (These get to the router settings). Your manual will tell you what to enter for your router but most likely its one of these 2 depending upon what type of router you have, Linksys, Zoom, Belkin, etc.
4) Enter your ID and password, again your manual will tell you what to enter. User id will be "admin" and a default password usually. This gets you into your router settings.
5) Next, your DSL or cable company will tell you some information like user and password, or vci and vpi. You need to enter this in your router / modem when you log on to it, this is the information that you got from your ISP, not in your manual. The password will be the network password they give you once logged into the router. Dont be confused by all this, normally its all in an email confirmation they send you and is usually just a one time entry for initial setup. Go into your wireless setup in your router and simply enter these in the boxes.
6) Save it, and make sure you can now access the internet on your computer. I like to just plug the wire in for my main computer for testing it out, as no wireless is needed that way. For example when you plug in the telephone wire for DSL, the DSL light should also now show "green".
7) Next in your wireless settings (you will see a tab showing in the router), you put in a password there to generate encryption key(s). These will say WEP or WPA, etc. This is simply taking any phrase you put in and it will automatically generate many keys, and these are they keys used for other computers, ipad, or iphone to access your wireless network. The manual should walk you through this, its pretty easy. Do that next.
8) The key will show something like F2-F4-55-11-23 if its a WEP key. You may see multiple keys, write these down as there may be 4 or so, etc.
9) Now to connect with wireless, its easy. For example use your ipad and try to choose your connection for "wifi". It will ask for a password, enter F2-F4-55-11-23 or F2F4551123 without the dashes, normally you will NOT use the dashes, numbers only. This will connect you and you are online.
10) You can use the other keys for multiple devices or ipads, etc. Thats why I said write down those keys you created. Note that any neighbors will not be able to connect because they dont know your keys.
11) Finally, you can choose a different name for your connection in the router settings, you can also choose to "not" publish the SSID. This means your name won't show when trying to find connections and you have to type the name in, its better security. I would recommend choosing the option to not publish the SSID. This simply means that if you call your router "Joes Internet" for the SSID then anyone that tries to check for wifi will see "Joes Internet". Now granted they wont be able to connect because it will ask them to enter a password and they dont know your keys. If you dont show your SSID then they wont even see "Joes Internet" so why publish it? Then when you connect via wifi from your ipad, windows laptop or mac mini, you can simply choose "Other" on the wifi network and type in "Joes Internet" since its not published. Type in a password key and you are now on!
12) Again ... because this is important ... an example of SSID not being published is to go to your ipad, go to wifi settings, and you won't see it. Tap "other" on the ipad and type the SSID name in, and it will ask for your password to connect. If you publish the SSID, you will see the name pop up under the wifi list automatically without having to type it in.
13) Critical! Change the default router password as it usually defaults to some type of admin password. Never leave your default password for your router unchanged and put in something that only you know. Read the password tips here. At this point your are now done.