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Old 18-01-2007, 01:36
RobAnt
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First of all, this mini-tutorial simply gives you the basic settings for a Windows XP PC - the same TCP/IP settings are for either a LAN or a Wireless connection to your router, and an ADSL or a Cable connection to the Internet.

It also assumes you have a little understanding of how to find your Network Connections.

Because this can only be a GENERIC set of instructions, you should AT LEAST attempt to read the manual to your router and set it up so that it can connect to your ISP. Every router make/model is different, so please be sure to read the manual BEFORE asking any supplementary questions.

No doubt someone will assist in this project by posting a list of links to the various manufacturers websites or wherever manuals can be found.

1 The Router
First of you, you should surf to the router's setup page (per the manual) and ensure that DHCP is enabled on the private side AND the public side.

Remember, the private (your) side is a server, whereas the public (your ISPs) side is a client. NAT (Network Address Translation) is what enables your PCs to communicate with the outside world.

A client receives a service, whereas a server provides a service, as the names imply. Your router is receiving a service from your ISP and it is providing a service to your computers.

{Internet - WWW etc} <-> [public side DHCP client{Router} private side DHCP server] <-> your computers

Your router probably has a Status page - it should say something like:

WAN Settings: -

Connection type: Dynamic IP

(unless you have been allocated a fixed IP number by your ISP - and even then, I have found that Dynamic IP works just as well, and you get your fixed IP number assigned because it is allied with your login name/password).

IP Address: a public routeable IP number

(this could be anything, but not anything starting 192.168 or 10.0. - and there are a number of others).

LAN Settings:-

IP Address - a non-routeable IP number

(ie 192.168.0.1)

DHCP Server - Enabled

2 The Computers
Go to each PCs Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) Properties for Local Area Connection (LAN) or Wireless connection, whichever applies.

You only need to set the TCPIP numbers manually if there is an error in your Router's configuration. As you've just ensured that DHCP is turned on, you should set your TCP/IP settings as follows: -

On the General Tab: -

Obtain an IP address automatically
Obtain DNS server address automatically

Click on the Advanced button.

Add a Default Gateway
Put the IP address of your router in here.

On many routers this will be 192.168.0.1 - on some others it will be 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.254 or 192.168.1.254 - but it could be in some other range - however, you can usually find this information in the Quick Start Guide OR somewhere in the Router's LAN settings. Anyway, I'm pretty certain you know which it is by now.

Ensure Automatic metric is also ticked.

The following settings can also be applied while in this "Advanced" mode.

Click on DNS and ensure "Append primary and connection specific DNS suffixes" and ensure there is also a tick in the "Append Parent Suffixes". Then tick Register this connection's address in DNS. (Not being a TCP/IP specialist, I'm not sure whether these are strictly required, but they work for me).

My WINS Tab setting also has "Enable LMHOSTS lookup" and Netios is set to Default.

My Options tab has Optional setting TCP/IP filtering, the properties of which are set to Permit All.

When you click on OK to complete the "Advanced" setup, check that the "Alternate Configuration" tab is set to Automatic private IP address.

Those settings should work for every router with the private side DHCP server working correctly. You should never need to set a static IP address with these settings. I would be more inclined to say that there was an inconsistent setting in the router.

However, you may need to set a fixed IP address if you intend using a file sharing system. This also means that you might need to configure your firewall - and is beyond the scope of this particular guide - that would be far too advanced for most users.

3 Firewalls

If you still cannot make a connection to your router and internet, it is possible that you have a software firewall installed. It might be ZoneAlarm, or one of several others.

Continue to read this thread for generic instructions on how to set up your firewall.

I hope this helps.

Last edited by RobAnt : 18-01-2007 at 01:50.
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Old 19-01-2007, 14:21
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The key to ensuring all the PCs on your network can share printers, files and other services is to ensure that the each PC "trusts" the local area network.

But then, that's the key with every Personal Firewall (although some might be able to detect and configure themselves automatically, or by asking questions during installation).

For those that need instruction on how to do that with ZA Free: -

Double click on the ZA icon in the system tray.

ZA Control Panel appears.

Click "Firewall" on the left.

A page with two "Tabs" appears. Main & Zones.

