wireless router

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
44,859
Location
New Jersey
Hello, Ive been reading some of the recent threads about wireless security, etc. I use a c.2002 linksys router. My DSL is only 768k, so I do not need a faster router (mine is 11MBPS), but I just use 128-bit encryption with the long key. Long story short, given that I have up-to-date laptops, what is the best model, product, etc. to use to be truly secure? Thanks!
 
Messages
25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
There is no "True" security with Wireless networks, just some better forms over others. Best thing you can do is: 1) Use WPA2 instead of WEP. 2) Turn of network broadcasting (SSID Broadcasting) 3) Setup your router to only allow your MAC addresses on 4) Turn off the DHCP function and setup all manual IP addresses This will stop basic hackers, but not extreme hackers. Change your WPA2 KEY often.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
44,859
Location
New Jersey
I do not think that Im using a WPA2 key. Not sure if my router does it... Is there a "best" up to date router that will give me higher security? Ill look to do the other things ASAP in the interrim. Thanks!
 
Messages
25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
Check the MFG. of your routers website they may have a firmware upgrade to make it WPA capable! ;\) If not the lowest end Linksys would be my choice... They are awesome routers, or ASUS, this is a brand that I'm quickly becoming fond of!
 
Messages
16,182
Location
Silicon Valley
I have Linksys WRT160N version 1.1 and I love it, to a point of buying 3 of them and replace all other routers I have with it. 1) Runs DDWRT, and can be used as a repeater bridge (i.e. if your neighbor let you use his wireless and split the bill, you can have his signal rebroadcast into your home) 2) Very very strong signal, even for g, it is much stronger than the WRT54G/GL, MIMO really helps improve the signal quality. 3) Looks great. Too bad the newer versions doesn't use the broadcom chipset that support DDWRT, so if you cannot find the 160N, get the WRT310N or the equivalent router from ASUS, or get a used WRT150N.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
44,859
Location
New Jersey
I wonder if the stronger/faster signal is harmful for health... My signal is plenty fine from basement to attic, and out on the deck.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
44,859
Location
New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: PandaBear
I have Linksys WRT160N version 1.1 and I love it, to a point of buying 3 of them and replace all other routers I have with it. 1) Runs DDWRT, and can be used as a repeater bridge (i.e. if your neighbor let you use his wireless and split the bill, you can have his signal rebroadcast into your home) 2) Very very strong signal, even for g, it is much stronger than the WRT54G/GL, MIMO really helps improve the signal quality. 3) Looks great. Too bad the newer versions doesn't use the broadcom chipset that support DDWRT, so if you cannot find the 160N, get the WRT310N or the equivalent router from ASUS, or get a used WRT150N.
Does DDWRT allow me to operate more securely than WPA2? Im fine with signal strength... I just want maximum security. As mentioned, I just buy the slowest DSL, as it is perfect for us and what we do... Security is the main name of the game, since right now I just have 128-bit WEP. Thanks!
 
Messages
2,488
Location
MN
 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
I wonder if the stronger/faster signal is harmful for health... My signal is plenty fine from basement to attic, and out on the deck.
Wear a tin foil hat.... Just kidding. Any new router will support WPA2 security and will probably perform better than your old 802.11B 11MBPS router even though you only have 768k DSL. All B and G routers use the same 2.4GHz frequency and roughly the same power levels. They are very low power so not a lot of RF exposure. I picked up a refurbished Netgear WPN824 RangeMax for $25 and it works great for the last 2 years. I have maybe had to reset it 2 or 3 times during those 2 years. I might upgrade to a model with gigabit ethernet to speed up my home LAN a little, but am in no hurry yet. It handles 2 wired desktops, a wired PS3 and Samsung TV, 2 laptops wireless, and an Ipod Touch connected to 15 - 20Mbps cable internet with no problem
 
Messages
2,488
Location
MN
 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
 Originally Posted By: PandaBear
I have Linksys WRT160N version 1.1 and I love it, to a point of buying 3 of them and replace all other routers I have with it. 1) Runs DDWRT, and can be used as a repeater bridge (i.e. if your neighbor let you use his wireless and split the bill, you can have his signal rebroadcast into your home) 2) Very very strong signal, even for g, it is much stronger than the WRT54G/GL, MIMO really helps improve the signal quality. 3) Looks great. Too bad the newer versions doesn't use the broadcom chipset that support DDWRT, so if you cannot find the 160N, get the WRT310N or the equivalent router from ASUS, or get a used WRT150N.
Does DDWRT allow me to operate more securely than WPA2? Im fine with signal strength... I just want maximum security. As mentioned, I just buy the slowest DSL, as it is perfect for us and what we do... Security is the main name of the game, since right now I just have 128-bit WEP. Thanks!
DDWRT is an open source firmware that you can load into some routers, it is not a security method. DDWRT is router software that is available for many different router platforms that has a lot of features that the factory Linksys software does not have. Some say it is more stable.
 
