How can I secure my wireless connection with WPA encryption?
Question by Angela /

I read the article on How To Secure Your Wireless Network Connection and I was trying to secure my wireless, but my router has WEP not WPA.

Is there a way to change from WEP to WPA or is WEP ok? I tried changing it in my network connections through my properties, I changed it to WPA then I couldn’t connect to my router because connection security didn’t match my router. I knew then I have to do it through router first then PC?

I found someone leeching my internet and just trying to make it more secure.

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Answers (4)
  • Aibek

    Hey Angela,

    Did you figure it out? Did you go through recommendations above? Let us know if you need any further assistance.

    Aibek

  • Mike

    The previous posts already cover the encryption topic therefor I will only add the links to get WPA/WPA2 support in Windows XP:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyId=009D8425-CE2B-47A4-ABEC-274845DC9E91&displaylang=en
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=662bb74d-e7c1-48d6-95ee-1459234f4483&displaylang=en

    Vista/7 etc. support it by default

    In addition to the encryption you may consider using MAC-Address filter if your Router supports it. This way only devices you explicitly allowed are able to use your WiFi.

    MAC-Addresses are world wide unique 12-digit hexadecimal numbers assigned to every network and/or WiFi card (format is like 00:12:34:AB:CD:EF). The additional security here is that if someone tries to “fake” your computers MAC you will be notified about a “MAC Address conflict”.

    How to Find your MAC-Address
    http://www-dcn.fnal.gov/DCG-Docs/mac/

    The downside is that guests, your new laptop or mobile phone won’t be able to connect to your WiFi unless you added the devices MAC-Address to the “allowed” list on your Router.

  • Anonymous

    The first line of defense for your Wi-Fi network is encryption, which encodes the data transmitted between your PC and your wireless router. Unfortunately, most routers ship with encryption turned off, and many users don’t turn it on, leaving themselves completely exposed. If you haven’t already, enable your router’s encryption, and use the strongest form supported by your network. The Wireless Protected Access (WPA) protocol and more recent WPA2 have supplanted the older and less-secure Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP).

    Go with WPA or WPA2 if at all possible, since WEP is relatively easy to crack. (You have to use the same form on all devices on your network; you can’t mix WEP and WPA.) The keys used by WPA and WPA2 change dynamically, which make them nearly impossible to hack. Use a strong password for your encryption key, such as a combination of letters and numbers of 14 characters or more.

    If you have an older router that supports WEP only, you’ll be safest if you use 128-bit WEP keys–but also check the manufacturer’s Web site for a firmware update that will add WPA support. If it doesn’t look like an update is likely, consider replacing old adapters and routers with newer models that support WPA. Look for a router that supports the hybrid WPA + WPA2 mode, which lets you use the stronger WPA2 encryption with adapters that support it, while still maintaining compatibility with WPA adapters.

    Make sure you change the default network name and password on your router. Doing so will make it much more difficult for hackers to break into your router and commandeer its settings.

  • Fidelis

    How old is your router? Older routers came with only WEP as encryption. If that is your case you can try and go to your router’s manufacturer and see if they have a newer update for your router’s firmware.

    The encryption has to be changed through your router first and then when that is done join your other computers using the network connection’s properties. The easiest way of accessing your router is by typing http:// plus your gateway in your browser. Check your router’s configuration to see what options for encryption your router has. There should be an option that lets you know what kind of encryption you can implement. Hopefully your router can implent WPA…even better if your router has WPA2 change it to that. One thing you should know is that if you can change your encryption to WPA2, all the devices you add to your network have to be compatible with WPA2.

    Once your router is configured with the new encryption, you can go to your other devices and in the network connection’s properties change it accordingly. A very important thing to do is to set a password for your router. Most routers come with a default user and password but if you do a search online you are able to find what those default user/passwords are. Make sure that you set a strong password as your key and remember what that password is because you will be needing it to add your other devices. Hope that helps.