Click the Zones Tab.

Bottom Right Corner of the Zones page, click Add>> And IP Range (it pops out to the right of the Add button).

Type into the two boxes the starting and ending address of your LAN: -

ie 192.168.0.0
192.168.0.254

Type LAN into the description.

Click OK and exit your way out of ZA - your finished.

Do that on every PC in your LAN.

If your PCs use other software firewalls, those firewalls may need to be similarly configured. But obviously I cannt post the instructions on how to do that for every known firewall, as they're all likely to have different ways of doing it. You should consult the manual.
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Old 22-01-2007, 16:15
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Moving to Cable from ADSL

If you are moving over from an ADSL to a Cable connection please note that in the majority of cases you will NOT be able to use the same Router.

As with everything in life, there is an exception, and that is where you have a separate ADSL modem which connects to a cable router via an Ethernet cable. NTL/Blueyonder/Telewest supply the modem replacing your ADSL one.

Q. How do I tell whether I need a new router?

A. If your Router connects directly into a telephone socket with or without a micro-filter adapter. You will need to replace the router.

Moving to ADSL from Cable

If you are moving from Cable to ADSL you can do one of two things:

Connect your current router to an ADSL modem with an Ethernet port

or

Replace your current router for an ADSL modem equipped router.

You will need to program both an ADSL modem or ADSL Router with your login name and password.

Special Instructions for Wireless Routers

You should not need to do anything else , but if you use a WIRELESS Router you will need to reset your WEP or WPA security and SSID, but the good news is that you can give it the same details that your previous Router had.

The easiest way to do this is with a wired connection from a computer to the router.

This will avoid having to reconfigure your wireless computers.

I do not recommend you try to do it with a wireless connection - it would mean reconfiguring your PC TWICE, and gets awfully complicated - especially if you make a mistake.

Last edited by RobAnt : 22-01-2007 at 16:27.
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Old 22-01-2007, 18:13
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How Do I know which router I have?

Click this link for a picture.

On the left is an RJ11 plug and socket.

Think RJ11 = modem. ADSL or Dial up, it doesn't matter. You can only use that socket to connect to a telephone line. This is the only type of plug that will go into an ADSL microfilter adapter.

In the main a Router will have a total of 5 Network Sockets (but can be less or more).

If it has ANY RJ11 sockets: -

It is unsuitable for Cable use.

If you are on ADSL you either change it or get an ADSL modem, which will have one of each type of socket.

If you are on Cable (NTL/BlueYonder/Telewest) you must change it.

I've got a separate ADSL Modem that plugs into my Router - what do I do if I change to Cable?

Simple. Turn everything off - including the Cable Modem (supplied by your ISP).

Remove the Ethernet cable from the old ADSL modem and plug it into the Cable Modem instead, leaving the other end of the cable in the WAN or Internet socket of the Router.

Turn on the Cable Modem (wait 5 secs)
Turn on the Router (wait 5 secs)
Turn on your computers.

Surf away.

I've had to get a new ADSL Router because I'm swapping to ADSL from Cable, what do I do?

I'm afraid you've got to set up the Router from scratch. But I have referred to this previously.

Last edited by RobAnt : 22-01-2007 at 18:41.
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Old 27-01-2007, 18:08
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A Special Note On Sharing Printers

If you want to share a printer on your network, most people will opt to do it via a host PC. So long as you know that the PC must be turned on to share the printer, and you take into account the issues surrounding firewalls, given above, that shouldn't be a problem.

To achieve that, if you haven't done so already run the Network Setup Wizard (in Control Panel).
Then share it as you would a folder (right click on the printer's icon (Control Panel/Printers and Faxes) select sharing..., enable sharing and give it a name).

The vast majority of Printers, especially USB ones, can only be done this way or via a dedicated "Print Server".

Some printers, those with Ethernet network sockets, have their own Print Servers built in, so consider the following for both independant "Stand Alone" network printers, and those you connect to a print server. Some print servers can manage a number of printers, but that's a bit too advanced to go into here.

