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Beginners Guides: Securing A Wireless Network
Beginners Guides: Securing A Wireless Network - PCSTATS
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   M. Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Finding Intruders on a Network

Finding out if there are any unauthorized computers on a Wireless Access Point (WAP) can be accomplished in a number of ways. The following instructions assume that your wireless router is currently set to its factory default setting and is distributing IP addresses to any computer that connects to it.

The first step is to find out the IP address of each computer in your home network.

From the command prompt (start/run/'cmd'), type 'ipconfig' and make a note of the IP address of each computer. Don't forget your router's IP address also. You can find this by examining the 'default gateway' entry in the ipconfig results on your systems.


You will also need the name of each of your computers. Find this by right clicking on 'my computer' and selecting 'properties,' then choosing the 'computer name' tab.

Make a note of the full computer name. Note that your router will not have a name attached to it.

Scanning Your Ports

The easiest way to find out if someone has attached themselves to your network is to use a freely available port scanner such as GFI's LANguard network scanner. To put it simply, these scanners examine a specified range of IP addresses to find out if there are computers at each address, sort of like knocking on every door in the neighborhood to find out who is home.

Of course, port scanners can do more than that, and it is worth noting that they are the number one tool of the kind of people we are trying to help you avoid an encounter with... We are going to use the software for a more benevolent purpose, however.

Once you have installed LANguard or equivalent software, you will want to set it to scan the network that your wireless router or access point is giving out addresses for.

Assuming that none of your computers have manual IP addresses set, the network your router uses will be the first three sets of numbers common to the IP addresses of all your systems. For example, if you have three PCs with IP addresses of, and, the network your router uses is the 192.168.5.x network (where x is a variable of between 0-255).

The number will most likely be in the 192.168.x.0-255 range, but each manufacturer has their own different default network ID. Now set your scanner to scan the range of available addresses in that network. For example, if the addresses your router gives out are in the 192.168.5.x network, set LANguard to scan to This will cover all possible IP addresses that could be assigned to computers in that network.

To do this in LANguard, go to the 'file' menu and select 'new scan.' Choose the 'scan range of computers' option and enter in the appropriate addresses. Start the scan and wait for the results.

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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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