Tips for Securing Your Home Router
Seemingly minor and easily overlooked settings can still have profound security implications. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your wired or wireless home router — and by extension, your network — is as secure as possible.
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Microsoft Windows Home Server
If you have a home network, you'll welcome the easy file sharing, remote access and the image-based backup features of Windows Home Server.
MikroTik's The Dude
This free tool delivers many of the same capabilities that you'd find in pricey network monitoring tools. As long as you don't mind tinkering, The Dude is a decent network utility that should be worth the download.
In 1999 Apple introduced AirPort -
an affordable and easy-to-use solution for accessing the
Internet without restrictive cables. In 2003, AirPort Extreme
incorporated 802.11g wireless standards. In 2004, Apple released
AirPort Express, using the 802.11g wireless standard to
provide up to 54 Mbps data rates. It supports both Macs equipped
with an AirPort Extreme Card and Wi-Fi-compliant 802.11g Windows
PCs, as well as Macs with the older AirPort Card and 802.11b
Windows PCs. AirPort Express also provides simultaneous wireless
Internet access via your DSL or cable modem for up to 10
- Problems with finding Printer Driver on Windows
XP when using printer connected to Airport Extreme or Express. Read here.
- AirPort Express frequently asked questions (FAQ) for Windows. Read here.
(AirPort Base Station
reliability problem -2001)
A reader recently told us about a reliability problem with AirPort
Base Stations that started to surface in Jan 2001. In some units,
the capacitors in the power supply overheat and fail, causing the
AirPort to continually reboot. The bad news is that this problem
tends to crop up after the AirPort Base's warranty expires.
Apple is not admitting to a design problem, and will only repair in-warranty
units (with normal repair charges).
You can read this
thread in Apple's Discussion Groups... although it's mostly
"me too"s... (you'll need to register first...no purchase
required) for more info.
Thanks to those of you who wrote to tell me your experiences with setting
up an Airport in a Windows-only network. It looks like Apple has
not done anything to prevent using the Airport Bridge in Windows-only
networks. It appears that Windows-only setup problems may be due to the Karlbridge
software's inability to access the NAT and DHCP controls of the
Airport Base station. If you connect the Airport base station
into a network that already has a NAT router or DHCP server, you may
have problems, especially if you set your wireless clients to use DHCP
to obtain their IP address information.
Go to this page
on how one reader successfully set up her Airport base on her Windows-only
Go here for other Airport-related information
and article links.
Continue to read below for general information on setting up
an Airport Base station via Windows.
(Thanks to Robert D. La Gesse for this
The Apple Airport Access Point CAN
be used with Windows-based PCs. The Apple product is basically the
same thing as the Lucent WaveLAN Access Point (Lucent is now calling
the WaveLan products Orinoco). But
the Lucent Access Point management tool will not allow configuration
of the Apple Airport.
So you would think you would have
to have a Macintosh to configure the Airport base station, right?
Luckily, the Airport contains a 486 processor running the Karlnet
Karlbridge software. So you can go to the Karlnet
WWW site and download
http://www.karlnet.com/download/configsetup.exe, which allows you to configure all
aspects of the Airport Base Station - from a Windows computer! Since the Airport
Base Station is $500 cheaper than the equivalent WaveLan product,
this is significant!
Connecting it up
If you are using only wireless cards to connect your computers, you
can plug the cable modem LAN port into the Airport Base station directly
(you may need to use a "crossover
cable" instead of a normal UTP cable. Otherwise, just
plug the Airport Base Station into your hub. If your sharing
method includes a DHCP server, set the Airport Base Station to obtain
its address info via DHCP. Otherwise, you'll need to assign
The Airport Base Station has built-in
NAT and DHCP servers. So just set your wireless station cards
to obtain their IP address information automatically and you should
be in business.
I use Compaq-branded
11 Mbps station cards ($199.00/ea) in each of my laptops.
Since both the Compaq and Airport are 802.11b compliant 11 Mbps wireless
products, I am able to surf the net with ease, no wires attached.
The Airport takes care of assigning IP addresses, DNS addresses, etc.
for the laptops. The Airport also handles all of the NAT translation.
that you can use wireless adapters other than the Compaq cards.
Just make sure you get 802.11b compliant products. See
this page for product
listings and links.
Also note that the Airport Base Station is a Bridge and
NAT router. So the wireless and Ethernet-connected parts of your
network should be able to talk to each other without problems.
Sevy has a Java-based configurator that handles both the
ORiNOCO/Agere RG1000 and Apple Airport. Check out the other Airport
utilities, too! [Thnx Joe Prickett!]
by Constantin VonWentzel contains info that is useful for
fixing the AirPort Base station capacitor reliability problem.
It also has a how-to for attaching a range extender antenna.
is a VisualBasic based utility written by Rop Gonggrijp for setting
up the Apple Airport Base Station. The program allows access to
configuration of the modem, the Wireless NIC, bridge/router configurations,
DHCP (both client and server), WEP settings, Access rights by MAC
address, and several other goodies. It also allows saving different
configuration sets on disk for later use.
[Thnx to Ren Roderick for the tip!]
article by Henry Norr tells of his experiences setting up
various 802.11b Windows network adapters with the Airport base station,
Norman tipped us to a site that has a Java based Airport
base station setup utility. It should run on any platform
with a Java
1.1.8-compliant runtime environment installed. Go
here for the utility.
article by Michael Shields shows you how to upgrade your
Airport Base Station from 64 to 128 Bit "RC4" level encryption.
Thanks to Alex Lines for the tip!
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