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Mamradpivo's avatar

Do you secure your wireless network?

Asked by Mamradpivo (9655points) April 10th, 2011

I just recently (after too long of a wait) was able to set up a cable modem in my new apartment. I bought a new wireless router and opted to keep my network open. I’m on the top floor (they call it the fourth but to anyone who knows how to count it’s the 5th) and it’s a fairly weak signal since I only need it to cover my apartment. There are two secured wifi networks within range of me (one on one side of the house, the other on the other), so I’m not too worried about anyone getting in.

In this situation, would you secure the network? Do you have use WEP on your own network?

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20 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Yup, of course.

jerv's avatar

Yes, but I don’t use WEP since is it so easy to crack; I use WPA2.

You should be worried about people getting in. I don’t know if you ever heard of “Wardrivers” (probably not) but with a good antenna, they can yank unencrypted banking info off of an unsecured network easier that you would think possible; something that they cannot do with a properly secured network. And don’t let the low signal strength fool you; a good antenna won’t care how low you turn the transmitter power.

Wardrivers are not the only ones, merely the first to come to mind aside from neighbors who may be less than scrupulous. Unencrypted networks are not something you should ever do anything sensitive on, not even accessing your Facebook or e-mail.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, I would at least password protect it.

math_nerd's avatar

I don’t, and I haven’t for 5+ years. Never had any problems. And it is fun to check what people do on my connection. I don’t really worry since you are kinda fucked if you use my network. But mostly it is people using Facebook from a phone. I don’t mind if people jump on for a bit.

Atacama's avatar

My ex girlfriends mother got a nasty letter in the mail from an attorney representing Warner Bros. Seems the neighbor kid had been illegally downloading movies and music using her internet connection and she was being threatened to the tune of 50k for copyright infringement.

Seaofclouds's avatar

We always make sure we have our network secured.

downtide's avatar

Yes absolutely.

KateTheGreat's avatar

Everyone should. I always hack into other people’s networks though.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Thanks everyone for the opinions. I pretty much knew this. I’ve gone ahead and secured my network with WPA2 encryption so my Dutch neighbors can’t break in on it.

XOIIO's avatar

@jerv is right, I cracke dour network (after a couple ours of data collecting) in five minutes.

gmander's avatar

I’ve read a number times about pedophiles arguing (unsuccessfully!) in court that the material on their computers was put there by people that hacked into their computer via an unsecured wireless connection.

It does make me wonder why anyone would leave their wireless connection unsecured given the amount of information available regarding the risks. It would seem to me that they might have an ulterior motive to such reckless behaviour.

crisw's avatar

Yes, with WPA2. AirPorts make it very easy to do so.

jaytkay's avatar

Yes, WPA2.

I like the idea of leaving my network open.

But I hate the idea of someone downloading kiddie porn or doing something else illegal on a connection with my name attached. The odds are very, very low, but it happens.

XOIIO's avatar

@jaktay their ip address would be how they find tge person.

jaytkay's avatar

@XOIIO their ip address would be how they find tge person.

No, everybody using my WIFI is using a single public Internet IP.

The different machines on my home network have private IPs, but they are invisible to the Internet.

That’s the job of a router. It directs or “routes” traffic from a single public Internet IP among the machines on a private network.

You could only pinpoint a user if you confiscated the router and the router happened to save a log for the time in question. Most routers do not keep extensive logs.

XOIIO's avatar

Well I’ve never seen a setup like that, on most every computer has their own, otherwise it makes a conflict

jaytkay's avatar

@XOIIO Actually every setup is like that.

The router has one single public IP address. It is unique. Nobody else on Earth has that address.

It routes traffic to computers on your network using private IP addresses.

The private internal addresses will be within these ranges:
10.0.0.0 – 10.255.255.255
172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255
192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255

Say I am the router at Acme.com
My Internet IP is 103.63.103.43

Acme has 100 computers.
Their internal private IPs are 172.16.0.001 through 172.16.0.100

Every web site visited by every employee is communicating with 103.63.103.43.
Google, Yahoo, Youtube, CNN, Amazon…All they can see is 103.63.103.43.

My router keeps track of all the requests and “routes” them to the correct 172… IP addresses.

XOIIO's avatar

The computer itself has an individual ip address that can be traced back to it like I said. They would find the router address, and the sub-address that was assigned to the computer, that one won’t have the same sub-address as your computer does.

jaytkay's avatar

Nope. Their is no “sub-address”. Their is a private IP address.

And router logs rarely save much history about private IP addresses.

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