Wireless networks

Posted By: TuesdayNext

Wireless networks - 01/20/06 01:33 AM

I bought a D-Link wireless router so that I could set up a wireless home network for my PCs that are not close enough to my dsl modem. The setup is pretty simple - plug the blue wire here and the grey wire there, etc. I tried for about two days trying to get this thing to work. There's setup software (instructional - it didn't download anything) to explain everything step by step. Once everything is hooked up the router goes through some tests, the last of which is getting an internet connection - which I could never get to happen. Finally, I called their tech support and the guy went through numerous procedures to try to get it to work - after about 45 min. he told me that the problem was with the modem and to call my DSL provider. I took it back instead.

Anyway - haven't even gotten to the question yet! - I was at Best Buy today looking at routers and the salesperson recommended LinkSys (which I've had good luck with before). It was actually the cheapest one so she wasn't recommending it for the $$. Now here's the whole point of this... She told me that nowireless network router or wireless network software will protect all the computers/laptops on that system. She said that anyone driving by with a laptop could tap into my signal and download whatever info they wanted. She said that (and here's the sale's pitch) the Best Buy geeks will come to my home ($159 for the setup and $50 each additional computer) and use some kind of encryption to secure the network. Does anyone know if this is necessary? If not, how does someone protect their wireless network from intruders and other baddies?

tuesday next
Posted By: Darleen03

Re: Wireless networks - 01/20/06 02:28 AM

Hi TuesdayNex wave

You also need a ethernet airplus G PCI Adapter hooked up to the second computer. I have the same hook up..The adapter is extra cost and goes into the second space port in back and inside your computer.And then you can access the router..Don't know if this will help you... luck
Posted By: Darleen03

Re: Wireless networks - 01/20/06 02:44 AM

Also Tuesday....I want to add

If you have a GREAT firewall program noone can access your router without you knowing it..

Get this program its the BOMB

GoodLUCK.I have four computers in my house/business>>>>all routing off of one cable connection...Its great..
Posted By: TuesdayNext

Re: Wireless networks - 01/20/06 03:30 AM

Darlene - Thanks for your reply. I was aware of the need for adapters but I figured if I couldn't get the router working, the adapter was pretty much a moot point. Regarding the site you mentioned are you talking about the "BitDefender Network Protection Standard"? Is this something that gets installed on all pcs/laptops in the system. If so does it interfere with the antivirus programs that are already installed on the individual computers? Thanks again.

tuesday next
Posted By: Darleen03

Re: Wireless networks - 01/20/06 04:04 AM

HEY Tuesday

Let me explain.You need the airplus adaptor on your second desktop computer you want to connect to the router.If you have a wireless satellite laptop you don't need the ethernet airplus adaptor.Bitdefender you can download on only one computer you don't need to download it on all puters.It defends your router.If your routing your first computer to another puter it protects both. If you have other virus protection programs on your puter..........>YOU should uninstall before you install Bitdefender or for that matter any other virus program protection.

Hope This Helps...all I know is that you need an adaptor on your second desktop you can route to the main. wave
Posted By: Draclvr

Re: Wireless networks - 01/20/06 04:35 AM

Tuesday, what they are charging you to do, you can do yourself. The salesperson was describing "war driving" where someone could indeed drive by and access your signal. I have a D-Link system and what you do is "hide" your router behind either 64 bit or 128 bit encryption. It is a specific series of letters and numbers. However, you need to be able to access the internet through your router to do that and it seems something isn't working correctly for you. May I ask what the brand of your DSL modem is? There have been issues of some modems having the same IP address as the router which is a no-no. The ones I've run into have been with the LinkSys routers though. I would definitely call your DSL provider to see what they have to say.

This has nothing to do with anti-virus or a firewall or spyware. The encryption has to do with anyone accessing your wireless signal since it is "always on." If someone accesses your signal, they can enter your computer just as if it were you. They could also use your particular bandwidth for their own unpaid internet access. This is not uncommon with tech-savy, but sleazy neighbors. I have wireless broadband from a tower and their signal is secured behind a NAT firewall, but I also secure mine behind the 128 bit encryption even though I live out in the country.

Now. What all this means is, even if your have the encryption, once you access the internet, you are "out there" and subject to all the viruses, spyware and other junk out there. So you still need excellent anti-virus and anti-spyware and a good firewall on your computer. I'm not that familiar with the reputation of Bitdefender, but it is software which can be purchased as a "suite" which includes anti-virus, anti-spyware, a firewall etc. However, even if it is the best product in the world, it has nothing to do with the security of protecting your wireless network from being detected and "hacked" by war driving. A product like Bitdefender (or Norton or McAfee or AVG) works on the "computer side" or "inside" of your router where encryption works "outside" of your router before anything ever gets to your computer.