Messages
25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
I can vouch for the stability, I posted here in a thread after I had been running it for 186 days without a reboot. I was over 200 before I rebooted it because I thought it finally froze up, but my internet was just down and not any fault of the routers... I'm trying for a year, and I even have it plugged into a B-Backup to see how long it goes! \:\! It's good stuff and I wouldn't use anything but this anymore. \:\! http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1459251
 
Last edited:

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
44,859
Location
New Jersey
One other question regarding the security... say I have a WII, a squeezebox, and some other stuff. If some of these items can only use WEP, do I need to use a second router, or is there a way to ensure total security while allowing these things to access the internet?
 
Messages
25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
WII Supports WPA so long as you have the latest OS-Update in it. A second router isn't going to help you, because that essentially creates a hole in your network so why bother with WPA on the other router. ?!? I would setup a cryptic WEP KEY, MAC Address verification, Static IP's, and turn off SSID broadcasting. This will help you prevent all the simple hackers out there and all the serious ones are harder to come-by.
 
Messages
16,182
Location
Silicon Valley
 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
One other question regarding the security... say I have a WII, a squeezebox, and some other stuff. If some of these items can only use WEP, do I need to use a second router, or is there a way to ensure total security while allowing these things to access the internet?
You can still use WEP on DDWRT, or WPA, WPA2, or unsecured. If you are forced to use WEP, it has a mode call AP isolation that prevent access between different clients on the same network. It is an additional line of defense that can protect your data/PC, but not your bandwidth from your neighbor.
 
Messages
16,182
Location
Silicon Valley
 Originally Posted By: SrDriver
No wireless device offers anything like 100 percent security.
The only security I know that is 100% bullet proof is one time pad, but unfortunately the key is as large as the data that it is pretty useless.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
44,859
Location
New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: PandaBear
You can still use WEP on DDWRT, or WPA, WPA2, or unsecured. If you are forced to use WEP, it has a mode call AP isolation that prevent access between different clients on the same network. It is an additional line of defense that can protect your data/PC, but not your bandwidth from your neighbor.
Sorry for all the dumb questions - I really appreciate the help! Is AP isolation only a product of operation with DDWRT (or other open WRT codes), or would I be able to do same with Linksys regular firmware. Im looking at either a 54GL (easy swap to DDWRT firmware), or something "N" that has more capability and should be supported by WRT in the future (e.g. the 320N). The issue with the 160N models being unable to accept WRT firmware worries me - I don't want to have to go chasing down new schemes to get this done. The only "N" device that Ill have is potentially a notebook that my wife buys. Long term N is great, but I still only have 768k DSL, and shall only have same for the foreseeable future, given the ridiculous cost of FIOS, cable, etc. I figure that given the good reviews of the old style 54GL, this is my bestbet. Ive heard good things about the Asus 520GU, but I have had good luck with the Linksys name, my current one is running good as ever after over 9 years... My main goal is added security, since I wont really take advantage of "N" for any real amount of time... Thanks!
 
Messages
16,182
Location
Silicon Valley
 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Im looking at either a 54GL (easy swap to DDWRT firmware), or something "N" that has more capability and should be supported by WRT in the future (e.g. the 320N). The issue with the 160N models being unable to accept WRT firmware worries me - I don't want to have to go chasing down new schemes to get this done.
I only have good luck with Linksys that uses Broadcom chipset and Linux based firmware, that means those unit that support DD-WRT. Those that does not, like the 2.0 and later WRT160N, are worse than other generic brands that uses broadcom chipset. If I were you I'd use what I have currently if it is still good. If you have good reception currently with your router, speed is not going to be much better with N, but the range would be. Heck, I still use my N router with G speed, but the range is extended much further with N that I'm very happy with the expense without any speed increase. To save money and get guaranteed N and DDWRT support, get a used WRT150N. It doesn't look as good but the gut is the same as the 1.0/1.1 WRT160N and it supports DD-WRT with no problem.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Thread starter
Messages
44,859
Location
New Jersey
Well, don't really need "n", really the only thing I want is beefier security over my 2002 router. It only has WEP, not WPA or WPA2. I have a random 128bit WEP key, and yet I have five MAC addresses in the router... I only have two wireless devices on. Unsure if others are cached since the last reboot or something - it claims they are "active". I do assume that the higher the encryption, more security, etc., the more bandwidth is required between the router and the items accessing it. Maybe that is not the case, but I have heard that the sustained data rate is faster anyhow... not sure if 11MBPS router speed is faster or slower than 768k DSL... I don't recall which are specified in bits or bytes... All in all, I want security, the best possible to keep out the low-end hackers that might exist. I doubt anything but a hard wire or turning off everything is secure to anything but low-level hackers... but at least I can make a good faith effort...
 
Messages
25,046
Location
ON, Canada eh?
 Originally Posted By: OVERK1LL
If you want a good router that will run DD-WRT with N support, grab the ASUS WL-500W. Great device.
+1 \:\! I took OVERK1LL's advice and bought the WL-Premium and it's golden with DD-WRT as posted in another thread.
 
Top