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What'll I need to implement wireless dial-up?

Discussion in 'Firewalls and Networks' started by pastures, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. pastures

    pastures Techie7 New Member

    Range is good enough to reach all parts of my residential lot, which isn't very big (maybe 120x60 feet). I had to find an appropriate high central perch for the wireless transceiver in order to accomplish total coverage. And I've enabled WEP now. I sincerely thank all for the leg up. :rockon:
     
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    And changed default passwords, disable SSID, and utilized MAC Address filtering, I sincerely hope!!??
     
  3. pastures

    pastures Techie7 New Member

    Well um, uh.. the access point packaging touts MAC address as a security feature but I don't recall seeing anything during its ultra-brief one-time driver setup. My network card's control panel confirms use of a MAC address so I guess it's ON by default, and I do not grok how this secures anything.

    Yes the password is my concoction.

    From whence would I disable SSID and why? not sure. Is that some deeply buried advanced setting under Windows (2k)? I see no such option anywhere and I don't grok the significance. I can't get an easy grip on your 2 red herrings but not to worry, as I am 100% okay with just the WEP measure.
     
  4. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    The MAC (media access control) address is a unique code burned into every hardware device that connects to a network. So, every network interface card (or built in adapter), router, cable/DSL modem, WAP, etc. has this unique hardware identifier it broadcasts that is used by the network software to identify a specific piece of hardware. There are exceptions to this "uniqueness" but that is for another discussion.

    You enable and configure MAC filtering by logging into your WAP's menu system - it is not done on your computer. You first enable filtering, then you enter the MAC address of your computer's network interface card(s). After that, your WAP will only allow access to a device that has that MAC address. In this way, even if a badguy sees your network, which any wannabe badguy can do, your WAP will not grant him access unless he knows your unique MAC address - which only determined badguys can figure out.

    When SSID is enabled, your WAP is constantly broadcasting over the air, "Here's pastures' network!" "Here's pastures' network!" This makes it easy for badguys to drive around your neighborhood and detect your network, monitor your network traffic, use your network to send spam or other malicious deeds, and/or compromise your connected computers to use as zombies in his botnet. SSID broadcasting is great if you own a coffee shop and want to create a wireless "hotspot" - not great if you value your privacy and personal security. This too is disabled in the WAP's menu system. And certainly, rename your network from the Linksys default.

    Like securing your home, nothing will keep a determined professional badguy out of your wireless network. But like most badguys, they go for the easy pickings, choosing "crimes of opportunity". Anything you can do to make it a little harder and require a little more more time is a good thing as that will thwart the vast majority of badguys and cause them to move on to easier pickings.

    Not hardly!!!! WEP, developed in 1999, is by far the least secure and simplest to crack wireless security.

    For others reading, if your device supports WPA or WPA2, use it. Sadly, the very obsolete WAP-11 does not.

    My advice? Get wired.
     
  5. pastures

    pastures Techie7 New Member

    Great, thanks! (I think)
    "Not done on your computer" -- that's mystifying alright!
    The WAP setup spoke to me about "later using the web interface menu" and I couldn't figure out what it meant. The only reference on the CD is to linksys.com and I haven't yet visited. I thought maybe it was referring to local scripts that run in my browser, which is how the Actiontec router/modem offers its operational menus. But I see nothing like that on this Linksys WAP CD. :wacko:

    But I'm quick to add that I am not employing this network, ie. it is unplugged and disabled, on ice, ready to fire up only if the missus ever decides to "be camp" :clown: I mean it's a toy is all, rigged for all of about $50.
     
  6. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Not when you understand that MAC filtering is a function of the wireless access port. It is not a function of the computer.

    Look in your user manual around page 14 for log in instructions. The user manual should be on the CD or, select your version number and download a copy of your manual from Linksys.

    A wise move.
     
  7. pastures

    pastures Techie7 New Member

    Hey great, thanks. I understand so much better now. Yes, I guess I could have ascertained all this by my own assiduous study and sure enough, the User Guide is on the CD.

    I understand so much better now: the "local scripts" to which I referred are in the device's firmware, not installed on my PC. The Actiontec router/modem made things easy for me by installing a small application that launches my browser with the correct directive. For the WAP-11, I have to launch my browser and manually enter the IP address, which was tricky because that address was not, as it so happens, set to the stated default. I had to use my setup CD to see what the correct IP address was, and it may have differed from the default because I had chosen that "obtain an IP address automatically" feature -- not sure. Odd that the IP address showed nowhere else, not on my PC's LAN Properties or Status and not on the network adapter utility.

    OK, I disabled SSID broadcast and I will implement the MAC address filtering, no sweat. But what of changing the SSID from the default "linksys". The instant that I change it for the WAP-11, I won't be able to communicate with my router and change it there. Right? And vice versa. I'd have to maybe go temporarily back to hard-wired to accomplish this?? Oh I'm sure there's a way, but maybe I should just leave it as is.

    Hey -- pardon all of my bumbling disorientation on all this. Yikes :p
     
  8. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    You are still stuck on this! :( You need to get over it! ;)

    The PC does not control the WAP. Access to the WAP is controlled by the WAP. Your PC network adapter is for your PC, nothing else. Your PC does not care if it connects to the router, WAP, another computer, or anything else, just as long as it can send and receive from that little wire sticking into its network port.

    "Change it there"? No. You don't change anything in the router. You have to realize you have 3 networks you are dealing with:
    1. Internet - everything on the other side of your router
    2. Local Network - everything on your side of the router - including the WAP device
    3. Wireless Network - all devices that connect to your WAP. Your wireless network is a network within your local network
    Changing from the default SSID name, linksys, only affects your Wireless network. You will have to change that name in your PC and any other devices that connect to your wireless network. Your router sees no changes.
    Then every badguy, and junior wannabe badguy, in the world will already know your wireless network name as they all know the Linksys defaults.

    BTW - for easy access into your WAP from your PC, do this:
    • Right click on Desktop, select New > Shortcut
    • In the location field, enter: http://192.168.1.xxx/setup.htm (replace 192.168.1.xxx for the IP of the WAP)
    • Click Next
    • In the name field, enter: Pastures' WAP (or whatever you rename your SSID/wireless network to)
    • Click Finish
    You will now have a shortcut on your desktop to your WAP's menu. You can do something similar with your Router.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2007
  9. pastures

    pastures Techie7 New Member

    Hey thanks -- you're too too kind!
    Yes I kinda knew after that last post of my density and laziness, but I was gearing up for a huge job to do (yesterday) laying new floor in my dining room (done!), and that's my freakin excuse for my deplorable-but-temporary lack of focus.
     
  10. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Hey, that's a good excuse. I need to sand and refinish the wood floors in my dining room and I just can't get geared up to fill the house with sawdust. One of these days.

    In your case, since you take your WAP off line when not in use, you greatly minimize your vulnerability. And to be realistic, badguys prefer broadband to dial-up as they can do more damage with broadband. However dial-up users are certainly not immune to identity theft, or just mischievous mischief. :(