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.
Most Popular Reviews
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.
Monday, June 30, 2003
SMC Networks late last week announced a new line of products that underscore the company's commitment to taking "Gigabit to the Desktop." Two new EZ Switch 10/100/1000 Gigabit switches, one five-port and one eight-port version (SMC8505T and SMC8508T), and a 32-bit Gigabit Ethernet PCI network card, the EZ Card 1000 (SMC9452TX), lead SMC's new line of products that deliver affordable Gigabit connections to the desktop in any business environment -- from SOHO to the enterprise. The five and eight port EZ Switch 10/100/1000 will be available in July, and carry MSRPs of $134.99 and $194.99, respectively, while the EZ Card 1000, also expected to be available in July, has an MSRP of $29.99.
FreeBSD has become the first open source OS to support 802.11a and 802.11g, according to the FreeBSD Forums. The ath drivers in FreeBSD current support all Atheros 802.11 hardware devices. Linux was just a few days behind, with 802.11 support of its own via the new Multiband Atheros Driver for WiFi (MADWIFI), a Linux device driver for 802.11a/b/g universal NIC cards (either Cardbus, PCI, or miniPCI) that use Atheros chip sets (ar5210, ar5211, ar5212).
Friday, June 27, 2003
Awarding 802.11 Planet's Best of Show -- The 802.11 Planet Conference & Expo has featured almost 100 vendors displaying the latest in Wi-Fi networking technology -- but only a select few can be considered the best of the show. Here's a list of the winners.
Announced yesterday at the 80211 Planet Conference & Expo: Broadcom has released two new 802.11g and 802.11a/g USB 2.0 adapters, as well as a wireless networking processor for secure 802.11a/g enterprise access point and router applications. The complete story is available on the 802.11 Planet LIVE site.
More than half of all enterprises take only basic technological precautions -- or none at all -- to protect their wireless networks, according to a new Jupiter Research report. "802.11 Security: Who's Listening to your Wi-Fi?" was announced yesterday at Jupitermedia's 802.11 Planet Conference & Expo Spring 2003 in Boston. Additional information is available on the 802.11 Planet LIVE site.
Thursday, June 26, 2003
In a product unveiled at this week's 80211 Planet Conference and Expo, the Neutrino 802.11b network sensors can detect common problems like rogue access points and report them back to network administrators. Neutrino Sensors are available immediately for $495 each for 1 to 9 units, and $395 each for 10 or more units. The 802.11 Planet LIVE site has the complete story.
Moving to further integrate 802.11 technology into the workplace, Ascendent Telecommunications has unveiled a product it says bridges the gap between an enterprise's Wi-Fi and cellular technology. The offering, announced and demonstrated today at the 802.11 Conference and Expo in Boston, can be installed in a company's existing data and voice network using circuit connections and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to reduce wireless network infrastructure and usage costs while enhancing mobility. The full story is available on the 802.11 Planet Live site.
Elixar makes its formal debut with a wireless LAN monitoring and security system. The company's flagship product, AirTraf 2.0 Hosted, uses wireless sensors to capture nodal, client, and access point wireless traffic and then conducts traffic, performance, and security analyses. Read more about AirTraf 2.0 on the 802.11 Planet LIVE site.
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
In the latest effort to simplify home networking, seventeen leading consumer electronics, computer, and mobile companies have agreed to support the formation of the The Digital Home Working Group (DHWG), a non-profit organization dedicated to the simplified sharing of digital content, such as digital music, photos and video, among networked consumer electronics, mobile devices, and PCs. The group consists of industry leaders including Fujitsu, Gateway, HP, Intel, IBM, Kenwood, Microsoft, Nokia, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, and Sony.
WiDeFi plans to show off its flagship product, the WLAN Xtender, at this week's 802.11 Planet Conference and Expo in Boston. WiDeFi's WLAN Xtender is a repeater that operates on multiple frequency channels. The product doubles the range of 802.11 wireless networks and has zero jitter, making it a good candidate for high Quality of Service (QoS) applications such as voice-over-Wi-Fi and HDTV. The 802.11 Planet LIVE site has the complete story.
Cranite Systems, which provides government-certified security software for WLANs, is releasing a version of WirelessWall for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), both standalone and on a Linux box from partner Westcon. The SMB version of WirelessWall is available now, with the software piece starting at around $1500 for a ten user starter pack. Read more about it on 802.11 Planet.
