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Beginners Guides: Securing A Wireless Network

Beginners Guides: Securing A Wireless Network - PCSTATS
Abstract: Modern wireless networking products are inexpensive, simple to set up and very convenient. They are also full of holes... security holes, that is.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Jul 30 2007   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Disabling DHCP on a WAP

DHCP provides a means of easily setting up a network with little or no manual configuration required. As such, it is a standard feature on home networking devices such as cable/DSL routers. Assuming your home computers were set to automatically receive IP addresses, as soon as you plugged your router in they would have received IP addresses from it and been able to connect.

Of course, the presence of DHCP is one of the major reasons why wireless networks are so insecure. Any computer that is able to communicate with your router will receive an IP address automatically, and this address will put it on the same network as all of your systems, enabling it to instantly access any unprotected resources on your network such as shares.

Disabling DHCP is possible on all devices, but it requires you to do some considerable manual configuration on your computers in order to communicate. If you decide to disable DHCP, you must manually assign each of your systems an IP address in the same network as the address of your router. To do this in Windows XP:

Go to 'start/control panel/network connections' and right-click on the connection you use to connect to the router. Select 'properties'

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Highlight 'Internet protocol (TCP/IP) and hit the 'properties' button.

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Select the 'use the following IP address' button, and enter an IP address in the network you wish to use.

Most routers use network addresses in the 192.168.x.y range, where x equals a number between 0 and 255 that indicates the network, and y equals a number between 1 and 254 that indicates the individual address of a computer or other device on that network.

So, if your router has an IP address of 192.168.5.100 and you have three computers, you could assign them IP addresses anywhere between 192.168.5.1 - 192.168.5.254. Of course, each computer must have a different address.

Accept 255.255.255.0 as the subnet mask. Enter the IP address of your router as the default gateway. Click 'ok' to save the changes. If you disable DHCP on your router, you should also change the default network that your router uses, since this value is just as well known as the default username and password that each manufacturer uses on their products. As mentioned, most routers use the 192.168.x.x IP address range for DHCP, so it's a good idea to pick a network ID in this range, but less traveled, like say 192.168.65.x for your network.

Assure that your computers and your router all have IP addresses in the same network, and that your computers all have the IP address of the router as their default gateway. You should now be able to communicate as before.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Securing A Wireless Network
 Pg 2.  Network Security vs. Wireless Security
 Pg 3.  Finding Intruders on a Network
 Pg 4.  Checking Ports and Workgroups
 Pg 5.  Checking Router Logs
 Pg 6.  Managing Network Shares
 Pg 7.  Personal Firewalls
 Pg 8.  Using Zonealarm
 Pg 9.  Securing a Router and Wireless Connection
 Pg 10.  More Steps to Securing a WLAN
 Pg 11.  — Disabling DHCP on a WAP
 Pg 12.  Wireless Protected Access: WEP Improved

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