I just had FIOS installed last Friday. This is my first experience with a router. Currently, it is set up with WEP. I want to make it more secure by using WPA or WPA2. I have some questions.
Which do you recommend - WPA or WPA2 & why?
Please tell me how to set up the router for WPA or WPA2.
Should I turn off SSID & turn on Mac filtering?
What other settings should I use?
09-12-2009 07:42 AM - edited 09-12-2009 07:47 AM
It all depends on convienince and how secure you want it to be from neighbors and such. Mac filterering is the most secure, and would require someone to spoof one of your computer's MAC addresses to get in...but everytime you introduce a new device on the network you need to add it to your list.
WP2 provides more encrytion and is the most secure type of encryption available at the moment. WPA secure as well and the average hacker usually cannot crack that. WP2 requires slightly more processing power and will cause slight latency issues, but you cannot notice it (I doubt).
For the average user, I would suggest WPA. If you want to go a step up, you can turn off SSID broadcasting so average folks will not be able to see it and they would need to know the SSID in addition with the key/password.
To actually set this up is very easy. Please note that not all computers/devices support WPA2 so I would just stick with WPA if you don't want to do any troubleshooting if you have problems after switching to WPA2. I will just post a couple of screenshots with circles and such. Assuming you know how to log into the router or already...
I'm taking shots of the ActionTech router's control panel, the westell's is very similar. (Notice you don't see WPA2 beacuse the simulator I am using is somewhat old...I guess?)
Click on on 'Change Wireless Settings'
Click on the WPA radio button, but you can see where I arrowed for setting up MAC filtering aswell!
Create a key, I suggest switching to AES just because of it being known as more secure then blam! You're done, then you just need to setup all the devices in your premise to work.
It may not be a good idea to switch to WPA. I have been having issues with the wireless connection dropping. Each time I had to reconnect, it would take several times hitting the connect tab after powering off the router. This happened on two laptops that I use to access the internet. After the connection was made, as soon as I shutdown and restart my laptops, the connection had been dropped. I was about to call tech support until I noticed this forum. Someone had opened a topic about "wireless connection dropping". After reviewing their topic, the fix for them was to go back to WEP because according to the tech they had talked to, the routers are not compatible with WPA. I changed my settings back to WEP and I am no longer having the connect problem. I have shutdown / restarted my laptops four times and the connect problem is no longer an issue. Each time the connection was made. If you still decide to use WPA, you should be aware of this issue and what to do if it occurs. WEP is an ok security as long as you create a key that no one can figure out. I had used it in the past for many years without losing any sensitive information and only switched to WPA when I purchased a linksys router. Since I recently switched to Verizon internet, I changed the WEP to WPA just as I did with the linksys router. Seems that was a mistake on my part. The choice is yours on the feature you want to use. As long as you setup your wireless with secure password, it is not a problem to have the SSID turned on. Even though it can be seen by others, they would have to know the phrase to access your network. You should also use the 128 bit setting for the password. It is the most secure.
Thanks for the quick reply. I have Vista Home Premium on my laptop. Please explain in laymans terms how to turn on MAC filtering. If I turn off SSID broadcasting, what will I see after I click on "Start" & then "Conect to"? With WEP, I have 2 choices, 64/40 or 128/104 & either hex or ascii. A post suggested using the 128/104. If I choose the ascii, are there forbidden characters? Can I use alphanumeric characters or only letters & numbers? Can I use upper as well as lower case letters? What MTU should I use to get the fastest speed? Should the MTU be set on automatic or automatic by DHCP or manual? What are:
CTS protection mode
CTS protection type
Frame burst-max number
Frame burst-burst time
Under WPA, what is the maximum length of the preshared key? Do I have to enter it every time that I log onto the router? Under encryption algorithm, do I use TKIP or AES or TKIP & AES? Do I change the group key update interval to a larger or smaller number?
I'm sorry that I'm asking so many questions, but this is my first experience with a wireless router.