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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Wi-Fi Network Security Tech

Now that I have a new laptop (MacBook) and use it more frequently outside while relaxing, I'm getting more concerned about Wi-Fi security with my network. With my previous laptop the Wi-Fi reception was so poor with the card I had on it I never realized how far it actually extends out into the yard so I never took steps to lock things down. I had everything wide open. I also assumed the physical layout of my house and yard protected me since I sit on 4 acres of land that no one out near the street would be able to pick up my connection.

I've recently been War Walking (can I coin that term?) around my house with my Axim X51v and to see how far my Wi-Fi access extends and now realize I should lock down my Wi-Fi connection. I really only have to worry about two sides of my house, the west side (front of my house) where my bedroom is, extends the Wi-Fi quite some distance and I can pick it up out near the main street. On my southside where I have a small side road running by my house and back gate I can pick up a signal about 15-20 feet shy of the street with my PDA and not quite that far with my MacBook. The east side is a big lot (2 acres) that makes up my back yard and I do not get anything out that way and on my north side I have an elderly lady for a neighbor that I'm not to concerned about.

I'm currently only running the one Netgear 802.11G Router but I plan on adding another Router with WAP on the opposite side of my house plus a stand alone WAP out further into my yard near my gazebo and where I BBQ so I can listen to XM Radio online from my laptop and do some surfing while lounging around.

So here are my questions.
  1. If I configure my main router that is attached to the modem, will it carry my settings to the other router(s)?
  2. What security protocols should I enable? I'm thinking just MAC address's but I should I also enable WEP? Is it true that WEP also slows down the connection?
  3. I mentioned that I plan on adding a WAP in my backyard to help extend the Wi-Fi signal better out there. Will WAP and MAC security be sufficient or should I schedule times that access is available in that area through my router or turn it off all together whenever I'm not using it?
  4. Depending on how good this all works out and how secure I feel my network is, I've been thinking about adding some Wi-Fi camera's so I can monitor certain areas of my house. Anyone have any experience with these camera's? Any recommendations?
  5. What other things should I be worried about as far as my Wi-Fi connection is concerned?

Thanks for any help and sorry about being long winded.




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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 09:53 PM
 
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Everything you want to accomplish is possible if you buy the proper gear. Its a little too much to post out everything you would need but if you need help shopping and installing I could help you out. WEP and MAC will be more than enough for your security. To be effective above that you would need a server for 3 party authentication and it just becomes a pain in the ass. I could secure you network to hell but it doesn't do you any good if you can't use it. PM me if you want my help and I can send you my phone number.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 09:58 PM
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WEP and MAC filtering will be more than enough for a home network, especially considering you've been broadcasting with a wide open access point for this long.

--wes
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-14-2006, 10:02 PM
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WEP and MAC is all I do here and I can do the server setup and require authentication myself and I havent messed with it.

WPA is even better but WEP and MAC filtering should keep most out.

The trick is to not be the easiest prey.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stang2be
WEP and MAC is all I do here and I can do the server setup and require authentication myself and I havent messed with it.

WPA is even better but WEP and MAC filtering should keep most out.

The trick is to not be the easiest prey.

Exactly, you don't have to outrun the bear, just your slowest friend
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-21-2006, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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I think for the most part I'm secure due to the physical layout of my property. But I will be implementing MAC AND WEP. Any idea if my Axim X51v supports WPA?? Guess I'll be researching that this week.

Also due to the size of my house and surrounding yard I'm thinking about running two routers with AP's. Any idea if this will be a problem? I currently have the cable modem in my bedroom with a Netgear G Router w/AP on one side of the house and I was thinking about adding another Netgear G Router w/AP on the opposite side of the house where I have my guest desktop and a DVD with media center on it. I figure this will give me good all around coverage but I'm wondering how I can control the settings on both routers. Any ideas? How does this setup sound?




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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evil jose
I think for the most part I'm secure due to the physical layout of my property. But I will be implementing MAC AND WEP. Any idea if my Axim X51v supports WPA?? Guess I'll be researching that this week.

Also due to the size of my house and surrounding yard I'm thinking about running two routers with AP's. Any idea if this will be a problem? I currently have the cable modem in my bedroom with a Netgear G Router w/AP on one side of the house and I was thinking about adding another Netgear G Router w/AP on the opposite side of the house where I have my guest desktop and a DVD with media center on it. I figure this will give me good all around coverage but I'm wondering how I can control the settings on both routers. Any ideas? How does this setup sound?

How big is your house ? If it's a newer house and you don't have crazy interference you likely wont need another AP. My house is 2 stories and the Master is downstairs and away from all other rooms and it works great in all areas of the house. I can also access it in the garage, driveway and out by the pool(gets kinda week here due to the layout)

Not sure what you were getting at with the DVD-media center thing, but you wont be able to stream from a server with wireless if that's where you were going with that. I have a Terraserver that has a little over 300 DVD's on it and I attempted to run a wireless game extender to the Xbox that serves them and it can't handle the stream, it actually even chops the mp3's a bit. I have to run Cat5 to be able to run the DVD's and MP3's at any kind of quality.

--wes
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesman
Not sure what you were getting at with the DVD-media center thing, but you wont be able to stream from a server with wireless if that's where you were going with that. I have a Terraserver that has a little over 300 DVD's on it and I attempted to run a wireless game extender to the Xbox that serves them and it can't handle the stream, it actually even chops the mp3's a bit. I have to run Cat5 to be able to run the DVD's and MP3's at any kind of quality.

