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Wireless security


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#1 kershawh

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 04:56 AM

Hi

 

As a newbie to Mac can anyone talk me through making my wireless connection secure. I have a Macook Pro and I am using a Netgear router.

 

Not too technical if at all possible.

 

Thanks in anticipation.



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#2 tgdetjen

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 06:59 AM

The first thing you want to do is browse to http://192.168.1.1

There you will be able to create a secure account ID and password to access your router.  If you do not change this, any hacker can create his own ID and password or use the default ID and password which are easy to guess.  When you have your account, you have the ability to log on to your router to do other things.  The router may come with a default of WEP encryption and you may want to change it to WPA, especially if you live in a congested area.  You can still leave it with WEP encryption which is an older form of encryption but can come as the default encryption on many routers.  It is OK if you live in an area where there are not many other people with networks.

 

The router account password is not to be confused with the ID for the router and password (usually printed on the router), which allow your wireless devices and wired devices to connect to the router and out to the Internet.  You probably do not have to change this.  In the event of power outages, the IDs and passwords may return to your default settings.  My router has a backup battery (FIOS has this.) so I usually do not have to go back to change the ID and password to access by router from my computer.  The battery only lasts for about 4 hours so if the outage is greater than that, I have to recreate the ID and password to administer the router settings.  (Also, if your router is ever rebooted, you need to go back and create the ID and password to access the router.)

 

The router probably has a built in firewall, which is probably set by default to basic security.  Again, that is OK.  When you access your router, you can also name the devices connected for your convenience.  (Again this will go back to default settings upon reboot or power outages unless you have a system similar to Verizon FIOS.)

 

I would advise you to also have a software firewall enabled on your computer.  Macintoshes come with a built in software firewall, but many other computers do not.  Not to worry, you can purchase software with a firewall.  By the way, do not put two software firewalls on your system as that can cause convicts and access problems.  Oh, and make sure you have anti-virus software on your computer(s).  That way, you will have a hardware firewall on your router and a software firewall on your computer(s).  We have two anti-virus programs (one for each of our macs).  One, Trend Micro Internet Security for Mac, and the other a free anti-virus program from Sophos, which is pretty darn good.  I don't know if they make a PC product but you can check.  There are other free anti-virus programs but in my opinion not as good as Sophos, which primarily markets to companies but offers a free anti-virus program to home users.  It is simple to use and they update the anti-virus definitions often.

 

Keep the phone number of your Internet Service Provider handy.  The can help you if you experience access problems.

 

This is all I know.  I hope it is helpful.

 



#3 kershawh

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:51 AM

Hi to you in NY

 

Many thanks for your post I found it very helpful.

 

Best regards

 

Harry  (UK)



#4 smax013

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 09:42 PM

The first thing you want to do is browse to http://192.168.1.1
There you will be able to create a secure account ID and password to access your router.  If you do not change this, any hacker can create his own ID and password or use the default ID and password which are easy to guess.  When you have your account, you have the ability to log on to your router to do other things.  The router may come with a default of WEP encryption and you may want to change it to WPA, especially if you live in a congested area.  You can still leave it with WEP encryption which is an older form of encryption but can come as the default encryption on many routers.  It is OK if you live in an area where there are not many other people with networks.


You should definitely change to WPA or better yet WPA2 if you can (i.e. both your router and your computer(s) support it). If WEP is your only option, then it is better than nothing...but it is a pretty weak encryption method, so WPA/WPA2 is the better choice.

FWIW, you may not be able to change the account ID used to configure the router, but the default ID is OK to use. You DEFINITELY should change the password used to configure the router.
 

The router account password is not to be confused with the ID for the router and password (usually printed on the router), which allow your wireless devices and wired devices to connect to the router and out to the Internet.  You probably do not have to change this.  In the event of power outages, the IDs and passwords may return to your default settings.  My router has a backup battery (FIOS has this.) so I usually do not have to go back to change the ID and password to access by router from my computer.  The battery only lasts for about 4 hours so if the outage is greater than that, I have to recreate the ID and password to administer the router settings.  (Also, if your router is ever rebooted, you need to go back and create the ID and password to access the router.)


Personally, I would strongly suggest that you change/customize the WiFi network SSID (i.e. your WiFi network "name") rather than leave it on the default. And you should definitely set your own password for your WiFi network, but it should still be a rather complex password.

From there, you could consider turn off the "broadcast" SSID feature (this makes it such that you WiFi network will NOT appear by default on computers...you will have to type in the SSID) and turning on MAC address filtering (note: that is MAC as is a unique network ID number rather than Mac the computer...this will only allow computers/devices with "approved" MAC addresses to connect to your WiFi network). Neither is full proof and can be relatively easily "beat", but it won't hurt.
 

The router probably has a built in firewall, which is probably set by default to basic security.  Again, that is OK.  When you access your router, you can also name the devices connected for your convenience.  (Again this will go back to default settings upon reboot or power outages unless you have a system similar to Verizon FIOS.)
 
I would advise you to also have a software firewall enabled on your computer.  Macintoshes come with a built in software firewall, but many other computers do not.  Not to worry, you can purchase software with a firewall.  By the way, do not put two software firewalls on your system as that can cause convicts and access problems.  Oh, and make sure you have anti-virus software on your computer(s).  That way, you will have a hardware firewall on your router and a software firewall on your computer(s).  We have two anti-virus programs (one for each of our macs).  One, Trend Micro Internet Security for Mac, and the other a free anti-virus program from Sophos, which is pretty darn good.  I don't know if they make a PC product but you can check.  There are other free anti-virus programs but in my opinion not as good as Sophos, which primarily markets to companies but offers a free anti-virus program to home users.  It is simple to use and they update the anti-virus definitions often.
 
Keep the phone number of your Internet Service Provider handy.  The can help you if you experience access problems.
 
This is all I know.  I hope it is helpful.


I tend to suggest Intego VirusBarrier for virus/malware protection on Macs.




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