Completely securing an Airport Express?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Kidman13, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. Kidman13 macrumors regular

    Kidman13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #1
    I was thinking of buying an Airport Express to use with the Macbook that I am also going to purchase, but because I'm going to college and going to be living into a dorm with probably a few geeky residents, I was wondering if there's a way to completely 100% (or atleast 99%) secure my wireless conection.

    Is this possible and if so does anyone have any links as to how to do it?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #2
    The only way to secure your Airport Express 100% is to shut it off and keep it in a safe... ;)

    Seriously:
    - Under Wireless security enable WPA2 Personal and set a long (~20 keys) non-dictionary password. (Remember to have a equally secure admin password for the AE, too.)
    - Set it in G-only mode (unless you have any B-only devices).
    - Check the Create a closed network button (which is the same as stopping the broadcasting of the network's SSID)
    - Under Access Control, add the MAC addresses of just the machine(s) you want to have access to the network.

    The last two measures are not secure by them selves, since both are easily circumvented by wardrivers, but every little bit helps, right...?

    (I've not bothered with MAC filtering myself, but I do have hidden the SSID and have a very long and secure WPA2 password.)
     
  3. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #3
    Bear in mind that if you're sharing a dorm with anyone who is remotely techy who has access to the Express, they could reset it to factory defaults and chance the password etc at any time... but there's no way round that except keeping it in a locked room.
     
  4. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #4
    You can also limit the number of IP addresses the AE will lease at one time. (Located under 'Networking'). Just set the range large enough to accommodate just your devices.
     
  5. regre7 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    My theory would be that it wouldn't need to be entirely secure, but troublesome enough that the intruder moves on to a less secured network.

    I don't really worry about mine, but then again, I live in a rural community where only my closest three neighbors could get a weak signal.
     
  6. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #6
    My neighbor has a completely unsecured Linksys network, so I just turned off SSID broadcasting on mine. Who would even think of looking for mine when they've already got an open network on their list. :D
     
  7. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    #7

    First off no one really going to care about cracking you wireless. If you just have at set up to you just have to enter a key of some type (64 bit wep would be good enough) no one going to bother breaking it. There is zero real motivation to do it. Everyone has there own internet connection and it take time and effort to do it.

    People worry to much about that in the dorms. Just put at least a 128 bit wep (Wpa2 is better) and be done with it and not worry about it. I was one of the so called geeks in the dorms and I didnt give a hoot about it. no body really cares. And the ones who would care and want to that no matter what you do they are going to get around it.

    Just lock it down with some type of security and maybe turn off the SIDD on it and you are good. The only reason to turn off the SIDD broad cast is if the colleges does not allow you to have your own wireless in your dorm room (quite a few ban it) Turning off the SIDD means they will not spot it and not care.

    Doing any more than that really means a lot more work when wanting to get a friend on the network. All I did for the one in my dorm room is keep the key on a flash drive and had it over ot them and say here you go.
     
  8. Kidman13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Kidman13

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #8
    Allright I kinda understand. Do you guys know of any basic tutorials explaining it step-by-step (i'll be googling it too).

    And does the airport express have all the features that you guys said to use? (like WPA2, and hidden SSID?).
     
  9. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #9
    You change the AirPort express settings from the Airport Admin Utility (applications > utilities). Just select the Airport Express from the list and click "Configure" (you may have to enter a password if it isn't already stored in your keychain).

    Security settings are located in the "Airport" section in the Airport Admin Utility (click "Change Wireless Security"). From there just select WPA2 personal and create a good password (no complete words, use both letters and numbers, at least 12 characters - it helps to write it down).

    To turn off SSID broadcast, check "Create a closed network" (located underneath the "Change Wireless Security" button).
     

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