Basic Network guide

Author: Mussels
Date: 2007-05-11 09:40:27

Wireless networks.

Required hardware:
  • Wireless router (Or Wireless access point, also called a WAP)
  • Wireless network card

A Wireless router (note the aerial)

Laptop Wireless card - Some laptops have them internally.

Wireless (Wi-fi) setups work very similar to wired, except that instead of connecting via a cable, it uses radio transmissions in the 2.4Ghz range - the same as Bluetooth accessories for mobile phones, and some cordless landline phones.

The setup for a Wi-fi network may differ depending on the network card you own, but is usually a variation of the following:
  • Scan for wireless networks
  • Choose the network you wish to join (You could access your neighbor's network, for example)
  • Enter any password/keycodes required (this depends if your wireless network has security enabled)
  • Enjoy your wireless connection
Many people buy wireless routers without using the wireless features. These people should read the router's manual and disable the wireless - it is a hacking risk, and there is no use having it enabled if you don't use it.

Some people also don't use encryption, mistakenly thinking "why would anyone hack MY internet?" Think of your neighbours or anyone within 200m of your house; they can easily leech off your connection [note to muss: assuming this is what you mean? or something in there that says what you mean]. I myself have walked around town with my laptop, and I have used other people's internet hundreds of metres from their homes. You should always enable security, even if it's just to stop passers-by from accessing your network.

Notes on Wi-fi hacking/encryption
WPA and WPA2 are the best encryption methods if your hardware supports it. Experts using Linux can hack a WEP 64 or WEP 128 code in less than 15 minutes, and gain access to your network.

Someone who gains access to your network doesn’t just get the internet - they are on your NETWORK, exactly the same as if they came in and plugged a cable into your router. If you have shared files and folders over the network, they CAN access these, and depending on how you set them up, possibly even delete those files.

These people CANNOT access files you have not shared, however. If you use a wireless network, think ahead and only share files when you want them accessed, and un-share them when done.

Advanced security options and methods to make wireless networks more secure will be expanded upon in a future revision to this article.

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