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Wifi - What's the rules?

  • Thread starter Scottish Business Owner
  • Start date
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
I've had wifi at home for a while and use it with my laptop downstairs and also use it with my Nintendo Wii :p

Are there any general rules to make sure you're wireless secure? I've heard of WPA and WEP so what's the difference and which one is better. I dont like the idea of people stealing my connection and potentially harvesting my details etc :eek:

Brian McIntosh

New Member
My wireless network, I think, uses WEP encryption. There is a 24 digit code that I had to type in so it would connect. Are you saying that this is easily hacked? If so what's the options to make it more secure?

Having just watched the Hustle video, it explains how to hack into a wireless network using "software readily available on the internet". Couldn't the same software be used to hack into any wireless network?


New Member
Wifi is pretty secure, whether using WEP or WPA.

The best way to secure a wireless network is to turn off SSID broadcast (the wireless network name you are using),use WPA/WPA2 authentication and setup an access list (MAC address filtering). These can all be setup through the configuration screen for your wireless router.

Don't panic too much about what you see and read on tv. To hack into your wireless network someone needs to be sitting within range of it with a laptop and appropriate software (yes, it is easily downloadable from the internet) and 'listen' to your network over a period of hours. The software and laptop 'listens' to what your router is broadcasting and, over a period of time, attempts to crack the password used.

Anyone who is really set on using someones wireless network will target those who have unsecured routers and not secured one. If you have a wireless laptop have a cruise round Marchmont - there are dozens of them.


New Member
I use an access list but I'm not sure how secure this makes it. My main security is being remote ;)



Active Member
Verified Member
MAC is by no way secure at all. "MAC" is the number associated with each device that connects to the network. Because MAC address limiting isn't encrypting, the hacker can easily view the data being transferred, read the MAC address and then clone it on his or her network card. Voilas, instant access.

WEP is insecure as it is easily cracked. After reading a few bits of encrypted data, the hacker is able to process it and work out (reverse hash) the key that WEP uses.

From wikipedia about WEP:

"Beginning in 2001, several serious weaknesses were identified by cryptanalysts with the result that today a WEP connection can be cracked with readily available software within minutes."

This is not an exaggeration, and by no means "television media" statistics. I have done it myself for part of my University degree.

If you want to be secure with your WIFI, use WPA or better, WPA2.

All Wireless Routers come with an administration panel that you can access via a web browser (locally).

Usually, this is set by default as or

You will have to find out what the default username and password is. Once in there, you can click on "Wifi Security" (or whatever the manufacturer calls it) and choose a WPA2 encryption.

Not only is WPA2 secure, but it is also easier to remember. Before, with WEP, you had to remember an encrypted hex key (for example: 68656c6c6f),which isn't very easy to remember when setting up new computers on your network. With WPA2, you can use easy to remember phrases (but don't use your address, phone-number, or anything else easy to guess!).

The longer your key, the more secure. Remember, nothing is stopping a hacker from "brute force" whereby they try every combination: a, b, c, d,... aa, ab, ac, ... aaa, aab.. Its slow, but if your password is something as weak as "hello", this can be Brute Forced in under 4 minutes.

I went to a seminar on Cryptology a month or two ago, and one of the key points was to try something new with passwords. Instead of a "password", tell a short story.

For example: "I once took a walk along the beach". This can be turned into your WPA2 passphrase easily:


Slap in a number or two, and you've got a pretty secure WPA2 solution to your Wifi security worries :)


If anyone is worried about their WiFi Security, let me know the Manufacturer and Model Number of your router, and I'll try and find a step-by-step guide for securing it. If you're in the Edinburgh area, I do Wifi security for only


New Member
Thank you for that amazingly informative post, Stu, which I will pass on to my own network security expert (19yo son) for the appropriate action if required. I know he works with wires as he claims he needs the speed, but the rest of us use wireless and two of the machines are two floors from the router.

, can we have a thanks button on the forum?
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