How To Secure A Wireless Network On XP
Do you need to know how to secure a wireless network? Perhaps you've moved in an area where there seems to be connections everywhere you look; meaning that there's probably someone looking to get on your network, where you keep your personal things. So how do you secure a wireless network on Windows XP? Securing your wireless network so that only you or those you've chosen can use it is a simple process that only takes a few minutes to put in place. The steps below can be used for any router, but in this case, a Cisco Linksys router set up is the focus.
- Enter password The first thing you need to do is place a password on both your router and your network. If you set up your wireless connection, you'll probably remember that you had to go to a webpage and used the default username and password in order to set the wireless network up. If you didn't change the defaults, now is the time. You will need to grab the instruction booklet that came with the router (you kept that, right?) and go to the IP address that is listed. Enter in the default username and password.
- Setup router Configuration Second, you should see the opening page for your router configuration. At the top are the different areas you can check and change. Under the "Wireless" tab, select "Wireless Security". You can set up the security mode and most importantly, a password for your network. It's suggested on a home network that you use WPA mode instead of WEP, as the former is more secure. You can choose a password for the network; make sure to choose a password that can't be easily guessed.
- Enable MAC filter If you want a higher level of security, you can click over to the "Wireless MAC filter" tab. If you enable this feature, only the computers whose MAC addresses are entered will be allowed on the network. This is a good option if you run a home business and utilize sensitive materials. It also works if you know you will be on the only to use the network. Just be aware that if you will need to add any new computers that want on the network (ie if you buy a new laptop or computer or have friends staying over).
- Change router password Lastly, under the "Administration" tab is where you can change the router password, as well as setting the web access link settings. Again, make sure you pick a password that will be easy for you to remember, but hard for anyone to crack. Never use easily guessed passwords like your address, name, or birthday.
Being able to secure a wireless network on XP is quite easy and takes no time at all. Make sure that you change your router password and network password as soon as you set up your network. Also, make sure that you are saving the changes you've made or else your changes won't go into effect. In some cases, you may need to reconnect to your network after you've made the changes you wanted. You should be able to disable and then re-enable your network connection; sometimes a full reboot may work better. A secure wireless network will give you the peace of mind that your documents, videos, and pictures are that much harder to get to from those you don't want access to your computer.