If you had just bought a Linksys WRT54g router then you have to make serious steps to secure it because as soon as you get on the Internet without tweaking the device, your default is open to attack. This is one device among many that is delivered to your doorstep with the words INSECURE written all over it (not literally). You have been warned: never attempt to go online using the device’s default config. Instead, take these easy breezy steps to protect this device with WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and WEP (Wireless Equivalent Privacy).
- Enable the router. Plug the device into a power source and wait10 seconds to get on track.
- Take an Ethernet cable. Plug it into a wall jack straight through the port on the base of the router that reads “Internet.”
- Get another set of Ethernet cabling. Plug both ends to your laptop and the other to ports from 1 through 4 on the router. After this step you are ready to begin the config process.
- Move to an open web browser and enter this IP address. http://192.168.1.1 and then press enter on your keyboard.
- Type in Admin. This will be both your username and password.
- Change the Router Name on the Setup page. This is where you will find the default name that renders your router powerless from hackers. Change that name to a unique name. Once this is done, proceed to the bottom of the page to click on Save Settings. If you see that a dialog box pops up after giving this command, your attempt is successful and you can now move on to the next step by clicking Continue.
- Disable the SSID Wireless Broadcast setting. To do this, navigate to the tab that reads Wireless that is found on the topmost portion of the screen. Change the name that you see on there with the same unique name that you had used from step#6. When you had performed this, forge ahead and disable the SSID Wireless Broadcast setting by ticking the Disable option. Finish it up by clicking Save Settings and move to the next step after you see a dialog box that says you were able to successfully initiate the command.
- Change to a secure mode. Look for the sub-category that reads Wireless Security. Go to the Security Mode and select WEP from the drop down menu. You will be presented with another drop down menu from which you will choose these numbers and characters: 128 bits 26 hex digits.
- Enter your password in the Passphrase box. Your password must be between 6 to 8 characters only. Once you are done entering your password, click Generate, Save Settings, and Continue in succession until you see a dialog box that tells you these commands were successfully completed.
- Clear the list for authorized PC on your wireless network. This is similar to generating a VIP list that will be allowed access to a hot new club. To do this, look for the Wireless MAC Filter that is also on top of the page. Click on Enable and then Permit Only Computers That Are Listed For Access To My Wireless Network. Save this setting and click Continue. Again a dialog box will tell you if you did this successfully.
- Using the Mac Address Filter List, enter all the IP or physical addresses of the computers that will be allowed to your network. Let the dialog box guide you on this after which you will have to click Save Settings and Continue. Wait for the dialog box to prompt you again and then close this window.
- Go back to the Administration page. You can find the tab on top of the screen page. Replace the default password with a new 6 to 8 character password in the field marked Router Password. Save your settings and click Continue until a dialog box prompts you that this task has been completed.
Now that wasn’t so hard to do, right? You have now completely secured your wireless router and can surf the Internet until your eyes water and your fingers go numb.