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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You have a ORiNOCO RG-1000 wireless Residential
Gateway and need help with
Tip #1: Make sure you have Windows.
You'll need a computer running Win95/98/NT or 2000 to do the setup.
The RG-1000 brochure touts a "browser-based configuration and management
tool", but the only thing that's browser-based are the setup tool's
HELP files. In addition, the RG setup utility installer must
install version 1.3 of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) onto your machine.
I'm all for JAVA-based utilities, but not real excited about requiring
a JRE to be installed in order to use a product. Why not use those
wonderful jar files and zipped class files that get installed along
with my browser?
Tip #2: Get the latest stuff
You should probably download the latest setup utility (v1.10 as of this
review) from the ORiNOCO
support site. (If you don't like futzing with the web interface
to the support area, just point your browser or favorite FTP client to
The newer version lets you specify a default gateway for the RG-1000,
which some DSL users need to be able to set. You can only do this
if you enter static IP information for the RG's Ethernet port, though.
Tip #3: Be a DHCP client I suggest using a wired, not wireless client, to run the RG setup
program on and set that computer to be a DHCP client (obtain an IP address
automatically). The RG comes set to be a DHCP server on its Ethernet
port and that way you might avoid the can't-find-the-RG problem that some
other reviewers reported.
If being a DHCP client doesn't work, the RG Help file suggests setting
the computer that is running the RG setup program to IP address 10.0.1.55
and subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. This will allow you to
communicate with the default RG IP of 10.0.1.1
I also found that I needed to set my wireless Client's TCP/IP DNS properties
to point to my LAN's router IP address and not the IP of my ISP's
DNS server that my router's DHCP server was handing out. Why?
I dunno, but I suspect something funny in the RG's bridging software.
A few readers have reported that you can find the IP address of the
Ethernet port if you press F12 on your keyboard while the
RG setup software is running.
Tip #4: Use Bridge Mode If you have an existing Ethernet LAN, I recommend you set the RG
to its bridge mode and use something else as your NAT router to share
an Internet connection to your LAN. As mentioned above, the RG has
only one Ethernet port and can't route to both it and wireless nodes simultaneously
unless your WAN connection is via dialup modem.
get to the Bridge setting by selecting a "Custom" setup and
clicking on the "Network Topology" button on the final RG
Also check "Configuring
the RG" for more reasons why you may want to use
the Bridge mode of the RG.
Tip #5: Be Patient! For some reason, it would take a good 20-30 seconds to load the first
web page when I fired up the browser on my wireless client. Things
flew along fine after that. Again, I'm not sure what's going on,
but the RG's bridging software may take awhile to learn the MAC address
to IP info that it needs to properly pass packets.
Tip #5: Be Careful with the Buttons! There are two buttons on the back of the RG: Reset and Forced Reload.
Read the RG Help file carefully before pressing either of these buttons
and when you press them, don't hold them down for more than a second.
Holding down the Forced Reload button for much longer than that will erase
the firmware in the RG, and then you'll be in for a fun time!
If it ain't broke...!
Upgrading router firmware can sometimes cause more problems than it fixes!
Here are a few lthings to consider before you click that "Upgrade"
Check the Readme or other information that describes what the firmware
will do before you do the upgrade. If you don't need new features and
your product is happily doing it's job... leave it alone and don't
perform the upgrade!
If you do need the upgrade, first download a copy of your
existing firmware revision, or the closest earlier revision
available. You may need it in case something doesn't work right with
the new firmware.
this page for info about new RG1000 Setup firmware!
The RG Setup program checks the status of the firmware in the RG everytime
it runs. If functional firmware isn't in the unit, the program will
automatically load it.
If you want to force a software reload, do the following:
1) Set your client computer's IP address to 10.0.1.55,
subnet mask 255.255.255.0. Gateway and DNS settings don't
2) Hold down the Forced Reload button on the back
of the RG until the light (or lights) on front of the RG turns Orange.
You have now wiped the RG's firmware.
3) Start the RG Setup utility. It should find the
RG and reload the firmware.
4) If RG Setup can't find the RG, try setting your client
computer to an IP address in the 153.69.254.X range (don't ask...),
subnet mask 255.255.255.0, and repeat steps 2 and 3.