Asante Technologies has announced a new wireless adapter that utilizes the recently approved IEEE 802.11g standard. The $99 FriendlyNET AeroLAN AL5402-XG 54 Mbps CardBus adapter will be available for purchase in July.
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
The IEEE has approved the 802.3af "Power over Ethernet" standard for delivering power over standard Ethernet cables. The full specification will be published by July 11, 2003, as '802.3af-2003.' Power over Ethernet (PoE) products are already available and are particularly popular in the VoIP, wireless LAN, and IP security markets. Proponents claim PoE can save up to 50 percent of overall installation costs by eliminating the need to install separate electrical wiring and power outlets.
Prismiq Inc. recently unveiled new 802.11a/g Wi-Fi support for its MediaPlayer entertainment gateway for DVD-quality video. The $249.95 appliance sits atop any television, stereo, or entertainment center, with a connection to the home network via wireless or Ethernet, and enables customers to use TVs and stereos anywhere in the house to play MP3s, video files, and Internet radio, view digital photos, surf the Web, and chat online.
Using a mesh network, Strix Systems says its Access/One Network is the first truly wireless LAN because it eschews the need for any Ethernet-based backhaul to the wired side of the network. And it supports all the WLAN types (802.11a/b/g) -- even Bluetooth. 802.11 Planet has the complete story.
After only a few months on the market, Airespace adds to its wireless switching portfolio, offering an appliance for companies looking to control the wireless side while not disturbing the Ethernet-wired backbone already deployed. Our 802.11 Planet LIVE site has the complete story.
Monday, June 23, 2003
GFI is set to launch GFI MailSecurity for Exchange/SMTP 8, the latest version of its email content security, exploit detection, and anti-virus product. Version 8's most significant new feature is a Trojan & Executable Scanner for detecting potentially malicious executables. Additional new features include support for Exchange 2003 and Windows Server 2003, automatic updates to the exploit engine, and improved configuration. GFI MailSecurity pricing starts at $295 for 10 mailboxes, which includes a year of free anti-virus engine updates.
Enterprise buying decisions on wireless technologies are still hampered by security concerns and a lack of standardization. That's the word from several panelists at a CIO/CTO panel on unlocking enterprise mobility at the CeBIT America show late last week. internetnews.com has the complete story.
Friday, June 20, 2003
802.11 Planet's wrap-up of this week's news features an open-source, Linux-based, software access point; a compact bridge/repeater and the first 11g USB 2.0 adapter from Buffalo Technology; and Sony's foray into the world of 11g.
In an attempt to keep up with the wireless craze (and Intel's Centrino), AMD this week ushered in three new processors that take advantage of the latest 802.11 technology, 802.11g. AMD's Athlon XP-M processors 2800+, 2000+ and 1900+ are compatible with current graphics and wireless solutions, including 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g. internetnews.com has the full story.
Thursday, June 19, 2003
Wireless LAN access points -- the units that connect wireless users to the wired network -- are not themselves totally wireless. 802.11 Planet has a run down of the wiring options available for connecting your access points, and the entire wired side of the network in general.
WatchGuard Technologies this week introduced its new Firebox SOHO 6 Wireless lineup. Designed to provide remote office works, as well as small or home offices, with a complete wired and wireless security solution in a single appliance, the Firebox SOHO 6 features an integrated 802.11b Wireless Access Point (WAP), 4-port LAN Ethernet switch, and remote management capabilities -- along with WatchGuard's well known firewall and virtual private network (VPN) technologies. The Firebox SOHO 6 Wireless family includes three models -- the Firebox SOHO 6 Wireless small office endpoint retails for $649, the Firebox SOHO 6tc Wireless branch office endpoint lists at $799, and the Firebox SOHO 6tc Wireless 50 User branch office endpoint/multi-office endpoint retails for $1,079. Read on for SmallBusinessComputing's in-depth review of the Firebox SOHO 6 product line.
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
3Com Corporation is unveiling its new family of fully complaint 802.11g wireless offerings at CeBIT America. 3Com's new 54 Mbps OfficeConnect Wireless 11g solutions are ideally suited for the small or home office as well as emerging enterprises and wireless "hot spot" locations. The OfficeConnect Wireless 11g products are among the first to ship with full 802.11g standard compliance and 256-bit WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption. The OfficeConnect Wireless 11g Access Point and Gateway are anticipated to ship in July 2003 with an expected street price of $135.00 and $125.00, respectively, while the OfficeConnect Wireless 11g PC Card is anticipated to ship in June 2003 with an expected street price of $79.00.
