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.
Networking Advice and Tips in the PracticallyNetworked Forums
Up for discussion this week are networking tips for a
forum member who just can't get two XP computers to talk to each other, nor can
he get them both online at the same time. We also highlight issues with the
Computer Browser service starting and stopping, and we listen in to one forum
discussion on Windows Home Server (WHS). If you've been considering WHS you
don't want to miss this discussion.
Practically Networked Forums Spotlight highlights several of the most
active or interesting topics from the more than 27,000 posts in the
Practically Networked forums. From here you can follow the links to each
discussion of interest to offer your own advice, or to ask your own question to our
forum members if you are in need of a little networking assistance.
Practically Networked Forum Statistics
For December 10, 2007
Registered Members: 10,968
November 26, 2007
Registered Members: 10,935
This Week's Highlighted Topics
Practically Networked Forums > Practically Networked > Sharing
Networking Problem ANSWERED /
PracticallyNetworked forum member jackdaw
suggests changing the word networking to "notworking." He has two PCs running
Windows XP. Not only can neither PC actually see each other, but the second PC
also cannot access the Internet, yet both show a connected and shared status.
Seems to me, we should call it
notworking! Here is the set up on my two PCs.
Is XP Professional
Has NIC 10/100/1000 + crossover cable to identical NIC on PC2
Has the internet connection:
with (checked): TCP/IP, Qos packet scheduler, Client for MS
networks, file and printer sharing
via talktalk modem: ISDN channel - SpeedTouch USB - ADSL - PPP
On the advanced tab of the internet connection, ICS is ticked to
allow other network users to connect through the internet
On the Networking/Properties tab the IP address is 192.168.0.2 :
subnet mask is 255.255.255.0
On the Networking/Properties/Advanced tab/WINS, NetBios is
disabled over TCP/IP
Appropriate Firewall disabled
Is XP Home with SP2
The shared connection has (checked): TCP/IP, Qos packet
scheduler, Client for MS networks, file and printer sharing
With IP address is 192.168.0.3 : subnet mask is 255.255.255.0
NetBios is disabled over TCP/IP
Appropriate Firewall disabled
Neither PC can see the other and PC2 can't access the internet.
The tooltip for the network icons on each PC shows a status of
connected and shared! How is this possible when they're not?
Both PCs have individual names and the same workgroup name.
Grrrr and double drat.
PC1 connects to the Internet through
modem? Have you set up an ad-hoc network yet? I'd get a router and
let it do the networking.
zardiw, I think your mean ICS (Internet
Connection Sharing) versus "ad-hoc" which actually refers to a type
of wireless networking. Probably no need of that here as jackdaw has
stated at a crossover cable is in used across the systems.
As for your inquiry as well as the possible situation at hand. If
ICS is correctly setup on the first PC, then its ICS managed NIC
would probably have an assigned IP of 192.168.0.1 versus
I disconnected the shared network,
unistalled the network drivers, closed the 2 pcs down, removed their
NIC cards, started windows on each, closed down again, reinstalled
both NIC cards, started windows and installed network drivers.
LOCAL AREA CONNECTION ON PC1
Having used the wizard to set up a home or small office network, the
following IP address was assigned to the Local Area Network on PC1:
192.168.0.1 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0
IN MY NETWORK PLACES ON EACH PC
PC1 can't see itself or PC2
PC2 can see itself but can't see PC1 or the internet
What have I done wrong and what do I need to do?
Here are two backgrounders around the
What you might be running into is the situation where your USB modem
driver may not be showing up as a NIC (network card). ICS can only
be enabled on what Windows "thinks" is an actual NIC. A quick test
of this possible situation is an "ipconfig /all" (without the
quotes). If it does not show a minimum of two NICs on the system,
then ICS can not/will not function on that system.
Back to zardiw's original suggestion, if your DSL modem supports an
Ethernet connection too or maybe running a "real" second Ethernet
NIC to the system instead of the current USB arrangement.
An older thread started by one forum
member discusses an issue with one system not being able to browse the
network. In this case the Computer Browser service is not running - and
when started again, it just stops. More recently another forum member
also has this issue and uses some helpful links posted in the discussion
thread to make it work.
I have a home Windows XP (only) network
- some machines XP Pro and some XP Home.
All machines can get out to internet, and print. But one (and only
machine is unable to Browse the Network. It is XP Home. I noticed
Computer Browser service is not running. If I try running the
says The computer browser service started then stopped. The Event
just has informational messages that it started and stopped - no
The server, workstation, and netbios helper services are all
The machine can PING the local browse master fine and in every other
seems to be networked just fine. When other machines browse the
it is visible. (I checked which machine is the Browse master using
ntbstat -a. And the browse master is an always on, wired machine -
one for browse master.) I can NET VIEW and NET USE from that machine
too (to any machine on the network, including the browse master) -
because I mapped it using LMHOST file. Before the LMHOST mapping, I
not NET USE, though I could get to internet and other machines could
or NET VIEW it.