Printer discovery software is usually provided for stand alone network printers and print servers. Hewlett Packard generally use a piece of software called HP Intall Network Printer Wizard - click here to download it. It is free

Sharing Network Devices

A Stand Alone Network Printer, Print Server and any other networkable device, such as a file and print server, a network scanner, fax machine, copier, or a P2P sharing PC should have a FIXED IP ADDRESS. This is to ensure they don't "float" around the network with different addresses every time they are turned on and off, or the Router is reset

If you study the device's manual, there will probably be a way to give that device one of these fixed addresses.

Configuring Your Router

Almost all Routers with a DHCP server built in give you the opportunity to reserve a range of numbers that it WON'T allocate automatically. So you should reserve (or find) a range of numbers on your router's DHCP server that are never allocated automatically. I usually reserve 192.168.0.2 to 192.168.0.10, if my Router's IP address is 192.168.0.1.

Note that some Routers have a page where you can reserve a "Pool" of addresses that the DHCP server can allocate automatically. Others might assume the Pool is everything from 192.168.0.2 to 192.168.0.254 and you are given the opportunity to reserve a range within that pool for your own use.

My Router, a Sitecom WL-122, for instance, has a DHCP tab in the Setup, and your Router will probably be very similar. By clicking on the tab I can see that:

DHCP Server: Enabled
IP Pool Starting Address: 192.168.0.10
IP Pool Ending Address: 192.168.0.200
Netmask: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: 192.168.0.1
Lease Time (minutes): 300

So, in my case, 192.168.0.2 to 192.168.0.9 and 192.168.0.201 to 192.168.0.254 are available for devices with fixed IP addresses. The Router itself is the Gateway, 192.168.0.1.

Give the device one of the numbers in the reserved IP ranges manually (such as 192.168.0.3 in my case). The remainder can be for other devices. As I mentioned earlier, you will need to consult the manual for each device find out how to assign a fixed IP address.

This should ensure the device's stability.

Last edited by RobAnt : 27-01-2007 at 18:15.
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Old 30-01-2007, 13:18
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Introduction

These instructions are for users who connect to the Internet via a Router, Wireless or not. If you don't have an Internet Router, and you have a number of computers then I STRONGLY recommend you get one. If you don't have an Internet connection, then a simple Network Switch or Network Hub will do instead, and all the computers should connect through whichever device you select.

While there is an alternative method of sharing your Internet connection using Windows "Internet Connection Sharing" (ICS), it is both complicated and confusing for the majority of home users.

A Router offers greater flexibility and wired ones are very simple, reliable and secure with the minimum of fuss. Wireless Routers do the same job, without stringing cables all over your home, but require some grasp of the technologies involved and, unless you use the security options they provide, are inherently insecure by default.

I must, at this point, make the distinction between Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

XP Home offers a simple file sharing solution, which gives you the ability to share files, folders, and printers.

XP Professional, however, in addition to the simple file sharing solution offered by XP Home, offers the ability to share files and folders to specific individuals, or groups of individuals, based on the level of permissions granted to them. User (or Group of users) "A" can have a different access level to User (or group of users) "B". They can even be given access to completely different files and folders. And each user can be given access to multiple groups. You can see that would be very difficult to explain here.

It is beyond the scope of this tutorial to go into individual permissions granting, as offered by XP Professional. XP Professional is just that, a OS designed for use in a professional environment and, as such, is best left to those that have the qualifications and technical expertise.

So for XP Home users here is a quick precise on how to share your files and folders. Printing has already been covered, above, but this procedure is required if you want to share a printer.

How to Enable Sharing Files & Folders

To be honest, it is really quite simple. Do the following on ALL the computers on your network, it prepares them for sharing, even if you don't have anything on some computers to share.

1. Note what I have said about personal firewalls, above. Sharing won't work if your personal firewall is not configured correctly.

2. If your want to share files on a PC running XP Professional that deserves special consideration which I cannot cover here. The subject is deep and complicated. See above.

3. Open Control Panel and start the Network Setup Wizard.

4. Click Next - on this page there is a link to a "Checklist for creating a network". In this scenario I have already assumed that you are connecting to the Internet via a router. By all means take a look at the checklist, but you should already have the components necessary.