Hot on the heels of Texas Instruments announcing a coexistence package for its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips so they'll work together in harmony in small devices like phone handsets and PDAs, comes word from the Bluetooth Developers Congress in Amsterdam of a similar solution from a mix of vendors. Taiwanese manufacturer Universal Scientific Industrial (USI) will be releasing a module for small devices that will feature Bluetooth technology based on the BlueCore integrated circuit from Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) plus WaveLAN 802.11b chips from Agere Systems. Read more about it at 802.11 Planet.
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Network equipment maker Enterasys Networks has announced two new router platforms for corporate regional offices and data centers featuring beefed-up security. The XSR-3000 and XSR-4000 integrate wide-area network (WAN), virtual private networking (VPN), and firewall technologies. The XSR-3000 and XSR-4000, along with new WAN interfaces, will be generally available in July 2003.
Contrary to established views that Wi-Fi will cannibalize both wireline broadband and cellular services, analysts say the technologies are complementary. The complete story is available on internetnews.com.
iPass, which focuses on providing mobile users with access to their company's network, has released iPassConnect 3.0, a "service interface" for users who connect to the iPass virtual network made up of certified hotspots (and other methods of connecting) around the country. Read more about it at 802.11 Planet.
Monday, June 16, 2003
802.11g is official, the chip makers are happy, and what's more, they're all giving the 54Mbps technology a standards-based kick in the pants to increase throughput. Read more about it at 802.11 Planet.
It's generally acknowledged these days that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can live together in harmony as standards, but it's another matter to get them to work together while residing in the same device. Texas Instruments is introducing a coexistence package made up of Bluetooth and 802.11 silicon that will work simultaneously while in the same device. The complete story is available at 802.11 Planet.
Friday, June 13, 2003
As a follow-up on yesterday's 802.11g news, the standard did indeed win final approval yesterday morning. The new standard will drive wireless LAN equipment with speeds of at least 24Mbps and up to 54Mbps, while remaining backward compatible with existing 802.11b gear that runs at a maximum 11Mbps.
Texas Instruments has begun providing its TNETW1130 802.11g solution to customers now that the IEEE 802.11g standard has been approved. Current TI customers SMC Networks and U.S. Robotics and new customers NETGEAR, Samsung, and Sitecom will be using TI WLAN technology for their 802.11g and multi-mode Wi-Fi products.
The group that handles 802.11 product interoperability testing has hired its first full-time employee, one who will help steer the growth of the Alliance's programs such as the Wi-Fi ZONE for hotspots and drive the expansion of lab testing to cover product usability. 802.11 Planet has the complete story.
Thursday, June 12, 2003
It's official. The final rubber-stamp approval on 802.11g, the high-speed wireless technology that has already taken the WLAN world by storm, is expected to take place today during a meeting of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standards Board Review Committee. Next up: super-fast 802.11n. 802.11 Planet has the complete story.
Roving Planet is officially launching its Central Site Director management interface product to take care of the who, what, where, and when of WLANs. It plans to conquer the market by taking full advantage of its partnership with Cisco. Read more about it at 802.11 Planet.
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
SMC Networks has a new plug-and-play wireless Ethernet adapter available that also serves as a wireless access point and wireless range extender. The $99 SMC2671W 2.4GHz 11 Mbps Wireless Ethernet Adapter is the newest product in SMC's EZ Connect family of wireless networking products, and is 802.11b-compliant. The multimode adapter can also be used as a wireless range extender for SMC's Barricade 2.4GHz Wireless Cable/DSL Broadband Router (SMC7004VWBR).
A new research report says the future holds single chip 802.11b/g solutions, tough times ahead for startups, and a change in who will be leading the market this time next year (think 'Intel Inside'). The story continues at 802.11 Planet.
Propagate's new AutoCell product sits in firmware to automate the radio frequency environment of a wireless LAN to optimum use. Netgear and Atheros have already signed on to support it. Read more about it at 802.11 Planet.