Somehow I don't think this helped your issues much but I'm leaning toward the modem as the problem. Don't give up! A wireless network is worth the effort! I love mine.

As an afterthought, my sister-in-law and I tried (600 miles apart & over the phone) to get her LinkSys router and her DSL modem to work for days to no avail. She finally got so desparate she spent the $159 and had the "Geek Squad" come out and hook it up. She is pretty savy and watched everything the guy did. She found out she paid $159 for everything she had already done half a dozen times. The issue was her DSL modem and they knew it before they went out there. Rip off? For her, probably. But it may be worth it if you just can't get it to work. Sometimes the aggravation is worth far more than $159!!
Posted By: TuesdayNext

Re: Wireless networks - 01/20/06 05:02 PM

Wow, thanks Darlene and Draclvr. Draclvr, let me ask a question - which you might have already answered but I missed it. What do I use for encryption? Will just changing my modem settings (DSL by SBC) take care of this or do I need a separate antivirus/firewall. etc utility.

I'm a dunce on this so talk slowly and really loud! woozy

tuesday next
Posted By: Robert

Re: Wireless networks - 01/20/06 05:13 PM

Hi Tuesday ,

I've never had to tackle this issue , but I have heard it discussed elsewhere . I'm sure Draclvr and Darleen are giving you very good advice .

One very good place to go to ask for help and recommendations about this is Call For Help .
Posted By: Demosthenes

Re: Wireless networks - 01/20/06 08:04 PM

Usually when you set up wireless encryption, you do it as follows. (Note that this is a rough sketch--most or all of the pertinent information should be in the router manual):

1. Get your router hooked up to a computer directly through ethernet (or wirelessly, sometimes--but that's trickier and doesn't always work).

2. Access the router configuration page in your web browser (usually, and usually with a default login and/or password)

3. Go to the wireless security page

4. Select your preferred type of encryption (128-bit vs. 64 bit, usually select WPA, etc.)

5. Enter a passphrase (at which point the router should give back a string of characters representing your router's encryption key).

6. Save Changes.

7. Now go to the computer that's going to connect wirelessly, (which should have some sort of wireless adapter already installed), go to the wireless options, tell it you're using encryption, what type of encryption you're using, and what your encryption key is (sometimes you can just enter your passphrase). Save changes, and see if you can connect.

In some (rare) cases, the router comes pre-secured, with an encryption key printed on the bottom of the router. In that case, you can skip steps 1-6. That does not usually apply to Linksys routers. (I think of that as a good thing.)

Oh, and if you're ever forced to reset your router, you'll have to do steps 1-6 all over again...

That all sounds harder than it really is. I promise. wave
Posted By: Jenny100

Re: Wireless networks - 01/20/06 08:11 PM

Originally posted by TuesdayNext:
Will just changing my modem settings (DSL by SBC) take care of this or do I need a separate antivirus/firewall. etc utility.
Antivirus/firewall is a completely different issue. You need an antivirus/firewall for any Internet connection, whether "wired" or wireless.

A wireless connection is essentially the same as a network cable attached directly to your computer. If your wireless signal is being broadcast, someone could sit outside your house and have direct access to your computer, just as if they had a network cable attached to your computer. The way to try to keep this from happening is to use an encrypted wireless signal. There are also some other changes to setup defaults in your wireless equipment that you can use that may help.

Here is one site that gives some ideas

You can find more info by typing
Wireless Security
in Google.

WEP is the old wireless encryption system and is being replaced by WPA, which is a lot better (harder to crack the code). If possible, buy wireless equipment that uses WPA instead of WEP. Info about WPA here,4149,1277020,00.asp
Posted By: Draclvr

Re: Wireless networks - 01/20/06 10:06 PM

Nicely done, Demosthenes! The only thing I would add is to write down that long encryption code if you want to connect more than just one computer because you have to enter it on each computer.

And Jenny is right, do try to go with WPA instead of WEP. And like I said to set up the encryption you have to be connected which wasn't working for you for some reason. And also to reiterate that encryption for your wireless router is a completely separate issue from anti-virus, firewall etc.

The links given are excellent references.
Posted By: TuesdayNext

Re: Wireless networks - 01/21/06 02:55 AM

Wow, big thanks to everyone. I wish that the router I had bought had half of the instructions and suggestions that you all have given me. D-Link had virtually no instructions except to set up the router to the modem. I'm going to save this URL so that I can refer back to it in the future. Thank you all again.

tuesday next
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