Wireless Broadband, Know Your Security – Elf Knows It [ARCHIVED]

WIRELESS access to your broadband at home or at work can be of great benefit, having access to the internet anywhere around the house or work place can make working on the internet a breeze. But there is also a side of the great wireless signal that everyone should know about, and that’s the security side.


WHEN most people get broadband at home they will just plug it in and go, most of the time just working through a wired connection into the family computer. But even if you are not using the wireless broadband in your home, it is still on by default, and open for anybody to get in to. It’s too easy for people to ‘piggy-back’ your Wi-Fi.


GAINING access to a wireless network is a lot easier than it sounds. A lot of networks are open, meaning there is no security to start with. But even the networks with security can be broken down easily, by listening to a network, someone who knows what they are looking for can get the key and gain access.


SOME people might be saying, what’s the risk with someone using my internet? Let them off!. When someone connects to your wireless router. They are not connecting to the Internet, they are connecting to a network. The same network your computer is on, and once they are on your network they can get access to any files on computers you have on this network. They can also listen to the network, and by doing this they can see EVERY bit of information you are sending out over the networking, and the internet. This can include personal information such as names,date of births,credit card numbers, passwords, you type it, they see it!


THE first thing you should do is, if you don’t use the wireless on your router, switch it off! You can find out how to do this in the manual that came with your broadband/router.

Change the default SSID of your router, SSID stands for Service Set Identifier, this is the name of your wireless network as others will see it. Most people attempting to piggy-back a connection will look for a router with a default SSID still set, because this generally means it hasn’t been changed, so the default factory security settings are still set on it, making it easier for them to crack it.

Place your router nearest the middle of the building as you can, the closer it is to the exterior of. The more leakage there is for people to pick up on.

Change the default security key on your router.

Like I said most routers come with a default security key set on them. These keys are usually very easy to crack. So you should change it to a hard to guess unique key.


WIRED Equivalent Privacy (WEP) – This is the most common security feature set by default on routers. The problem with WEP is there is many known weaknesses and it’s easy to crack. WEP uses a long string of characters as the key.

WI-Fi Protected Access (WPA and WPA2) – WPA was developed after many of the weaknesses where discovered in the WEP protocol. Unlike WEP, WPA uses a pre-shared pass phrase method. Where a password is used to gain access to the wireless network. Unlike WEP this can be a word, or name. It is user generated.

MAC Authentication – Every computer has a MAC address associated with them on a network. This MAC address is pre-set in the hardware on the computer which connects to a network. On wireless networks you can set a list of MAC address on your router, and only allow access to these


ROUTER – This the central device of your broadband set-up, the router connects to your broadband provider, to any devices on the network, and also this is what sends out the wireless signal.

WEP – This is a form of security on wireless networks

WPA – Also a form of security on wireless networks, but stronger and less easy to crack than WEP

Wi-Fi – Another name for a wireless network. It is a spin on Hi-Fi.

SSID – This is the name given to a wireless router, visible by other wireless devices.

You may also like...