--wes
Are you sure you're using at least 802.11g? I have no problems streaming movies and music from my media pc to my laptop. I was also streaming episodes of a couple TV shows off my laptop to my Xbox onto my TV.

Both the media pc and Xbox are connected to the router with ethernet, with the laptop going wireless.

Now, I've never tried streaming full DVD's... I don't know that that's even possible, regardless of the connection. But xvid/divx/mpg/mov/wmv, I've never had any problems with.

Back on topic, WEP+MAC should be fine. WPA+MAC would be better, if all your devices connecting can do WPA. And just to err on the side of caution, keep the extended WAP to the gazeebo off while not in use. No reason to leave it on where the signal might get picked up by someone willing to try and break in.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkWolf
Are you sure you're using at least 802.11g? I have no problems streaming movies and music from my media pc to my laptop. I was also streaming episodes of a couple TV shows off my laptop to my Xbox onto my TV.

Both the media pc and Xbox are connected to the router with ethernet, with the laptop going wireless.

Now, I've never tried streaming full DVD's... I don't know that that's even possible, regardless of the connection. But xvid/divx/mpg/mov/wmv, I've never had any problems with.

Back on topic, WEP+MAC should be fine. WPA+MAC would be better, if all your devices connecting can do WPA. And just to err on the side of caution, keep the extended WAP to the gazeebo off while not in use. No reason to leave it on where the signal might get picked up by someone willing to try and break in.
The Xbox is what's connected to the wireless game adapter, that's the problem. It can't keep up. I can stream the DVD's from the server when connected to it via Ether, just not wirelessly.

--wes
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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To answer your question, I have a fairly large house and it's very old and uses a lot of stone in it's construction. My cable modem and router are on one side of the house and I get a fairly weak signal on the other side of the house where I have my guest desktop setup at.

My guest desktop uses a USB Netgear G Adapter for it's connection. It's fine for surfing but the signal is not the greatest. I also have my old big screen in that room along with one of these DVD Media Players that can stream media content from my main desktop. This is what it looks like:



Anyway, it can stream content over an ethernet connection so if I've gotta have a hub there it might as well be a router with a WAP on it. How would this work out?




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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesman
The Xbox is what's connected to the wireless game adapter, that's the problem. It can't keep up. I can stream the DVD's from the server when connected to it via Ether, just not wirelessly.

--wes
Still odd though, unless those game adapters aren't running at the speeds they should be. Even though my Xbox is hooked up to the router via ethernet, my laptop is still wireless, and I was streaming tv show episodes from my laptop to my xbox.

I'm actually in the process of setting up a modded xbox with XBMC for my parents to stream recorded shows off the media pc I set up for them a while back (to get that beast out of the living room). I was thinking about getting one of those wireless game adapters, but if those things aren't up to snuff, I'll just run a cable up to their router.

Jose, I think the WAP would be fine, you just need to make sure to get one that can attach to your main router/wap. Some of the older router's don't play nice with other ap's attaching to them.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 04:01 PM
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Is the MAC in the WPA+MAC the MAC address?

n/a
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkWolf
Jose, I think the WAP would be fine, you just need to make sure to get one that can attach to your main router/wap. Some of the older router's don't play nice with other ap's attaching to them.
Will shit. I'll let you guys know how it works out than, I'm sure it will be a learning experience for me

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Is the MAC in the WPA+MAC the MAC address?
Where are you looking? On a WinXP computer?




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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 08:54 PM
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Although it is a bad idea to think this way, the truth is that no one is really going to care too much about penetrating your network via wireless. I think 999999 times out of 1000000, simply having WEP/WAP with a key different then your SSID would be sufficient. Now, you throw mac filtering in the mix and it becomes even better odds that people are just going to move on.

The only exception is if you pissed someone off and they are just bound and determined to DL kiddy pr0n from your network to get you in trouble. OR, they are aware of something stored on your PCs that is of value to them. At that point, you're not going to stop a determined and skilled hacker.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-22-2006, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evil jose
Where are you looking? On a WinXP computer?
yessir
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-23-2006, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVT Lurch
Is the MAC in the WPA+MAC the MAC address?
Yah, it's the MAC address of the card. Can be found by right-click > properties on your connection, then clicking the "Configure" button under the listing for your network card.

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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-24-2006, 12:00 AM
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Jose, link to where you got that dvd player?

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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-24-2006, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Jose, link to where you got that dvd player?
Here you go.

http://www.govideo.com/

I'm sure there are better and more options out there now as I bought this one probably 3 years ago.




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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-24-2006, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evil jose
Here you go.

http://www.govideo.com/

I'm sure there are better and more options out there now as I bought this one probably 3 years ago.
Cool, thanks for the link, I found one for $160

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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-30-2006, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Just an update. I found this article while surfing Netgear's website trying to figure out how to run two Router's with WAP on my home network. I kept wondering how it would work with two Routers but according to this article, all I have to do is disable the other router and just use it as a hub with WAP



Now all I have to do is find me a good Outdoor WAP for the area I BBQ and have the kegerator at

I'm looking at this for the Outdoor WAP.

Linksys WAP54GPE




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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-01-2006, 07:06 PM
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one of the easy ways to be secure is donot broadcast you're SSID that way you're network cannot be seen to begin with or just use a wrt54g style linksys router and just allow connection via mac address and then no one can logon but the people you allow.
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