Different Types of Wireless Network Security

Don’t think that you are safe from intruders accessing your wireless network just because you are in the safety of your own home. Someone may want to get to your information for some reason, you never know.

Sending out a wireless internet signal without wireless network security is simply asking for trouble.

Do you want your neighbours having access to your internet connection, downloading files, and racking up bills? That’s how easy it is if you have no wireless network security.

It is not only important to know who is using your internet connection, it is also important to implement appropriate security measures so you are in control of access to your service.

You can implement various types of security with a wireless network through settings on your router. If you have any passwords, be sure to write them all down.

Different Types of Wireless Network Security

WEP

(Wireless Encryption Protocol) works by establishing a shared key between the clients (network cards) and the wireless router, then using the key to encrypt and de-encrypt the data passing between them. Most routers offer both 64-bit encryption and 128-bit encryption. It is usually a 10 number key for 64-bit, and a 22 number key for 128-bit. If you do not know this number, you cannot enter the wireless network.

WPA – PSK

(Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre Shared Key) is a Wi-Fi standard that improves upon the security features of WEP. To use WPA-PSK, a shared key or “passphrase” is set. Using TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol), WPA-PSK automatically changes the keys at a preset time interval, making it much more difficult for hackers to find and exploit them.

MAC address filtering

Each network adapter or card (wired or wireless) has a unique number assigned to it called a MAC address. So if you have a wireless USB adapter plugged into your computer, when connected to the internet, it will show its own mac address. Here’s how to find your mac address in Windows XP You can add all the mac addresses of the computers you want to access the network, therefore blocking any others.

Best Type of Wireless Network Security

Many people often ask, “what type of wireless network security should I use?” Well obviously the best wireless network security is the one that has the latest technology which is WPA2. However this does not mean it is the most popular as WEP is still widely used as it is easy to implement and understand for the average computer user.

Comparison of WEP and WPA

  • WEP uses a static encryption key that all devices on the network use. This key is transmitted in all packets and is at risk of being intercepted and cracked.
  • People setup a WEP and never bother to change it often. Most use the same key from the start.

Also see 5 Threats To Your Home Wireless Connection.

For instructions on how to setup these different network security types, consult your router manual, or online instructions for your particular brand. Also see these wireless security tips.

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