5. Click Next again.

6. You are asked what sort of network you are running. These instructions do not cover the 1st statement or the 3rd statement. You have a router - which Microsoft calls "a residential gateway"! Click on it's Radio button (that is the 2nd, middle statement).

However, look at the examples and the link concerned with learning more about network configurations. They'll help you understand what is going on, a little.

7. Click Next

8. Give the current computer a description and a name. They may be filled in already - you can change them if you like.

9. Click Next

10. You are asked to enter a Workgroup name. This is usually preconfigured with the word MSHOME or WORKGROUP. So long as all the computers use the same Workgroup name it doesn't really matter what you enter. The default will be fine, if they're all the same. Write down the word you first use, and enter the same name (if you need to change it) on the other computer(s).

11. Click Next

12. You are asked if you want to turn on or turn off file and printer sharing. Unless you're running the wizard to turn off sharing, click on the "Turn on file and printer sharing"

13. Click Next - You should make a note of the settings presented now - so that you can refer to them later, if necessary.

14. Click Next - The Network is configured at this point. You don't have to do anything. Wait for the following prompt screen.

15. If all the computers are Windows XP Home SP2 (which they should be) Click the final Radio button "Just finish the wizard, etc...". You only need to create a setup disk, or use the Windows XP CD if your other computers are NOT Windows XP.

16. Click Next.

17 Read the Links about "Using the Shared Documents Folder" and "Sharing Files & Folders"

All you need to do now is decide which files and folders you want to share, and follow the instructions in those two links. They are very easy, so I'm not going to repeat them here. If necessary, Print them out, or copy them by hand!

18 Click Finish.
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Old 31-01-2007, 23:58
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There are two important facts to remember about AOL:

1. The router must have it's own UNIQUE login name and password, and it must me a full access one. If you use the software to log into AOL you must use a different username & password. You don't need to use AOL's software at all, but it is useful to get to your email or use parental controls, etc.

If you login using the same username you will stop anyone else logging in, and the router will allow only the logged in computer to access the Internet, regardless of any other settings.

2. The router must be configured with the MTU set at 1400.
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Old 01-02-2007, 00:15
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If only one computer can access the Internet at any time, there are four common mistakes that could trigger that behaviour.

1. You are an AOL user and you are logging in with the same username as the Router.

2. You are a Cable user with Telewest/Blueyonder or NTL (Virgin Media). You may have plugged the modem cable into a LAN port on your Router instead of the WAN or Internet port! If the (RJ45) plug doesn't fit, it's the wrong Router.

3. You are an ADSL User (including AOL - but NOT Telewest/Blueyonder/ NTL/Virgin Media Cable) and you have a separate ADSL Ethernet modem. As in condition 2, above, you may have connected the modem to a LAN port on the Router instead of the WAN or Internet Port. If the Router has a small (RJ11) plug, discard the modem and plug the Router directly into the special micro-filter and that into the telephone line.

4. You have a spare smaller socket on the back of the Router that won't take the modem cable, so you've put it into one of the four or so sockets that it does fit. You have a Router with a built in ADSL modem and that plugs directly into your telephone line (and needs to be configured) if you have ADSL. Or you are on Cable so have the wrong Router.
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Old 06-02-2007, 12:40
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Introduction

Recently we have seen a growth in the NAS (Network Attached Storage) market which make hard drives available to any number of PCs on your local area network.

Part of this growth is also down to a wish for people to be able to make their music and video files available for use on their HiFi's and televisions.

Many of these devices with shareable hard drives wouldn't normally allow you to write data to them because they don't contain a sufficiently sophisticated Network Operating System (NOS). They normally connect to computers via USB, which is inconvenient because it might mean having to remove it from your HiFi/TV every time you want to write new files.

However, Ximeta via their own NDAS (Network Direct Access Storage) technology, have now made both reading & writing over a network possible.

You'll find this technology in devices such as "Netdisk" hard drives and Multi Media Centres marketed in the UK by companies such as Freecom and Sweex, and in the US by MediaGate and, of course, Ximeta.

Firewall Implications

If you have a firewall, such as ZoneAlarm, please note that NDAS doesn't use the TCP/IP protocol to communicate. NDAS uses a protocol called LPX (Lean Packet Exchange).