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
3Com recently announced a range of new entry-level Gigabit Ethernet switches for enterprise networking. The offerings are designed for small-to-medium-sized enterprises requiring low-cost equipment and include several unmanaged and managed switches. The 3Com OfficeConnect Switch 8 with Gigabit uplink and the 3Com OfficeConnect Gigabit 5 unmanaged switches can be pre-ordered now with general availability in June, and with expected street prices of approximately $100 and $150, respectively. The 3Com Switch 2816 (16 Gigabit ports) and Switch 2824 (24 Gigabit ports) unmanaged switches are expected to be available in August, with pricing expected to be approximately $60 per Gigabit port for the two units. The 3Com Switch 3824 (24 Gigabit ports) managed switch is expected to be available in August, with pricing expected to be approximately $100 per Gigabit port for the unit.
IOGEAR has released what it claims to be the world's thinnest wired hub, the USB 2.0-enabled MicroHub. The 4-port MicroHub is available for both Macintosh and Windows, and gives users faster data connection rates of up to 480 Mbps, all within a device that is smaller than a business card. The 0.7" x 2.5" x 1.8" MicroHub weighs only 1.6 ounces. The hub is currently available with an MSRP of $29.95.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to make available an additional 255 MHz of spectrum for unlicensed use. If ultimately approved by the FCC, the new rules would increase spectrum availability for wireless broadband use by 80 percent. The complete story is available at internetnews.com.
Monday, June 9, 2003
We've all been waiting to see actual Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) support for months. Finally, this subset of the 802.11i security standard (which won't be finalized for months itself) is now available in a real, live, honest-to-goodness download from at least one vendor: Buffalo Technologies.
802.11 Planet has this story and other recent news briefs from the world of Wi-Fi.
Power over Ethernet (PoE) can save you time and money when deploying access points. Learn which approach to use when using PoE within your wireless LAN in this tutorial from 802.11 Planet.
SupportSoft, which makes software for broadband providers to sell to customers setting up home networks, says its latest version of HomeNet now supports 802.11a and 11g, and also lets users setup an ad hoc connection anywhere.
Thursday, June 5, 2003
Real world throughput is the important question to address in light of U.S. Robotic's announcement of new 802.11g wireless hardware speeds of 100 Megabits per second. As 802.11 Planet reports, expect 25 Mbps in real-world use.
The latest example of a service provider using Wi-Fi for competitive advantage is Covad Communications, which has announced it will offer Linksys
wireless networking gear to its broadband subscribers. The story continues at internetnews.com.
Wednesday, June 4, 2003
U.S. Robotics is introducing the Secure Storage Router Pro at SuperComm 2003 and is touting it as "the only affordable, secure office gateway available that acts as a dedicated file server." The broadband router is specifically designed for small offices and includes network attached storage (NAS) and virtual private network (VPN) capabilities. US Robotic's announcement for the router can be found at http://www.usr.com/press/pr-pressbox.asp.
Intel is refreshing its Centrino brand of mobile chipsets with faster processors and better security to deal with an increased demand for new designs. The company also issued a way to fix a bug that crashes when used with a virtual private network (VPN). Vendors will be able to upgrade their upcoming Centrino-based models with a new processor operating at 1.70 GHz, a low-voltage 1.20 GHz processor, or an ultra-low-voltage processor running at 1.0GHz. The complete story is available at internetnews.com.
Atheros is introducing a full suite of new silicon for client and infrastructure WLAN products supporting dual- or single-band operation, plus all the speed boosts it can pack in. Additional details are available at 802.11 Planet.
Tuesday, June 3, 2003
Announced today at SuperComm 2003, the U.S. Robotics 802.11g Wireless Turbo family is powered by the company's exclusive "Accelerator Technology," which increases performance levels up to 100 Mbps on a single channel. The product line will be available in July and will include a router, multi-function access point, PCI adapter, and PC card. The complete announcement is available at http://www.usr.com/press/pr-pressbox.asp.
Proxim, the first company with "enterprise class" products using the 802.11g draft specification, is now shipping single-band access points and dual- and single-band client cards. The complete story is available at 802.11 Planet.
The leader in LAN infrastructure products is making its switch and router products "wireless-aware" by introducing a platform for controlling access points. Cisco will also be utilizing clients with Cisco Compatible Extensions to help monitor the network and is now offering a new 802.11a point-to-point bridge. Additional details are available at 802.11 Planet.
Monday, June 2, 2003
Texas Instruments is reporting this week that products based on its residential gateway (RG) cable modem design -- which will include enhanced speed, router security features like NAT firewalls, and 802.11b wireless access points -- are almost ready to ship to retailers. Companies embracing the RG cable modem design include Toshiba America Information Systems, Netgear, and SMC Networks. Read more about it at 802.11 Planet.