Howto: Secure Your Wireless Network

KeyWords: wireless, wep, key, free, generator, passphrase, encrypted, security, tools, network, mac, address, filter

Howto: Secure Your Wireless Network
by FrosT

Introduction
Securing your wireless network is essential to businesses and for personal use. With how easy it is to secure your wireless network there should be no excuse for your network to go un-secured. Let's start off with the essentials for securing a wireless network.

Wireless Network Security Tools
First off you will need a router if you do not already have one. A wireless router plays multiple roles in securing your wireless network. First it provides a hardware firewall. Hardware firewalls are great because they work a ton better than software firewalls and your computer does not have to run the extra software; which in return means you get better performance from your computer. Next, wireless routers allow you to control your wireless settings, as for wireless access points I am not sure of. Having total control of the name, whether to broadcast the SSID, or having the wireless network encrypted is essential for your personal security.

If you chose to get a router or not you will need software to generate a WEP Encrypted 128-bit Key. I say to get the software because whether the router has the feature enabled or not, the WEP key generator software is very handy to have incase a friend says, "To get into my wireless simply use the passphrase 'duck124n0th3r0k!@'" you can gain access to his wireless network. If you want to use the passphrase download the Free WEP Key Passphrase Generator. If you need a quick WEP Key you can use this Free WEP Key Online Generator.

Now that we have certain security tools needed to secure our wireless network, let's get started.

Generating a WEP Encrypted Key
Generating a WEP Encrypted Key requires certain precautions. First of all do not use a weak WEP Passphrase, such as "Duck1". The weaker the passphrase the easier it is for someone to go through with a Dictionary cracker and gain access to your wireless network. The standard I use when generating any passphrase is to make it at least 15 characters, lower and uppercase letters, 3 different numbers, 5 different letters and at least 2 special characters. For instance I would say I have a dog named Hubert who is 14 and we go Hubert in the year 2001. HuB3rT@20!01mYd0G.10-02. Where there may be a slight chance that I would remember this if I ever lost my WEP Encrypted Key.

I would suggest before downloading any software check your router to see if the router offers a free WEP Encrypted Key Generator. If it does that generator will do just fine for encrypting our passphrase for us.

Allowing Certain MAC Addresses
For more security you can take another step to allow only certain MAC addresses. A Mac address is located on a modem, router, hub, Ethernet card, or wireless network card. Everyone has a different and unique MAC address that stays static. Most routers allow for you to Allow/Disallow certain MAC addresses. This step can be considered overkill. It just depends on how secure you want your Wireless Network to be. In order to only allow specified MAC Addresses you need to gather the MAC Address from any computer you want to access your Wireless Network.

To grab the MAC Address of the Wireless Network Card simply turn on that particular computer and go to Start than to Run type "CMD" (without quotes) and hit "Ok" than on the screen that pops-up type "ipconfig" (without the quotes). You should see a list of Local Area Connections; grab the one that looks like your wireless card. Write the number/letters down and enter into the Router. This will allow that Wireless Network Card with that MAC Address to gain access to your wireless network. Repeat this step for multiple cards/computer/laptops. Once you have the entire list of wireless network cards that you need on the list simply save it.

Ending Notes
Securing your Wireless Network is a great idea no matter who you are. I highly suggest the WEP Key with MAC Address filtering. Just remember that hackers and crackers are out there and these steps provided are prone to be broken into. At least make them work for getting access to your wireless network. Trust me; taking these steps will eliminate 95% of people from breaking into your wireless network. Just remember I take no responsibility for any damages done or caused by these steps, use at your own risk and if the data is sensitive enough do it through a Hardwired network.

Posted by frost on Jul 10th, 2006 15:53 - Subscribe Bookmark and Share


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Posted by frost on July 15th, 2006

Ya probably, but for the average person, this security will work good.

--FrosT



 

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