Wireless Router setup is almost the same as a wired router installation a few extra steps. But those extra steps will secure your data.
 

Because most of the information you need is on the Router setup  page, I will only go into the Security settings on this page.

  • You must understand how a wireless network connection works. The wireless adapter and wireless router are a radio transmitter and receiver set. What this means to you is they both send and receive radio signals. It is like having a miniature radio stations in your building. The wireless adapter (NIC) sends a signal to the wireless router, the wireless router (router) receives the signal and transforms it into a digital signal then sends that signal out on the network, it can be a local network (LAN) or it can be a wide area network (Wan) which for you is the Internet or WWW.


  • The radio signals are the problem! Because it is a radio signal it is broadcast over a large area, your house may not seem to be a broad area but the signal will go further than that, approximately 400 feet with out any problem, it may not be a high quality signal but it is a signal none the less. Unscrupulous people search for these signals, they have equipment that can boost your signal and read it. If this signal is unprotected they can decode it and see what you are doing on the internet.

To further compound your problem they can send a signal back to your computer and router. If they want they can read the data on your computer!

You need to have a way to keep these people (hackers/crackers/thieves!) from reading your signal and keep them out of your computer and router and doing this wireless router setup will help secure your data.

Wireless Router setup:

How do you do that? With the security built into your NIC and router.

  • First you need to name your wireless network, be creative, use a complex name such as mixing numbers and letters, the more complex it is the harder it is for the hackers to steal your signal.


  • Next you need to create a password in the same manner.


  • You have your network name and password? It is ok to write this down and keep it in a safe place because the only way the hackers and thieves can get it is to burgle your home/business.

Stop searching! Start repairing... with this
Once you have the preliminary setup done from the router page now you need to go into your wireless router setup program and set the security.

Different wireless routers use different names for their properties but they work the same, I have a Linksys router so I will use their names for the properties sheets.

Wireless Router setup security:

To get the highest encryption level use 'Infrastructure' not 'Ad-Hoc'.

  • First you set the Network name (SSID) with the name you created.


  • Second you set the Network Authentication type: WPA-PSK


  • Third you set the Network Key with the password you created.


  • Last you can change the channel that the router and the network card broadcast on, normal or defaults are 6 or 9, you can change it to any number between 1 and 16+. Remember that if you change the router broadcast channel you have to do the same for the computer NIC(s) other wise you will not be able to connect to the router.

NIC:

  • Going through the same steps as the router setup your NIC(s).


  • Also you want to set the 'Network to access' to 'Access point (infrastructure) networks only' under the Advance tab on the NIC properties page of the Wireless Networks Tab. (this forces your NIC to connect only to your router!)

You are set, if someone wants to hack your wireless router setup it will take them a long time. Most hackers give up after a couple of attempts.

Be sure to setup you network IP range different from the default, the harder you make it the less chance of someone hacking in to your personal or business network.

Now you can carry your laptop any where with in range of the wireless router and have network connectivity.

Now that wasn't so hard was it?

See ya by the pool!
 

I have over the years as a Systems Admin came into contact with a lot of network devices. Some are good, some are bad, and some are down right ugggllllyyy...

I won't dwell on the bad or the ugly (although the ugly should get a mention, maybe on another page...),

The good goes like this - of all the Network and home/small business routers, switches, and wireless access points I like the Linksys products. I have not had a failure that was not self induced and I have four products that are over fourteen years old.

Like all network devices they run 24/7 and very seldom are powered down. Now you have to be careful with electronic devices when you leave them powered up for long lengths of time the PCB, solder joints, and IC's (see my glossary for what these terms mean if I am baffling you with the 'Geek') expand with heat and never get a chance to contract. So when the device is powered down and cools off the components shrink this shrinkage introduces what is called micro-fracture. A micro fracture is when the contraction of the material cracks. Back in the old days components were larger and the solder joints were thicker so powering down a device didn't fail because of the micro-fractures.

The reason I dwell on the Linksys being powered up 24/7 and then were powered off for a week while we went to Seattle on vacation. When we came home I crossed my fingers and powered up the three switches, the wireless access point, and the router. No problems! Now I saw two servers, three switches, and a router go down hard when they were powered off for 48 hours! I am impressed.

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By turning on
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'infrastructure'
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