moving and routing

We moved house recently. For some reason, this proved to be a traumatic experience for our network router (a Linksys WRT54GL). We have moved internet service with the same supplier, so I assumed that the router would work with no changes. This was not the case. In the end I reset it to factory defaults and set everything up again (and used a different subnet number than previously).

If you’re using a wireless router, remember to secure it folks! Here are my tips:

  • Change the default SSID name, and choose the option not to broadcast the name.
  • Change the default subnet (most routers use 192.168.0.0, 192.168.1.0 or 192.168.2.0, but the third number can be anything up to 255, so pick something in the range).
  • Change the default administration password. I can’t believe there are still routers on the market that don’t force you to do this when you first set up the thing. We have the admin password written on a sticker on the bottom of the device – I’m assuming if someone has physical access, I have worse things to worry about.
  • Choose the highest level of wireless encryption your machines can handle. We use WPA2. WEP is generally regarded as broken now, but is probably better than nothing.
  • Set the router to only allow connections from MAC addresses in a known list, and put your machines on the list. (You’ll have to remember to add addresses if friends bring their machines).

One Trackback

  1. By The Junction » the open wireless network debate on January 17, 2008 at 9:46 am

    […] A while back I posted my tips on how to secure a home wireless router. I’ve been thinking about this again because Bruce Schneier started a debate about open wireless networks, by explaining why he leaves his open. […]

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