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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2Wire HomePortal 100W
Author: Tim Higgins Review Date: 4/5/2001
Model: HomePortal 100 W
- Very very fast!
- Simplifies the Home Networking experience, especially for mixed
- Supports Ethernet, USB, HomePNA 2.0, and 802.11b wireless LAN
- Big and non stackable
- LAN USB port only for Win98,ME,2000
- 15% throughput hit with WEP enabled
page for a summary of the Home Portal 100W's routing specs
page for its wireless capabilities.
Link and Activity LEDs built into rear
panel Ethernet connectors
One RJ45 10 BaseT WAN
One RJ45 10BaseT LAN
One USB Type B (square) LAN
Two USB Type A (rectangular) for "peripherals"
One RJ11 HomePNA 2.0
CD with installation software
CD with documentation library
printed Quick Start Guide poster
one normal UTP cable
two RJ11 phone cables
one USB A to B cable
modular phone jack Y adapter
100-240V Power supply
NO Hardware Reset switch
NO Uplink or Normal / Crossover
switch for LAN Ports, but LAN Ethernet port is auto-MDI/MDI-X
sensing (see this
page for more info).
2Wire has been pretty busy since we last looked at them!
They've expanded their distribution, and inked a deal
with Earthlink. and introduced a slew of new products,
all based on their core Home Portal platform.
This review will cover the Home Portal 100W, which adds
an 802.11b wireless Access Point to the Ethernet, USB, and HomePNA
2.0 networking options already handled. It's a pretty nifty
product, so read on to see if you should take the plunge...
I won't be going into detail on the 100W's basics, since you
can get most of that from my original
HP100 review. Some things have changed since last
December, though, so let me give you a rundown:
Installation - The Installation Wizard
no longer changes your home page or makes you register, but
it does change your network login to MS Networking,
and it sets the Windows Workgroup name to Home.
Not a problem if you're setting up a network from scratch,
but if you're adding a 100W to an existing network, you could
scratch your head for awhile, since the Installation Wizard
doesn't tell you about these settings.
There's still a Key Code required, but since 2Wire
is now selling products through retailers instead of exclusively
factory-direct, the set up may not be as automatic as it used
By the way, when connecting Ethernet devices to the LAN port,
no matter whether you use a normal UTP or crossover cable,
or whatever kind of port you connect to, the 100W will figure
it out and connect you up!
HP Monitor - The Installation Wizard
still adds this to your system, but you don't really need
it, since you can do just about everything that it does through
the browser interface, or via regular Windows networking Control
Panels. One thing the Monitor does
give you is the "Change Mobile Computer"
location feature. This lets you store two network profiles
for a computer, making it easier to move a laptop between
your 2Wire and work networks, for example.
Browser Interface- Still reached
by typing http://172.16.0.1/
(or http://home/ or http://homeportal/) into
your browser. But you'll find the Store, Entertainment,
and Home tabs gone... no loss, in my opinion.
But what remains is much improved. The Network
Tab now keeps accurate track of network clients and even refreshes
the browser window when clients are moved from one type of network
interface to another or added or removed. You now can
also password protect the parts of the Admin interface
where you can make changes. The browser bugs that I saw
the last time 'round look like they're gone, too!
VPN - All Home Portals now support both
PPTP and IPsec client passthrough when loaded
with the latest firmware. They can support multiple
PPTP and IPsec sessions to multiple servers simultaneously!
Access to PPTP or IPsec servers on the LAN is presently
NOTE: 2Wire says they can support a pass
through session to only one Cisco VPN client at a time.
That session can run simultaneously with other types of VPN
& Diagnostics Console (MDC) Features
Secret no more, it's even referred to in Chapter
7 of the User Manual! 2Wire has added a lot of the features
that I noted as missing in the last review, so let's take a look:
Date & Time - Shortly after the 100W
boots up, it grabs the time from a NNTP server and sets a
real time clock. Now you can clearly see when logged
events take place. If you'd rather set the time yourself,
there's a screen that lets you do it, as well as set time
zone, NNTP servers, and polling interval.
SNMP Management - Can be enabled and
Read and Write community strings can be set. But there's
no documentation on what's available via SNMP and no MIB file
Firewall Port control - The Firewall
Configuration screen gives you the ability to enable or disable
Inbound or Outbound Internet access for a fixed set of services.
The settings apply to all LAN clients, and although the attempts
to access blocked services are logged to the Security log,
there's no indication on a user's web browser, for example,
that HTTP access is being blocked. The browser just
Logging - The System, Security, and Fault
logs are all still present, but now you have the option of
logging to a syslog
server! The Security log captured my TCP port scans
(see below), but many home networkers may need help to decipher
the logged info (see this
site). Everything I scanned was locked down
tight, by the way...
Other Stuff - The Diagnostics screen
gives you the option of Resetting the entire HP, just the
Broadband Link, just the Wireless interface, or resetting
to Factory Defaults.
Lots of new useful features, which by the way, can
be added to existing 2Wire products just by doing a firmware
upgrade! Let's see what's still
to be done...