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Router

Lock Down Your Wireless Access

SUMMARY: Prevent unauthorized wireless access to your Internet connection via your router.

If you've purchased a wireless router, I strongly recommend locking it down so that only you or other designated individuals can use it to access the Internet. A wireless router is virtually an open gateway to the Internet. You may set one up in an apartment complex or crowded subdivision, and someone living nearby could potentially scan for wireless networks and use YOUR connection to get to the Internet!

There are two main ways to lock down wireless access, both of which should be explained in detail in your router's manual.

1) Security Encryption. This will encrypt data to and from the router so that others cannot easily see the websites you view, private information you may send, etc. Plus, encryption will prevent others from being able to access your network without knowing a code. This involves entering a pass-phrase on your computer, generating a keycode, and entering that code in your wireless machines' configuration settings.

2) Access List. This will lock down wireless access except for those who have wireless cards matching certain MAC addresses. Each network card or device has a unique MAC address, so you can find the MAC addresses used by each wireless card you wish to access the system and enter them into your router's setup.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.