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Simple Wireless Security Configuration

More and more people everyday are switching over to wireless technology.  They are using it at home and at work to be able to connect to the internet without having the hassle of being connected with a hard line Ethernet cable.  There are many advantages to doing this.  With the power of laptops getting better everyday and more and more requirements for being mobile, it is a perfect solution.  The problem is, many people just set up their router at home and connect without any security enabled.

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Without the proper protection on your network you can open yourself up to many hazards.

  The worst outcome being a hacker getting into your personal computer and stealing your information and possibly your identity.  It is essential to have proper protection if you are using wireless.

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Ok, so you just purchased a Linksys 54G wireless router and are ready to install it.  You have no idea how to configure it and found that it works by just connecting it.  You scan for available wireless networks and see “linksys” SSID and it is open. You connect and have internet.

Great, you’re done and everything works.  Wrong, if you can connect without a password, so can anyone else in the area.

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First things first, we need to change the SSID and set a strong password for wireless.  If you have over 20+ characters there is no way anyone can break in to it by brute force.  It would take them in upwards of a few billion years at 60 passwords a second 24/7/365.

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To connect to your router to manage it we need to find out the default address.  You can either look in the documentation it came with or find out for yourself.  To do this go to the command line by going to your start menu and opening the Run command.  In the provided line type cmd; this will open a command line.

  In the command line type ipconfig.  This will show you four lines for each adapter.  We are interested in the line that says Default Gateway.

  If you have a Linksys router it should be 192.168.1.

1.  Now we take that address whatever it may be and type it into your internet browser URL line.  When you hit Go a username and password box will show up.  The default will be in your documentation but it is mostly Username: admin Password: admin.  When you get in you will be brought to a home screen.  For now all we want to change is the time zone setting towards the bottom and then hit the save settings button.

  The router will save and bring you back to the home page.  .

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Next, to change the wireless settings.  At the top of the home page there are a few menu buttons.

  Look for the one called Wireless and click on it.  There  should be four or five tabs in the wireless group.  Basic Settings is the first.  Here is where you set your SSID.

  Choose something you will recognize but not give away any information such as “CHome”.  You can change the channel it is broadcasting on here is there are a bunch of other access points using the same channel but you should be ok with channel 6.  Finally, have the broadcast SSID radio button selected then hit save.

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After the page comes back go to the Security page under Wireless, and you will see a few more selection areas.  Under the security mode drop down select WPA Personal (PSK).

  PSK stands for Pre-Shared Key which will be your password to connect to the wireless.  Please, please do not choose WEP, it is outdated and can be broken into within 30 by anyone with half a brain.  Finally, choose your pre-shared key.  For the best security make it at least 15 characters.

  It will not be hidden so if you forget it you can always log into your router and see what it is.  Have a mixture of numbers, letters, capitalized letters, and special characters for the strongest password.  After you save the settings on this page you are done setting up your secure wireless access point.

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One last thing you need to do before you leave the router is change the default admin password.  This can be found under the administration tab at the top of the page on the Management page.

  The password is the first box called Router Password.  Change this to something you can remember but somewhat difficult.  If you lose this password you will not be able to get into your router without resetting it and having to start all over.

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That is it.  It may look complicated but if you follow this step by step you should be able to configure your wireless in less than 15 minutes and never have to worry about someone breaking into your network.

  If you have any questions please visit my website computerevival.com and go to the support page for contact information.

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I have professional IT experience in troubleshooting and maintaining Windows networks and workstations for over two years. I can setup networks small or large and create secure systems for wireless or LAN networks. My skill set is deep and I have a very good working knowledge of computers and their components including hardware and applications. For more information on computer issues or if you would like to find an answer to your computer problems visit my site now at Computer Revival. Thank you



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