In order to get the best performance from your NDAS device you might need to grant your PCs associated programs and drivers access to your LAN.

In ZoneAlarm you need to:

Open the ZA control panel

Click on Program Control (left)

Scroll through the list of programs that appear on the right and look for anything that says NDAS - I have "Bind Management", "Device Management" and "Software and Device Drivers".

LEFT Click on the Access Trusted and Server Trusted columns for each of them and select "Allow" (green tick). You don't need to do it for the Internet sides.

That's it. You can now close the control panel.

I found a huge performance improvement and much better stability once I'd done this.

However, please note that the drivers for NDAS and the firmware in the devices are still a bit flakey, in my view, and you might find you have to reset the device frequently.

You should only expect a read/write speed of about 10Mbps. Interestingly, the Multi Media drives, in my experience, can easily access files stored on Windows & Linux machines at full speed. Ho Hum.

Last edited by RobAnt : 06-02-2007 at 12:42.
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Old 06-02-2007, 19:58
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This thread is not one where you should discuss the merits or demerits of the various technologies. So I will try to limit this to providing you with the information you need to make your own choices.

There are several different methods, some of which involve encrypting the data being transmitted on your wireless network, some of which don't. Many of them can be used in concert with each other.

All of them involve changing settings on your Wireless Access Point or Wireless enabled Internet Router.

Obviously, I cannot go into detail about how you implement these security methods on your router, but I will try to give generic information which you can use in conjunction with your Router's and Wireless Network Card's manuals.

Further, I am not going to list every available security feature, just the commonly accessible ones. There are others, such as IPSec (IP Security) and WIDS (Wireless Intrusion Detection Systems), these are best left to professionals for the majority of us, the methods described below are more than adequate, although nothing is truly private on a wireless network and, to be honest, with the right tools and very sensitive receiving equipment, wired networks aren't that secure either.

Unencyrpted Methods

On unencyrpted networks you should firstly know that when you go to a "https" site (to, say, pay for something with your credit/debit card) the data is still encrypted, so you don't need to worry too much about identity theft, but other information across your network and unencyrpted Internet sites are broadcast "in the clear" - so be warned.

If you are on a restricted bandwidth tariff with your ISP it is essential you protect against unauthorised use.

SSID

The SSID (Service Set Identifier) is the Wireless Network name for your Router.

A. Changing the SSID

A good idea. Do it.

Your network will have a unique name that you configure yourself once, and then select from a list when configuring your wireless network cards. If everyone in your neighbourhood uses the same make of Router, and same default SSID with no other security, you could end up never using your own network and piggybacking someone elses instead. Or worse, someone else could end up piggybacking your network and affecting your Internet/Local Area Network speed.

A unique SSID will prevent that, plus help you identify your own network from the clutter of other networks in your neighbourhood.

Not really a Security measure as it doesn't hide anything at all. It is simply a sensible way to identify your network.

B. Hiding the SSID

You can often hide the SSID, so the network can't normally be seen by non-authorised computers and other network devices. For your computers to see the Router you will need to manually add the name to your Network Card's driver software configuration before it will acknowledge the network is there.

There is little security involved here. Passers by and neighbours won't be able to attach to your network accidentally, but Wardrivers & Hackers (click) can easily detect your network and can both monitor your standard network traffic and make use of your network/Internet bandwidth.

But it can be used in combination with any other security method.

Useful, but it means you have to manually configure every Wireless PC you intend using, so inconvenient for the limited amount of protection it gives. Having said that, you might have to manually enter any encyrption keys anyway, this just makes that process that little bit more complicated (and stressful if you forget).

Hackers may also be able to gain access to your computers, if your PCs security isn't very good.

Absolutely no defence at all against Wardrivers, etc.

MAC Address Filtering

The MAC address is the absolutely unique hardware address given to every single individual networking device, wireless or not. This address is quite probably printed on the bottom your networking device, or on PCs it might be printed on individual PCI cards.

Your Router might have the ability to either filter out unwanted MAC addresses, and/or specifically allow others.

There is little security involved here. Passers by and neighbours won't be able to attach to your network accidentally, but Wardrivers & Hackers (click) can easily detect your network and can both monitor your standard network traffic and make use of your network/Internet bandwidth by pretending to be authorised devices in a method called "MAC Address Spoofing".

