Thank you for stopping by my blog. This is my first dip into the blogging trench, started out of my curiosity to know what actually is a blog. I try to put here my readings from various sources; books, blogs, sites. I also grab stuff from here & there and try to showcase it in my own style here. If you'd like my scribblings, please subscribe to my full text RSS feeds.

Currently I am experimenting a few new features on my blog, like Peekaboo and Post Summary; the reason for the slight distortion you see. I am hoping to frame up these soon, please bear with me!

Wi-Fi Router Setup

Guess whats happening all this while, I was trying to setup a wireless home network for the past 2 months. My cousin gifted me a NETGEAR Wireless Router. Since then I have tried a neat 4-5 times to setup the wireless netowrk with my existing broadband line. I did follow the setup instructions liad out in the installation instructions booklet supplied by the vendor. All went fine each time but later I get stuck. The wireless network is detected by my laptop and shows the signal strength as "Excellent". But when I start browsing to check the connection, it fails to show up. Afetr a few tries, frustrated; I took Netgear's tech support to resolve my problem. Even they failed to get me thru successfully. Eventually, after supporting for a couple of times, they (she) gave up saying that the router is faulty and need to be replaced to make the wireless network run efficiently. Disappointed, I simply unplugged the router and went back to square one...using internet the wired way. I knew that the support resolution I got from NETGEAR was not correct coz the router was in perfect working condition.

A week back , I came across an advertisement by a local hardware vendor. The ad said they would also solute Wi-Fi problems. I wanted to give another try. I called up this nice person and he agreed to the service for Rs.300. I insisted that I would not pay for the service if the problem was not solved. He agreed. The next day a service engineer sent by the vendor visited my place. He started off immediately analyzing the current state of my wireless network. He then made some minor changes to the wireless setup and ran a few tests to check the connectin. In no time, the setup wasready. I have tested the wireless setup and it was indeed working fine. I restarted the complete arrangement and tried again. It was really working fine. Intrigued, I asked the engineer where the problem was. He enlightened me that the problem was lying with the router and it was not obtaining the DNS address automatically. So he fed the DNS IP values in the router and hence it started functioning fine.

Today, I came across this interesting information related to a home based wireless network. And it was indeed good!!! Here it is for the benefit of Wi-Fi users.

Top 10 Tips for Wireless Home Network Security

Many folks setting up wireless home networks rush through the job to get their Internet connectivity working as quickly as possible. That's totally understandable. It's also quite risky as numerous security problems can result. Today's WiFi products don't always help the situation as configuring their security features can be time-consuming and non-intuitive. The recommendations below summarize the steps you should take to improve the security of your home wireless LAN.

1) Change Default Administrator Passwords (and Usernames)
At the core of most Wi-Fi home networks is an access point or router. To set up these pieces of equipment, manufacturers provide Web pages that allow owners to enter their network address and account information. These Web tools are protected with a login screen (username and password) so that only the rightful owner can do this. However, for any given piece of equipment, the logins provided are simple and very well-known to hackers on the Internet. Change these settings immediately.

2) Turn on (Compatible) WPA / WEP Encryption
All Wi-Fi equipment supports some form of "encryption." Encryption technology scrambles messages sent over wireless networks so that they cannot be easily read by humans. Several encryption technologies exist for Wi-Fi today. Naturally you will want to pick the strongest form of encryption that works with your wireless network. To function, though, all Wi-Fi devices on your LAN must share the identical encryption settings. Therefore you may need to find a "lowest common denominator" setting.

3) Change the Default SSID
Access points and routers all use a network name called the SSID. Manufacturers normally ship their products with the same SSID set. For example, the SSID for Linksys devices is normally "linksys." True, knowing the SSID does not by itself allow anyone to break into your network, but it is a start. More importantly, when someone finds a default SSID, they see it is a poorly configured network and are much more likely to attack it. Change the default SSID immediately when configuring your LAN.

4) Enable MAC Address Filtering
Each piece of Wi-Fi gear possesses a unique identifier called the "physical address" or "MAC address." Access points and routers keep track of the MAC addresses of all devices that connect to them. Many such products offer the owner an option to key in the MAC addresses of their home equipment that restricts the network to only allow connections from those devices. Do this, but also know that the feature is not so powerful as it may seem. Hacker software programs can fake MAC addresses easily.

5) Disable SSID Broadcast
In Wi-Fi networking, the access point or router typically broadcasts the network name (SSID) over the air at regular intervals. This feature was designed for businesses and mobile hotspots where Wi-Fi clients may come and go. In the home, this feature is unnecessary, and it increases the likelihood an unwelcome neighbor or hacker will try to log in to your home network. Fortunately, most Wi-Fi access points allow the SSID broadcast feature to be disabled by the network administrator.

6) Do Not Auto-Connect to Open Wi-Fi Networks
Connecting to an open Wi-Fi network such as a free wireless hotspot or your neighbor's router exposes your computer to security risks. Although not normally enabled, most computers have a setting available allowing these connections to happen automatically without notifying you (the user). This setting should not be enabled except in temporary situations.

7) Assign Static IP Addresses to Devices
Most home networkers gravitate toward using dynamic IP addresses. DHCP technology is indeed quick and easy to set up. Unfortunately, this convenience also works to the advantage of network attackers, who can easily obtain valid IP addresses from a network's DHCP pool. Turn off DHCP on the router or access point, set a fixed IP address range, then set each connected device to match. Use a private IP range (like 10.0.0.x) to prevent computers from being directly reached from the Internet.

8) Enable Firewalls on Each Computer and the Router
Modern routers contain built-in firewall capability, but the option exists to disable them. Ensure that your router's firewall is turned on. Additionally, consider installing and running personal firewall software on each computer connected to the router for extra protection.

9) Position the Router or Access Point Safely
Wi-Fi signals normally reach to the exterior of a home. A small amount of "leakage" outdoors is not a problem, but the further this signal reaches, the easier it is for others to detect and exploit. Wi-Fi signals often reach through neighboring homes and into streets, for example. When installing a wireless home network, the position of the access point or router determines its reach. Try to position these devices near the center of the home rather than near windows to minimize leakage.

10) Turn off the Network during Extended Periods of Non-Use
The ultimate in security measures, shutting down the network will most certainly prevent outside hackers from breaking in! While impractical to turn off and on the devices frequently, at least consider doing so during travel or extended periods offline. Computer disk drives have been known to suffer from power cycle wear-and-tear, but this is not a concern for broadband modems and routers.

I also found this insteresting video from YouTube showing how to setup a wireless home network. Though the video is titled "Netgear Router Setup", it is more or less the same procedure followed to setup other wireless routers as well.

1 DWine Insight(s):

Thank you for posting such a useful, impressive and a wicked article./Wow.. looking good! Home Network Setup

05 November, 2011  

Newer Post Older Post Home

Blogger Template by Blogcrowds.