Any ideas why the Computer Browser service does not want to keep
Does it secretly write messages somewhere that might give me a hint,
there a VERBOSE option for it ? I checked the process that the
service runs and tried to run it from the command line, but it also
ends immediately and with no message output at all. Thanks.
I appreciate the response, but in my
case, the service does not terminate with an error (like the KB
article you pointed me to). It starts then stops without an
exception raised. Also, I did turn off firewall in trying to
troubleshoot it - it did not matter.
Interestingly, I did try just disabling the Computer Browser
service, and the network browsing behavior changed. When it was
enabled and had previously started and stopped, I would get an error
that the network was not accessible (for browsing - the computer is
networked and can see other computers, connect to shares, print, and
get out to internet.) But with the service disabled, there is no
error raised in trying to browse the network - it just doesn't see
Event Log 7035 & 7036
Hi Greenstead - Thanks for the Help. I was able to resolve my issue
by refering the KB Article.
The service automatically stop if your
registry settings are not configured to maintain the browse list. To
verify your settings do the following:
The MaintainServerList value should be set to Yes or Auto. If this
Value is No then the computer browser service will not start.
Practically Networked Forums > Practically Networked > Applications/Software
Windows Home Server RESOURCES/FAQ
In this PracticallyNetworked discussion several
of our forum members discuss the new Windows Home Server (WHS), its benefits,
online reviews, some issues they have encountered, plus add-ins for WHS.
Windows Home Server (WHS) is a new
product from Microsoft. I have been beta testing it and using it
since the beginning of this year. I am not a WHS expert but can
offer my experience and opinions on it. I am using WHS on a home
network of mixed wired/wireless PCs and laptops of various OS, with
~1 TB of storage. WHS is new, and like all new systems has some
problems but is basically stable and great potential for the home.
Overall I would recommend it worth considering on a home network to
provide backup of home PCs and centralized storage.
We used it for about 3 weeks. Its unbelievable how easy home server
is to set-up and use, even if you know next to nothing about
servers, networking and so on.
We're using Vista on the PCs and XP on the laptops. For the server
we used a P4 3.1GB box with 3GB memory, 2 hard drives (an 80 and a
I think those who are concerned about back-ups and those who don't
yet have a backup regime in place will be especially interested in
WHS (which lets you backup ten PCs).
I just converted my old desktop into a
WHS box this last Thursday. It really is a quite impressive, IMHO,
piece of software. My WHS is a Pentium 4 1.8 Ghz box, 512 Meg RAM
with a 160 Gig and a 20 Gig hard drive.
The WHS backups my wife's XP Pro machine and my Vista Ultimate
laptop automatically on a daily basis, something I never had in the
past. I also setup a remote access account and privileges for my
brother (who lives in Florida) and myself. My brother has access to
shared folders/files while I have access to shared folders/files and
my own specifically owned folder. He also has a WHS running and I
have similar privileges on his machine, (ie. access to shared
folders/files only). My wife only has access to shared folders/files
and her specifically owned folder on the WHS. She does not have
remote access privileges.
Remote Desktop access is easy and fast to my wife's XP Pro machine
if I need it.
All access to my WHS and shared folders/files or Remote Desktop to
access my wife's XP Pro machine is via a web based interface that
requires two ports to be opened on any firewall/router the WHS is
behind, ie. TCP Port 443 and TCP Port 4125.
You can either get a free fully qualified domain name (FQDN) from
Microsoft to remotely call your WHS or as in my case use an existing
DynDNS FQDN. I use a DynDNS FQDN simply because my current Belkin
F5D7230-4 broadband router has built-in support for DynDNS. My
brother uses a MS supplied FQDN.
There is a new article up on
PracticallyNetworked today called "Expand Windows Home Server With
Add-ins". It takes a look at three different add-ins (Whiist,
PhotoSync, and AutoExit) and also has links to more add-ins you can
download and try.
I like AutoExit - mainly because I can shut my eleven year olds'
computer off when his "five more minutes please!" turns into ten. It
works great for that!
I also tried the Client Info add-in but had mixed results. Sometimes
it displayed correct server stats, sometimes it didn't - and rarely
were the client stats right.
A fellow named Scott, aka sedin26,
posted a procedure on the MS WHS discussion forums to setup either a
PPTP VPN or OpenVPN server on a WHS machine for remote client
backup. Check it out. Some of you may find it of interest.