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Old 11-05-2004, 01:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wireless Secuirity

I live in a rural area. I just purchased a wireless netgear router and pc card in a bundle, they both work great, and have great range. I have read that using high security, such as wep, or the newer standard, wap i do believe, which my hardware doesn't support, will slow down the network. Since i live in a rural area, there are no houses close enough to be in range for my network, so do i need to enable wep? Also, there comes the threat of wardrivers, BUT, i'm so far off the road my network wouldn't be accessible unless you drive about 400 ft. up my driveway. So i have very little threat of ANYONE accessing my wireless network, what do you think about secuirity?

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Old 11-05-2004, 01:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Big Chub,

Something that you didn't think of is that some of the wireless adapters can also have an antenna attached to them. At my former job (wireless ISP), we would use access points with small amps, and high gain antennas. Some of our customers were over 5 miles away from the access point, getting a very good and reliable signal.

We didn't use WEP to encrypt the network, so I don't know much about it. We used something called a BCU (Bandwidth Control Unit). I don't remember who manufactured it. It allowed only certain MAC addresses through, and we could also set the speed.

Something that you can do is disable the option "Broadcast SSID". This makes it slightly harder for people to find your network.

If you understand IP addresses, turn off DHCP, and manually assign static IP addresses.

Change the routers default password, network name, and default IP address. A lot of these use 192.168.1.x as the default IP range. Try changing the third number to something else 2 through 254.

I also filter MAC addresses, and IP addresses on my computer.

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Old 11-06-2004, 12:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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WEP may slow down your network if you're an ISP, but the average home user won't notice any difference.

Also, the other security protocol you mentioned is called WPA, not WAP. A WAP is a Wireless Access Point.

Unlike WEP, WPA has not been broken. Although WEP can be cracked, it requires several million packets of data to be captured which could easily take someone days. Unless you're specifically a target, I wouldn't worry about it. WEP is good enough for the average wardriver.

If you are paranoid, think you're a target, or just want to be cool, you can go with WPA.
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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some info on the strength of WPA and WEP. Neither is as safe as they should be...
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Old 11-06-2004, 02:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Always protect your network,

I remember getting into tons of wireless networks w/ my notebook while stuck in a traffic jam @ Las Vegas one night.
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