How do I know my network is secure?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by macswitcha2, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. macswitcha2 macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
  2. VPrime macrumors 68000


    Dec 19, 2008
    London Ontario
  3. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    serious question....

    come one, this site use to be helpful and full of mature people, what happened?
  4. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

    Apr 16, 2009
    To be fair, he had a point. Go to an external source and try to access your network/ files from there. If you cannot, you're doing it right.
  5. MasterDev macrumors 65816

    Sep 14, 2009
    I second that.
  6. springyfox macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2009
    The truth of it is, is that if it is a wireless network then it is NEVER 100% secure, there will always be somebody somewhere who could get into it if they really wanted to. The question you need to ask yourself is "Is my network secure enough for me?".

    Are your neighbours expert hackers? Is there anything on your network that is really worth somebody's time and resources hacking in to it.

    As long as you have some form of security on your network, I would recommend at least WPA/WPA2 with MAC address filtering then you should be ok!
  7. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    Don't forget hidden SSID
  8. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Hiding you SSID is more hassle than its worth for the protection that it gives.

    Your best bet for a secure network is to use WPA/WPA2 with mac address filtering (only if you are a bit paranoid) and you should be fine.
  9. springyfox macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2009
    Very good point. In my experience, all a hidden SSID will achieve, is to randomly stop my own devices from connecting to the network from time to time.
  10. MasterDev macrumors 65816

    Sep 14, 2009
    Well hiding it is usually more simple than setting up WPA... Most routers have it as a setting to change.
  11. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    To know this you need to check if your router asks for a password when you try to connect to your WiFi. If it does then you have a certain amount of security. Even if you have WEP security (which is the least secure) the chances of someone trying to hijack your network isn't very high (requires specific hardware). To avoid this slight vulnerability it is best to use WPA or WPA2, which is nearly impossible for regular people to break into and also has the convenient ability to have a regular password of your choice (rather than WEP's passwords which are random characters).

    If you login to your router you can find the answer to what security you use. Do you know how to login to your router?
  12. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    Ok, the way I access my internet is once I access my mac. Its automatically on all the time. I don't have to give a password to go in. The router I have provides internet access to three of my macs ( imac and macbook and emac). Do I have to use someones computer to se if they can access my internet or what?

    Keep in mind I am highly computer illiterate and so when you guys throw terms at me, I read them and see them but don't know the directions to get to them Its like knowing where NEW YORK is at on the map but if I was to travel by road there, without directions, i won't know how to get there.
  13. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    Ok, I went into mu airport network preference and see that I do have a wep password set up. However, I don't see any visibility of WPA or WPA2 options.
  14. fireshot91 macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2008
    Northern VA
    Go in Firefox, Safari, or your favorite web browser, and in the address field type in That SHOULD take you to your routers settings page.
    If not, you either changed your IP address of your router, or it's :p.

    Login, You can easily find out the default password for your router brand by a simple Google. In the "Setup" page, it should give an option/drop down arrow of what security you want. You want to pick WPA/WPA2. And then choose your password. You will have to change your password on each of your computers, since it (right now) has the old password.
  15. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    I give up! Two days to get this thing working and no success. So much for the majestic Mac machines and OS X that people literally worship. Its just another imperfect device and system that frustrates consumers just as much as any other OS.

    Ok...I'll try but just know that I am experiencing windows and feeling like I have a PC and not a mac.

    Thanks for the help but it seems impossible rigt now to get the security I wan't. I just have to live with this and accept that Macs are just another machine.
  16. Maxpilot macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2009
    You are blaming the Mac because you don't know how to set up your router?
    You need to set your router to use WPA or WPA2. Give it a passcode that you will remember. Let it reboot. Then go into network and add the passcode you set for you router.
  17. Decrepit macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2007
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    I'm glad you wrote that, because if it hadn't been said, I'd have posted that.

    If one is worried about people using their network for free, there is one layer of security.

    If someone is worried about somebody sniffing the data that's being broadcast, there's another.

    If somebody wants in, and has the budget, they're getting in.

    As far as securing the WLAN, again I agree. Lock it down with WPA2, and a list of devices that are allowed in with all others being blocked.

    Broadcast the SSID, because there are only 11 channels available in the USA. If you're using public airspace, you should announce that you are. It helps you troubleshoot bad connections. If you are hiding your network, but using channel 11, the person next door wouldn't know not to.
  18. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    I guess all that is being said is chinese to me..I can learn better if i see it.
  19. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Okay, lets start with the basics. What company made your router? Is it an Apple Airport?
  20. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2009
    Well, I don't worship any OS but I do like both Windows and OS X. Of course Macs are not prefect, nothing is. :D

    But you shouldn't be blaming the computer when the problem exists with YOU and your ROUTER.

    Google your make/model of your router and find what IP you need to log in to it. For example to get to my router I open firefox and type in and I get taken to a page where I can set up my router settings. Try reading the instructions that came with your router if you have them.
  21. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    No, my router is not an apple airport, it is a Verizon router Westell ADSL2.
  22. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    Ok I found it, I'm at the page, now what I need to do is set up my settings?

    Ok, I found teh page and try to go into wireless settings but it does not accept my password.
  23. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    If you haven't set a password on your router before, then it's still got whatever the default username/password that came on it -- remember, this is just for the router, and has nothing to do with your computer user account. You can probably find the default user/pass googling around a bit, but it's probably one of the following:


    Try those until one gets you in, then immediately change the password to something non-obvious (that you'll remember, of course).
  24. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    #24 of them worked!!! Now what? I don't see any way of changing the password or giving a user name.

    For now, lets put that aside, I was able to go to my advance settings and see teh options for the different levels of security. I do see an option for WPA /WPA 2? How do I do a mac address filtering?
  25. pdjudd macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2007
    Plymouth, MN
    Its going to be different from model to model but the option for MAC filtering will be under some kind of an advanced security options.

    As for changing the username and password - that is found in the administration portion of your routers setup - their will be an option for that.

    Its probbaly a good idea to download a copy of your routers manual so that you have a good reference guide to know what is where.

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