Two Steps To More Secure WiFi

WiFi has enhanced our Internet access greatly but recent news that the more secure form of WiFi encryption protocols, namely WPA1 has finally been hacked presents an opportunity to review our WiFi security measures.

1. Use an access List

Most wireless routers enable you to name which devices connect to your network.They need to be identified to the router by their unique MAC address number. Even our little Creative X-Fi mp3/video player has a MAC address. Having an access list greatly increases your level of security as only those on the named list can access your network and once enabled you can disable one of the most common features of wireless networks…

Access List

2. Disable SSID Broadcast

Many  wireless networks broadcast their name to all in the immediate vicinity. I can see several other networks in our neighbourhood if I browse all the available wireless networks around me. OK most of them are secured but they announcing their presence needlessly. For most people the SSID broadcast feature is only required for an initial setup. Once you’ve setup an access list and got everything connected then there’s little reason to keep broadcasting your wireless presence via this virtual flag so untick the SSID broadcast option on your router.

Disbale SSID

Finding A MAC Address

There are many ways to find your computer MAC address. Devices such as games consoles or mp3 players will have a section in the menu that reveal this address or may even have them printed on the back of the device somewhere. Personally I find it easier to setup my wireless network, connect the devices then go to the ‘attached devices’ section of the router which will show the IP address the device is using, the device name & it’s MAC address which it will then be able to copy for pasting into the wirelss access list discussed above.

Attached Devices

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2 thoughts on “Two Steps To More Secure WiFi

  1. Just to clarify a little about the new attack on WPA. The protocol haven’t been crack in fact, it’s only a limited attack on the temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP). If you are using the AES encryption scheme, your network is still secure. The attack is not a recovery attack, which means you can’t (yet) retrieve the encryption key from the router. But you could use this to DoS the machines or go throught firewalls, so it’s still a good idea to upgrade to a more secure wireless protocol such WPA2.

  2. Hello Jonathan-thanks for clarifying that. A good suggestion though many over us are hampered by devices that cannot connect to WPA2 which obviously isn’t an issue if you have a purely computer only network. Thanks for commenting.

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