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Need Help With Wireless Security On LinkSys Router Please...


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That site will explain all of those encryption methods. As for the best its hard to say, it really depends on your personal needs and how much security you think you need. In general the best would be wpa enterprise heres a quote "Based on the ratified IEEE 802.11i standard, WPA2 provides government grade security by implementing the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) FIPS 140-2 compliant AES encryption algorithm."

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Like the team says, it depends on where you have the router. If you're out in a farmhouse in Iowa, or a ranch in Wyoming, it's not all that important. If you're in an apartment building in New York City, it gets critical. Proximity of other potential squatters raises the chance that they'll have the time to get into your system

WEP - pretty decent when you use 128bit versus 64. Cracking can be done by someone with a moderately advanced level of expertise. Tools are readily available on the net and it would take 30-60 minutes to crack if they get lucky and a maximum of 4 hours if they're terribly unlucky.

WPA - more protection with any version - tools are available if you know where to look but it would take advanced hacker skill, some serious horsepower and say, 48 hours to crack. In the meantime, you'll surely notice it on your own connection - you'll crawl to a stop with all the cracking traffic.

Another alternative with Linksys is also using the MAC address. Pretty darned difficult to hack (spoof) a MAC address.  You can include the MAC addresses of every product on your network then limit the number of wireless ports that the router will provide IP addresses for. It would take someone who is a hard core, seasoned hacker. This is the option use - I run WEP/128 with 4 allowed IP addresses and have placed a neighbor's open router in my MAC exclude list. (also see #3 below)

3 items with Linksys routers -

1) change your admin password on the router - 'nuff said

2) change your SSID and block it after you get it set up. If they don't know your SSID, they can't get in and if you don't broadcast it, they'll need to run packet sniffers to get it and that's very advanced.

3) Make sure that all wireless devices support your protocol BEFORE you change to it. For instance, one of the Linksys wireless print servers does not accept any other format than WEP/128 and only the first security key phrase.

Bottom line: You will not stop a serious professional hacker focused on breaking your net security - but that is rarely what happens. The trick is to not give it away to anyone who drives by (war driving) - just make it difficult and time consuming and they will go look for a car with the keys in the ignition.

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