Hackers may also be able to gain access to your computers, if your PCs security isn't very good.

It can be used in combination with any other security method.

Useful, but you have to manage the router to allow new systems to attach to your network. If your laptop goes of for repair, and comes back with a new network port, you could end up being stumped wondering why it's not working now! Easy to fix, but more of an annoyance to you than security against hackers!

Encrypted Methods

Obviously encrypting a wireless network offers greater security. However, you must know, no domestically available encyrption system is completely uncrackable. For a start it has be postulated that "back door" keys exist for use by various authorities. If that's so, that information is "Top Secret" (or higher). But it doesn't matter, sufficiently powerful equipment can crack almost any code, with any seed, given time.

A seed? A seed is the basis upon which an encyrption code is based. A simple seed might by that z=a, y=b, etc. The seed here is a simple replacement of one letter by another. Another might be by changing letters for numbers. Anyway, there are more ways of encyrpting information than there is to man's ingenuity in creating them.

Some methods rely upon a "key" to unlock or measure how the characters are encyrpted. A good quality seed, therefore, can have a positive effect upon the "crackability" of a code. Use a word from the dictionary - a bad seed, all the software required to crack the code has to do is work its way through the words to find the seed. A much better seed is something completely random - but which both sender and receiver knows in advance.

Given time, even a random seed can be broken, however, which is why military systems try to run their encyrption systems against a different, completely random, seed every so often (I can't tell you how often - a, I don't know and b, I'd be shot - suffice to say the technology has moved on exponentially since my military communication days).

Anyway, lets get on with it. Here are the systems we are concerned with.


Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)

There are two levels of WEP Security known as 64bit and 128bit.

Both types require you to present either a hexadecimal key containing 10 or 26 characters in the hexadecimal numbering range - that is 0 to 9 and a to f therefore "1" is a valid hexadecimal character, as is "a", but "g" isn't nor is anything else from g to z inclusive (the case is irrelevant).

If you use a pass phrase or word, then you must note that different manufacturers may use a different way of generating the resulting hexadecimal characters. For that reason I recommend creating the keys and coping them, not the Pass Phrase or Pass word, into a notepad file which you can copy to a USB memory key, floppy disk or CD. YOu will then be able to copy and paste them when you are asked to by the computers. You might still have to type them in manually for some devices.

All of the systems I've seen give you the choice of 4 keys to use. Remember to select the same matching key that you intend using on the router and the wireless devices. It is provided so that you can rotate them from time to time in an attempt to foil hackers and wardrivers.

There are two sizes you can use, 64bit and 128bit. 64bit is easier to crack, but you only need to enter 10 characters from the hexadecimal range (actually, it is 5 pairs - but you don't need to worry about that) into each of the 4 key boxes - you only really need to enter the key into one of the for key boxes, and select that - but do all four and you can change them from time to time simply by changing the key number on both the router and all your network devices.

128Bit works identically, so far as you are concerned, the only difference being that you need a 26 character hexadecimal key.

WEP is relatively easily broken, no matter which you chose, 64 or 128bit, (if you chose it at all), but may be the only option in some circumstances, especially older devices.

There are reports of WEP security being broken within about 3 minutes, simply by examining the packets of data. However, it will protect you from casual passers by and neighbours, and might even deter more inept wardrivers and hackers.

Use it if you must, it's better than no security at all.

WPA - WiFi Protected Access

WPA & WPA2 uses either a passphrase or password of up to 64 characters. Using a word like a name or something from the dictionary, or a common phrase isn't a good idea, as it could be easily guessed - and cracking software will obviously try everything it can think of.

The best way to use these security levels is to create a string of 64 random characters (including spaces, if you wish) which you can copy to a notepad file and walk around your PCs with.

In actual fact, this is called WPA-PSK. There is a more secure system, which requires a server to distribute different keys randomly to each individual device - but it is fairly unlikely you would use this in a domestic environment.

WPA/WPA2 is the most secure system available for domestic WiFi networks. It isn't totally immune, but most wardrivers and hackers would bypass it in search of easier targets.

