Friday, October 31, 2008

Securing your Wireless network with XP systems, Step 2 of 3

  • Step 2 – Configure your wireless router to use WPA
Normally, I’d say you should consult the manual that came with your router. In this case, though, I'm going to assume you have same router I do. I have a Linksys WRT54G and here’s how I do it:
Go to your desktop machine that’s plugged in to the network (not wireless). Point your browser at which is the default address for most Linksys routers. This is the configuration page for your router, not some website on the internet.
A box asking for your password should pop up, like this:

Leave the User name blank. If you’ve set a password, enter it. Otherwise, the default password on linksys routers is usually: admin

You’ll get into the router’s opening screen, which looks like this:

At the top of the page, click on “Wireless” and then “Wireless Security in the tab below it. Choose settings and a strong “WPA Shared Key”, like this:

If you really want a strong key that will drive everyone nuts, go to this web page:
Regardless, make sure to paste a copy of your “WPA Shared key” into a text file and save it on your desktop computer. A handy way to get this key to your laptops is to copy that file to a USB stick if you have one handy.

Then click Save Changes at the bottom of the page and your router’s good to go.

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