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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3Com Airconnect 11Mbps Wireless LAN Access Point
Author: Tim Higgins Review Date: 8/29/2000
a Spock deja-vu
It always amazed me when Spock would enter a control room on some new planet
and immediately start to make adjustments on a console in order to prevent the
Enterprise from being sucked down to the planet by a tractor beam or something.
Me, I would have started looking for the instruction manual...in English preferably!
When you start poking into the AP's Management Interface, you may get
the feeling that you're in that remote planet's control room! I
suggest you resist the temptation to start changing settings and dig into
the AP documentation first. 802.11b wireless equipment has many
parameters that can be changed and a lot of the terminology will be different
from what you've seen on previous consumer-grade wireless products.
Fortunately, once the AP gets its IP address, you shouldn't have to make
any changes to the AP settings in order to communicate with LAN cards.
The LAN cards do a pretty good job of looking for APs and connecting up
without any knob twiddling. For the curious, I've included a few
of the Web Management tool screens (click on the image to open another
window with a full-sized view)
Among the features you can control on the AP are:
Allow/disallow clients by MAC address
Set the AP channel (frequency)
Control AP access methods (Ethernet, Telnet, PPP via
serial port, SNMP)
Set Encryption keys and configure client access controls
You can also monitor various wireless client statistics.
Plenty of interesting stuff to keep inquiring minds busy! I mainly
used the HTTP Admin interface, but briefly explored the Telnet version,
which seemed to be inconsistent in providing prompts for possible actions.
You'll probably need to read the AP User Guide to navigate it effectively.
A note on encryption. My eval kit had a Version 1.0
CD which does not enable encryption for the client LAN cards. To enable
up to 128 Bit encryption, you can order a Version 1.5 CD from 3COM's Web site
until Sept 30, 2000. After Sept 30, 3COM says you'll be able to download the
CD files from their site. I hope they make the files individually
downloadable and not just offer the entire CD image. There are still folks
like me who don't have broadband connections!