New IBook owner - Wireless Router question

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by sculnan, May 22, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie

    When I came home and tuned on my IBook for the first time it recognized my wireless router/network and I was able to log on immediately. It was enabled from my old PC settings.

    How do I prevent others in neighborhood from accessing my router/network?

    Thank you in advance
  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Edit: Almost forgot the obvious: Change the name of your network. The default name is the worst you can have. An easy to guess dictionary word almost as bad. Choose an easy to remember, hard to guess, mix of letters and numbers (which also is a good tip when it comes to choosing passwords).

    Enable WPA or WEP (if you have to, even though WEP is totally busted) and choose a LONG password (20 characters, no dictionary words, WPA with short passwords are also busted). Either should do the trick for a home user (unless you download large amounts from the net, then you should change the password at regular intervals).

    Turn off SSID broadcasting. Having that on is like having a lighthouse telling everybody that "here's a network!".

    If you and only you are going to use the network you can enable MAC filtering, and add the MAC address from your machine(s) wireless network card as the only ones allowed to use the network. Addresses can be spoofed, though but along with the other measures you should be pretty safe.

    A person looking for easy wireless access will probably go elsewhere, since there will always be people that doesn't enable the security features, or even know there are security features. :(
  3. macrumors newbie

    thanks for the response...I went to system preferences and saw nothing you I in the right spot? step by step would help.

    again, thanks in advance
  4. Moderator


    Staff Member

    All these settings should be set up on the wireless router. So you need to access that, somehow.
  5. macrumors regular

    I typically just use a combination of WPA and MAC filtering. I'm not a huge fan of masking SSIDs (this could be a foolish practice on my part).
  6. macrumors G5

    I don't broadcast my SSID (non default, non dictionary word) and have MAC filtering, nothing else protecting it. It seems to be fine. I know MAC spoofing can be done, but what are the chances of someone guessing my iBook's address out of the millions of possible combinations?
  7. Moderator


    Staff Member

    There are packet sniffing tools that would obtain your MAC very fast.

    So I strongly suggest you turn on WPA (or even WEP), too. Along with hidden SSID and MAC filtering you then are as safe as can be, and as mentioned before, someone looking for wireless nets would probably find it wasn't worth the hassle...
  8. macrumors regular

    Who needs to guess when Kismet will tell you what it is? Kismet will show your "hidden" SSID and your client's MAC address. It's then a trivial activity to associate with your AP. You should at least enable WEP if you're at all bothered about the security of your network.

    The first time I ran Kismet, I was rather disturbed at quite how much information was plainly visible outside my network.
  9. macrumors 6502

    All of the settings mentioned are held on the router, not on the iBook. Open your web browser and type into the address line and hit enter. That'll open the router's html interface. As for what security steps to take, use all of them; the more layers of security you apply, the less likely someone is going to be bothered to try and get into your computer. WRT the above suggestions:
    • Don't turn off SSID Broadcasting; a lot of computers (my iBook incuded) have major problems connecting to a wireless network with the name hidden.
    • Use MAC filtering - just turn it on on the router and enter your iBook's MAC address - it's in the System Preferences under the details for your Airport Card.
    • Use WPA Personal security if you can; just turn it on and specify a hard-to-guess (but easy-to-remember) password. When you connect your iBook to the network, you just specify the protocol you are using (WPA) enter the password and you're in. Your router might not support WPA though (I have a recent Netgear, which does) so use WEP if you have to.
    That is enough security for most people - unless you're really paranoid. Hope that helps.
  10. Moderator


    Staff Member

    My iBook has no problem with hidden SSIDs. I have two hidden networks at home and my University has three hidden networks (don't ask). My iBook find all 5 without any hassle when I enter the SSID manually.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Maybe it's my router: I turned off Broadcast SSID and got in a right mess. I've heard of others - PC and Mac - having the same problem. Maybe there's a way around it, but I wasn't so concerned about the network name being visible.
  12. macrumors 68040


    It might help if we knew what kind of hardwear you were using.

    For example, router settings for my AEBS are done through the Airport Admin Utility. For a Lynksis you have to go in through your web browser, usually

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