Some Valuable Tips & Tricks

NOTE: Nothing on this particular page is guaranteed to work in every case. The Tips & Tricks provided herein have worked for me personally in the past but are in no way provided as a total solution to any particular problem. ADL Datacomm will not be held responsible for any malfunction after implementing any of these suggestions. These ideas are provided without liability and with no guarantee expressed or implied. Although we have used each one of these, they are supplied as 'use at your own risk' suggestions only.

Wireless Networking:

Wireless networking is a very attractive choice for both home users and business alike. It's inexpensive, it takes no configuration and it's readily available.

Actually all of that is incorrect. If you own a wireless access point and did not turn on a few security feature your Internet connection IS being abused and you're responsable for the outcome.

Let start with the quick and dirty. The SSID (Service Set IDentifier) this is the name you choose for your network. By leaving this as the default name you are clearly advertising that you have made no effort to secure this device. Please, whatever you do change the SSID to something that identifies this AP as private.

Next the fact that DHCP is turned on by default makes it very easy to connect to the device. DHCP is the service that hands out IP address. No automatic IP address, No automatic connection.

Those two steps alone should prevent any innocent passer by from knowingly or accidentally connecting to your network. Is that considered security? Absolutely not. It's just a couple very easy steps to prevent any confusion as to weather your access point is a public HotSpot or a private network.

Now lets talk about security. The only method that is considered secure for wireless networking , at this point, is Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA or WPA2). This technology can be costly to deploy as it requires a authentication server such as a RADIUS server.

WPA can also be used with a pre-shared key, thus know as WPA-PSK. This method is slightly less secure because of the key. If the key is stolen a hacker could gain access to your network.

Now lets talk about encryption. Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) or Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) are both considered a good choice. AES being the stronger of the two.

As it stands now, any device that is considered Wi-Fi certified supports these technologies. If your using older wireless equipment which doesn't support the above standards please read up on what works best for you and know what you're doing. I promise you that if you leave your access point 'open' you will be a victim.