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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Many connection sharing programs have a DHCP server that you
can use to automatically assign TCP/IP information to your Client computers. The
sharing software that comes with many of the new phone-line and wireless Home networking
kits includes this capability.
Why, then, do I recommend manually assigning TCP/IP information? Here's the list of
Not all sharing programs (the "free" Wingate 2.1x
version in particular) include a DHCP server.
So you'll have to know how to do it anyway.
Using one NIC and running a DHCP server is a sure-fire way to
get the attention of your cable ISP and possibly get "de-provisioned".
In spite of all my warnings about using two NICs, some people insist on trying to share
their connection using only one NIC. When your DHCP server starts trying to hand out
addresses to other users' computers on your local network node, expect to be
"noticed" by your ISP!
Trying to minimize the chances of incorrectly configuring TCP/IP
on the Sharing Server and Client computers.
I figure that if you set things manually, you'll know how they're set, rather than letting
something automatically set it for you.
In fact, a properly configured sharing setup with a DHCP server can operate very
smoothly and be especially helpful if you have laptops that you move back and forth
between your shared network and your office or other remote location. Here is a list of conditions under which it's ok to use a DHCP server:
You are using TWO NICS on your Sharing computer (but
you knew that anyway, didn't you?)
the DHCP server comes as part of your sharing software.
You are using a hardware router that contains a DHCP server.
In the above cases, go ahead and set your client computer
TCP/IP as follows:
IP address: "Obtain an IP address
Subnet Mask: N/A
WINS Configuration: Disable WINS resolution
Gateway: Make sure there are NO entries.
NOTE! DNS settings apply to all NICs in a given
computer, so you can't set them differently for the LAN NIC.
This is the most difficult setting and depends on how your Sharing software or router
works. Read and follow the instructions that come with your Sharing software or
Bindings: Check Client for Microsoft
Networks and File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
if you don't have any other protocol (NetBeui, IPX/SPX) installed and bound to these
items. Otherwise uncheck them.
Advanced: no changes
NetBios: no changes.
Set the "Configure" setting to "Using DHCP Server"
Make sure there are no entries in the other fields.
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