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.
If you don't have your computers connected together into a network,
you'd better start here for
a cable modem/DSL/broadband connection or here
for a dialup connection. Come back here when you get to
the Choose Sharing Method
page by choosing the Use ICS option.
If you are running
Win98SE, go here for ICS
If you are running
Win2000, you don't have to install ICS. Go
here for more info.
You need to install WinMe only on the computer that you want
to install ICS on. The other computers on your network
can run on any operating system, as long as it supports the TCP/IP
WARNING #1! If you already
have another sharing application like Sygate or Wingate installed,
UNINSTALL IT before installing ICS. Some sharing
programs (ICS included) take control of one or more of your Network
adapters and/or Protocols. The last thing you need is a
fight among these programs for control of your Network!
WARNING #2! If any of your
client computers are set to "Obtain an IP address automatically"
(from a DHCP server), SHUT DOWN those computers before
you install ICS.
The reason for this is to make sure that the IP information assigned
by the old DHCP server doesn't interfere with the information
assigned by the ICS DHCP server.
If you do get conflicts, you'll probably get a popup message
on the two machines that are conflicting. Reboot BOTH
machines that are conflicting and you should be all set.
WARNING #2a! Some users
report better results by setting all NICs (including the second
NIC in the computer that you are installing ICS on) to "Obtain
an IP address automatically". My install
worked with a manually assigned IP address in the second NIC,
but setting all NICs to "Obtain an IP address automatically"
gives ICS maximum flexibility in setting itself up.
WARNING #3! If you're going
to share a broadband connection with ICS, you'll need two
Network Adapters in the computer that you install ICS on.
(The ICS installer will check for the proper network configuration
and won't let the install proceed if it's incorrect.)
With the many alternatives in Network adapters and broadband
"modems" today, the "two Network Adapters"
requirement can be a little confusing. See this
page for help!
Tip:If your computer has USB ports, you can use a USB
to Ethernet adapter to easily add a second NIC. Check
for more information.
WARNING #4! Install ICS
only on the computer that is connected directly to the Internet.
This will be the computer that is connected to your cable, DSL
or dialup modem.
If you're upgrading from Win98SE to WinMe and have previously
installed ICS, un-install ICS before upgrading and re-install
it after the upgrade is finished.
get started with your ICS installation!
Follow the steps below to install ICS on WinMe.
Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel
> Add/Remove Programs.
Click on the Windows Setup tab, let Windows
find the installed components.
Double click on the Communications icon,
check the Internet Connection Sharing box and click
OK to close the Communications window and OK
to close the Add/Remove Programs window.
ICS will install and then launch the Home
The Wizard can configure a computer as an ICS client or host.
Since this is the host, click the button to specify that it uses
a direct connection to your ISP. In this example, I'm setting
up for a cable modem connection.
Click the down arrow to see a list of adapters which can be shared.
Be sure you choose the adapter (NIC) that is attached to your
cable modem. If you don't choose the correct NIC,
ICS won't install correctly and you'll probably have to remove
and reinstall it and try again.
The window above asks you to select the network adapter which
connects to your home network. Click the down arrow to see
a list of available adapters. The one that you specified
as the shared adapter in the previous window won't appear.
The Home Networking Wizard can create a Setup disk, which contains
a version of the Home Networking Wizard that you can run on other
computers to configure their network properties. You can
make the same settings manually that it does. In my opinion,
you can skip this next step. Just make sure the other computers
are configured to connect directly to the Internet or via a LAN.
If you answered Yes to make the Setup disk, you're prompted
to insert a floppy disk. The Wizard will delete all
files on the disk before writing to it.
This screen appears while it's writing the disk.
At this screen, click Finish to complete the ICS installation.
When the Wizard is finished, it prompts you to remove the floppy
disk and reboot. Click Yes.