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Do I need WPA/TKIP-enabled hardware?


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#1 DnDer

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 03:02 PM

I'm Joe Schmoe, and I live in an apartment building, out in the burbs. I've wirelessly networked my family in my apartment, so everyone's using WEP/WPA on our trusty little Belkin/Linksys/whatever that we've had for a couple years. Best encryption we can put up without losing signal quality - after all, if we encrypt past 128-bit on the router, no one can connect because the signal dies.

For all practical intents and purposes, do I need to go spend $70+ on a new N+ router with WPA/TKIP and maybe $30 per computer in the house for compatible wireless cards in each computer? Is what I have good enough for everyday use, or do I really need to look at a $200 outlay to protect my family (and my bandwidth)?

[I'm paranoid by nature, and any new security improvements make me very very happy... But I need to check into reality once in a while. I don't know anyone within 3 blocks of me who knows half of what I do about networks or security. Just trying to get a sane perspective on reasonable security in the real world.]

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#2 CaveDweller2

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 03:28 PM

WEP is very easily broken. Someone sitting out side with a laptop, the right software and about 45 mins can easily crack WEP, lots less time if you have 4 or 5 people surfing or downloading.

Chances are you wouldn't need to spend that kind of money. Firmware updates are your friend. Look at the router's manufacture site to see if it has an update to the router's firmware, chances are fairly good they do and it will add WPA2 to the router. If you have XP with SP2 or Vista or Win7 you should be able to use WPA2 if you use the Windows Zero Config to manage your wireless. You can also see if there is a firmware update for each of the wireless cards.

No security is perfect if someone really wants to get into your network. But as my father once told me "Locked doors only keep honest people honest"

Hope this helps thumbup.gif

Associate in Applied Science - Network Systems Management - Trident Technical College





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