Thoughts on Wireless Network Security

Here is a snap shot of my Wireless Network Connection Window at home:

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Since right now I live in an apartment, it is not surprising that many people within the same building have wireless routers at home (there are eight wireless networks showing up in my Wireless Connection Window). But what is surprising is that a few of these access points were setup without any password protection. So, after a few tries, I could actually connect to a couple of networks outside my apartment!

Here what I would advise people using wireless connections at home to do to ensure maximum security from those prying eyes.

  1. Whatever protocol you use, be sure to use password. Many people find it inconvenient to have to supply a password when establishing a wireless connection and thus disabled password usage all together. This could potentially let anyone within the range have access to your private home network.
  1. Try change your wireless access point password often, especially do not use the default password that comes with your wireless router/AP.
  1. Always try to set the power of the wireless device as low as possible. Typically, you can set the wireless power from 1 to 10 on a wireless router. Most people tend to set this to the maximum since this setting would guarantee the best coverage. However, setting the transmission power to high also means that people in the adjacent buildings might also be able to pick up the signals. Thus as the best practice, set the power only as high as needed. For example, when the computers are within the same room, setting the power to 1 should be sufficient.
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