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Protecting Your Wireless Network with Tools Anyone Can Use
By: Katie Gatto
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    Table of Contents:
  • Protecting Your Wireless Network with Tools Anyone Can Use
  • What is encryption?
  • Securing Your Network

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    Protecting Your Wireless Network with Tools Anyone Can Use

    (Page 1 of 3 )

    Wireless networks are wonderful things, giving users greater freedom to work or play wherever they want, within range of the network. Unfortunately, as with most good things, they carry some dangers. This article will explain what those dangers are, and how and why to protect your wireless network from them.

    A wireless network is a great thing. It allows you to take your work, or your play anywhere in range. You can finish your fourth quarter spreadsheets while lounging on the couch. You can make your way into the kitchen without abandoning the party in your MMORPG of choice. You may even do both of those things in one day, if you happen to be feeling jaunty.

    Like all fun things and useful tools your wireless network needs to be taken care if you want to get maximum benefit. After all, you pay good money to have that Internet service. You paid out for the router too. You deserve to get the best for your investment. When it comes to your wireless network one important part of its care is securing it.

    Why would I need to protect my wireless network?

    If you do not protect it, then anyone can use your network. That means that you could be providing free wireless for your neighbors. Maybe that does not sound so bad to you. Maybe you like your neighbors and don't mind sharing. If that is the case, you should be aware of two things.

    First, the more devices you have on a network, the more slowly each device will run. The bandwidth will be divided between the devices. Second, if one of those great people you are sharing with does something illegal (cyberstalking, Internet piracy or issuing threats), there is a possibility that you can be held legally responsible for now; case law is unclear, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

    Even if you do not think that your block mates are those kinds of people, consider this. You will also be responsible for any guests they let use your network. Do you really want to be responsible for what your neighbor's daughter's new boyfriend does on his system? Also, if you plan to bank online, the security will help to keep your personal financial data personal.

    Now that you know why you should protect your network, we can more on.

    Securing your network may, at first, seem a bit intimidating. You will be relieved to find that this does not take an expert to do. Most home networks can be secured with tools that you can use with only basic instructions.

    Now that your fears have been allayed, we can start with your router. That's right, your router, which can help you to secure your network. It is your first, and in many ways best, line of defense. That means you need to start with the software you installed when you get the router. You will need to set up its encryption.

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