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The following is a compendium of the most common areas of WIFI setup borrowing heavily from Information Security for Everyone as posted in "Home Security"
Everyone knows how important it is to protect their personal information. With the news reporting identity theft on a regular basis, the World Wide Web can seem like a scary place – and it is. When it comes to trying to protect themselves online, people tend to do a poor job. Would you put an expensive alarm on your house, only to leave the front door wide open? Of course not, but this is effectively what many people do with their computers. In fact, securing your computer – and your online identity – starts with your network. Vendors do a good job of packaging things like firewalls, antivirus and anti-spam software on new computers. You can even find great deals (often free after rebate) on security software during tax time. Many internet providers also provide security software for free. That’s all great – and necessary, but people often overlook the front door to your computer: your router.
With the rising popularity of broadband internet access and the boom in wireless access, people have access to information faster than ever. The problem is that people forget to secure their router. Your router is actually your first line of defense. Most routers come with a firewall, network address translation (NAT), and wireless encryption capabilities. Most routers have firewalls and NAT turned on by default. If not, you will need to enable it. Since most routers have a web interface, log in to it and find out. While you’re logged in, change the default password. Many times, routers have the default password set to or something easily guessed like “password” or “admin”. Now that you are in, let’s look at the 6 basic areas:
Firewall – Most default firewall configurations have all the incoming ports (or connections) closed or turned off. This is good. You should only open something up if you have a need to. If you are not using a firewall on your router, turn it on.
Network Address Translation (NAT) – This option, usually turned on by default, hides the addresses of the computers inside your home. This makes it more difficult for people to access your computer directly. You should use this option.
Wireless: SID– For those who have a wireless router, this is the most important area. The first thing you should do is change the name of the router’s SID, but make it obscure and difficult to associate with you. Naming your wireless network “Mike’s house” will make you stick out. I usually use a name from mythology. Next, change it so you are not broadcasting the SID. This means you will have to manually enter it on each computer the first time you connect it to the wireless network, but it will make it harder for people to log on to your network without authorization. This is also very important for those living in apartments, as many people may be running and connecting to wireless networks in close proximity.
Wireless: Encryption – Next, you should set your encryption on your network. There will probably be multiple options like WEP, WPA-TKIP, and WPA-EAP. WEP is the most vulnerable to be broken in to, so use WPA. If WPA is not available, then use WEP. Some routers also let you specify the size of encryption (like 128 bit, 256 bit, etc). The rule is the higher the better, but if you pick a level too high, it may slow down your network. 256 bit encryption is good place to start. Regardless of the type and size, use some type of encryption. After all, some encryption is better than none at all.
MAC addressing / filtering – This option allows you to limit the computers connecting to your network to specific network cards. To find the MAC address on a Windows XP box:
Start -> Run
Enter cmd on the Open line, click OK
A command window will open. Type in ipconfig, hit Enter and a list of your Ethernet adapters will show up.
Enter the Physical Address(es) (a number like 11-22-a1-b2-33-55) in your routers software.
See your router’s configuration help for specific help on where the MAC addressing / filtering option is.
DHCP – This option allows your router to configure the IP address automatically. It is not a bad option to use, but if your router allows you to specify a range of addresses, only use as many as you need. Why keep 100 addresses open when you do not have 100 computers?

Most of the "home use" routers have the same default Router IP address (usually, or the address is different by manufacturer but each manufacturer uses the same address in all their products, thus I know that if the router is a D-Link or NetGear (I really don't have to know this since there are only 3 addresses used I would just try them all ) the router address is and more than likely the devices on the network are addresses as This means that someone like me, who knows exactly how TCP/IP works can bypass all of the passwords and encryption in the router and "speak" directly to your CPU. There is an old Computer saying :if you take the defaults it's your fault" Change your router address or where xxx is any number between 1 and 254. You wouldn't give strangers your street address dont give'em your computer address !!

Ping blocking – If your router has this option, turn it on. This makes it more difficult for hackers scanning thousands of computers to find you. Hackers will run a command called “ping” to see if a computer exists on a specific or range of Internet addresses. This option will not send a response back to the person running the command, making you less visible online.
These tips make up just a small set of things you should do to help secure your environment. You still need all the other safe computing practices like having up to date anti-virus and anti-spy-ware software, being aware of what you do online, etc. Security is like a medieval castle, made up of many layers of defense like walls, fences, moat, and location. Individually, none of these defensive measures can stop everything, but working together can provide multiple layers of protection to help deter wrong-doers.
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