Recommendation

Personally, if I was setting up a Wireless Network, I would use WPA2 and change the SSID. Changing of the SSID being more for your own use, then for security reasons.

I would also use 64 completely random letters, numbers and acceptable punctuation, such as spaces, to make it as hard as possible for the cracking software.

Last edited by RobAnt : 06-02-2007 at 20:11.
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Old 05-03-2007, 23:21
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Wireless Internet is delivered in a number of ways.

1. A mobile phone network.

If your mobile phone service is equipped with the right technology, you can use your mobile phone as a wireless modem. You can also buy special cards that plug into your laptop or PC that work on your mobile phone network. There are a number of different technologies involved, some faster than others.

2. A WiFi Wireless HotSpot.

Such as "The Cloud" or "BT OpenZone". These are usually franchised to restaurants, hotels, guest houses and pubs, etc.. In other words, privately owned public places. You may need to pay for using such a HotSpot - but some are provided at no extra charge to the user, if they are a customer. You will be able to use a standard WiFi Wireless Network device in your PC, Laptop/Notebook or PDA.

3. A Wireless Area Network.

Some towns and villages have a WiFi network that is open to use by the public. You may need to register before you can use it. It is similar, in practice, to a HotSpot and you will be able to use a standard WiFi Wireless Network device in your PC, Laptop/Notebook or PDA.

4. A Domestic Wireless Network Device.

This is connected to your home Broadband connection. Typically a broadband ADSL Wireless Router, Cable Access Wireless Router or similar Wireless Access Points.

The difference between Wireless Routers and Wireless Access Points (AP) is that an AP doesn't have a built in DHCP server. A DHCP server gives your computer a unique number on that network, so that it doesn't get confused with other computers on the same network.

You will be able to use a standard WiFi Wireless Network device in your PC, Laptop/Notebook or PDA.
______

Conclusion

In essence Option 1 uses different Technology to Options 2, 3 and 4.

Options 2, 3 and 4 all use the same technology as far as your computers are concerned. You can use a standard WiFi device for these types of wireless connection.

Some PCs and Laptops/Notebooks already have these devices installed. Look for WiFi in the specifications.

All PCs and Laptops/Notebooks can be upgraded with a WiFi device if it isn't already built in.

Some PDAs have WiFi built in, and some can be upgraded - but not all!
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Old 22-03-2007, 13:42
RobAnt
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If you are suffering from a very slow Internet connection on Virgin Media Cable, I discovered that this may be a problem with settings on your Cable modem.

Firstly, make absolutely sure there is no virus or malware on your computer(s) that could be causing the problem.

If you are absolutely sure your computer(s) are free from any infestation give a call to Customer Support, Broadband Internet Faults on 150 (or the ordinary number if you don't have the cable telephone service).

Tell them of your woes, and ask if they can take you through the Cable modem settings, in case there is a problem there. They may be able to access it themselves, but in my case they couldn't.

In my case a setting called the "Channel Number" had changed - the apparent default being 4 - but had changed to 1.

Don't make any changes without talking to them first, you could potentially mess up the settings completely.

My service had been working for 5 years without a problem on the previous setting, so it is possible it either changed due to another problem. Alternatively the setting worked perfectly well, but some other change on the network reduced the setting's efficiency.

In any case, you must get help from VM before changing ANY settings on the modem. Which is why I'm not going to tell you how to change it here.
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Old 15-04-2007, 01:10
RobAnt
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Supplementary Notes

If you are running a software firewall, such as "ZoneAlarm" and want to share services, such as files and printers, you will need to "trust" your local area network before PCs can see each other. Instructions on how to do that are also given in the link above.

I do not recommend using the Windows XP firewall (which is turned on by default in XP SP2), as it does not protect your computer from acting as a source for nefarious actions, such as gathering information about you and sending it to criminals. Programs that "farm" such information may not always be picked up by anti-virus or malware detectors.

A one-way firewall, such as the one in XP, will not stop your PC from being used as one of many sources of a repeated nuisance attack on a webserver, or other Internet hosted service, in what is known as a "denial of service" attack. This might be totally silent to you, but causing a lot of trouble for someone else. These attacks can cause webservers and services to slow down and fail to respond to legitimate requests for data.

