Securing The Flat WLAN

Our flat has broadband shared over 802.11 which until yesterday was entirely unsecured. Unsecured wireless is generally regarded as problematic because nobody is particularly fond of the idea that their information or bandwidth being stolen.

The existing router was a poor quality d-link unit, while it does support encryption, we don’t have it’s admin password so we decided to jettison it in favour of my much more robust and feature-filled WRT56G which had the side benefit of improving everybody’s wireless signal.

Setting up the new hardware was a relatively simple process:

  1. Disconnect old router
  2. Connect new router
  3. Reset router to default settings
  4. Change routers LAN IP to avoid conflict with modem
  5. Give router the modem as a gateway address
  6. Setup DHCP forwarding or bridge mode
  7. Disable SSID broadcast and setup WPA encryption
  8. Give client boxes SSID name and key

The Last Mile Is Always The Hardest

Step 8 was the hardest part of the entire re-configuration process because of the mix of operating systems and also the fact that the majority of clients on our network use non-English Windows SKUs but with a little persistence and assistance in translation all of the clients have successfully connected to the new network.

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