Some personal firewalls, such as ZoneAlarm for instance, specifically ask whether or not you want to give each new application (program) permanent or temporary access to the Internet. That can be a complicated question to answer and some research may be necessary.
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Old 04-09-2007, 02:25
RobAnt
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It is best not to post your queries and advice in this tutorial thread - if you want help, please raise a new thread.
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Old 14-10-2007, 16:02
RobAnt
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To protect your PC while on-line you need three different types of protection.

1. Firewall - this stops uninvited connections.

2. Anti-Virus - this protects your PC from programs specifically designed to destroy the integrity of any data or programs.

3. Anti-Spyware/Trojan - this protects your PC from being used as a tool by others to either obtain important information about you, or from using your PC to attack other PCs or networks on the Internet.

There are some applications which attempt to cover all three of these potential risks. Such amalgamated suites are usually labeled "Internet Security", whereas others cover only one of the issues - and they're often labeled accordingly.

Internet Security Suites are generally less favoured by experienced users because (a) they cost money and (b) are often seen as "performance hogs".

Personally, I make no specific recommendations, as one persons needs are another persons anathema. Buying a suite is okay, so long as your computer is powerful enough.

Suites generally have a single integrated "Front End" and include specialist firewalls, designed to filter sites that you wouldn't want your children or employees seeing, but allow access if an adult or trusted user is "logged in". Such tools are not available in free versions, so can have a measure of value for money attached, if you have a young family, commercial/business or shared network.
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Old 25-03-2008, 02:16
RobAnt
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Virgin are shortly to launch their 50mbps Cable Internet service.

You should be aware that most low cost domestic Internet Cable/DSL routers are only partially compatible with this service.

That is to say that they'll all work, but they won't offer you the best performance. The fact is that most domestic Routers are not capable of doing LAN->WAN and WAN->LAN transposition through the router, many topping out at about 20-35mbps. Obviously you will want something faster than that.

I have been contacting the manufacturers in order to confirm which models are compatible and have done a page on my personal website detailing what I know will work. Although, of course, I cannot make that an absolute guarantee, as manufactuers are perfectly at liberty to change the specifications without keeping anyone informed.

For now, though visit my website by simply clicking on my username RobAnt and selecting my homepage.
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Old 28-03-2008, 21:54
RobAnt
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If you use wireless, you will need an IEEE802.11n enabled router. IEEE802.11g simply isn't capable of working at full speeds even to just one client! Thanks to DLink Europe for bringing this to my attention.

However, some of those routers will be capable of passing the WAN/Internet service at full pelt via their LAN (RJ45) ports.

I am compiling a list of routers that do meet the criteria required and you can find that list by looking at my personal profile and visiting my "Homepages".

Good luck everyone who intends getting this service. I know for a fact I won't be able to afford or justify it myself!

Of course there are other factors that will also limit performance, such as your firewall. In fact, even the hardware firewall built into some routers may limit performance if enabled.


RobAnt
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Old 23-06-2011, 23:37
johnsim
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Supplementary Notes

If you are running a software firewall, such as "ZoneAlarm" and want to share services, such as files and printers, you will need to "trust" your local area network before PCs can see each other. Instructions on how to do that are also given in the link above.

I do not recommend using the Windows XP firewall (which is turned on by default in XP SP2), as it does not protect your computer from acting as a source for nefarious actions, such as gathering information about you and sending it to criminals. Programs that "farm" such information may not always be picked up by anti-virus or malware detectors.

A one-way firewall, such as the one in XP, will not stop your PC from being used as one of many mobility sources of a repeated nuisance attack on a webserver, or other Internet hosted service, in what is known as a "denial of service" attack. This might be totally silent to you, but causing a lot of trouble for someone else. These attacks can cause webservers and services to slow down and fail to respond to legitimate requests for data.

Some personal firewalls, such as mobile network security ZoneAlarm for instance, specifically ask whether or not you want to give each new application (program) permanent or temporary access to the Internet. That can be a complicated question to answer and some research may be necessary.
why do the attacks cause cause webservers and services to slow down and fail to respond to legitimate requests for data? I don't see why windows XP is not good. can you explain? THANKS
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