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new home wireless help - Security, gaming, printing, etc...

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new home wireless help - Security, gaming, printing, etc...

Old 06-02-06, 04:18 PM
  #1  
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new home wireless help - Security, gaming, printing, etc...

I am using a Netgear WGR614 v6 wireless router, which is 54 Mbps. It says it has a double firewall (NAT + SPI,) WPA-PSK, MAC access control, and up to 128-bit WEP encryption.

=============

Here is my current setup:
My room has my primary computer w/ Win98SE (Desktop System "A") hooked into the router with 25' or 50' of Cat-5 cable.

The "office" (not for a business) has the Cable Modem, Desktop system "B" w/ Win98SE (also connected to the router by a ~3' Cat-5 cable,) USB printer, USB scanner (although it isn't hooked up right now,) and the wireless router.

There is also the new notebook computer w/ built-in wireless (54g,) which is the reason for the new router. This is a HP-Pavilion P dv5000 (or dv5116nr) - the computer says 5000, the sticker that was on the computer says 5116nr... This is using XP (Home Edition, I think.)

The living room is where I have all of my gaming consoles, although I don't have any networking in there right now...

Currently, I am able to connect to the net from all three computers.

==============

Question 1: How should I secure files on all three computers,from unauthorized access? Right now, I have specific folders set up on the older computers for File Sharing, although I believe I used a password for them...

Question 2: How can I keep data being transmitted from being "snooped"?

Question 3: Is there a way to leave the wireless connection open (here neighbor, borrow a cup of 'Net ) without leaving a security hole, or is it just not worth it?

Question 4: If I *DO* decide to leave the connection available, is there a way to see how people are using it?

Question 5: If a friend brings over a laptop, is there an easy way to add him to the network just once, so I won't have to keep doing it?

Question 6: Do I need a software firewall (cheap or preferably free would be good.) Also, what is Hijack This, and should I install it?

Question 7: What kind of set-ups do I need for wireless gaming (or even wired, for that matter?) I have a Nintendo Gamecube and PS2, and I plan to get a Nintendo DS. Eventually I hope to have a Wii, PS3, maybe an X-Box 360, and a PSP.

Question 8: Is there a way to use a network hub in one room, connected to the router in another room? I could hook the PS2 up to this, if there isn't a wireless option for it... I would prefer to not have to run a bunch of cables to the living room (or my room, as I have the PS2 in there right now.)

Question 9: Is there a way I can use a USB printer (or other USB device,) if the computer it is normally connected to isn't turned on?
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Old 06-04-06, 12:52 PM
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Old 06-04-06, 01:13 PM
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I am only have a simple network set-up(wirless router, wired to a XP PC, Wireless notebook, and and Xbox 360). Hope the following helps a little.

Question 3: Is there a way to leave the wireless connection open (here neighbor, borrow a cup of 'Net ) without leaving a security hole, or is it just not worth it?
Don't know if this is legal or ethical but I don't think you could even do it with out either using no Security or giving out your WEP key.

Question 4: If I *DO* decide to leave the connection available, is there a way to see how people are using it?
There is a program called Air Snare which I have read is pretty good, but it would have to be installed on the laptop since it needs a wireless card to function I think. I don't use it personally b/c of Trend Micro Internet Security being installed on my laptop and it detects intrusions.
http://home.comcast.net/~jay.deboer/airsnare/index.html

Question 5: If a friend brings over a laptop, is there an easy way to add him to the network just once, so I won't have to keep doing it?
They would need to know you WEP passkey, and you would need to have available IP's. I have my network set up for the assignment of only 4 IP's but could add more if needed.

Question 6: Do I need a software firewall (cheap or preferably free would be good.) Also, what is Hijack This, and should I install it?
It can't hurt I use Zone alarm's free version, just make sure you set up the level to medium (I think) so you do not loose file sharing between the PC's. If you have comcast you can Mcafe for free. HiJack This reports all the running processes and programs that are currently installed on your PC it can be used to ID problems. I have only used it on ocassion and am not too familiar with it.

Question 7: What kind of set-ups do I need for wireless gaming (or even wired, for that matter?) I have a Nintendo Gamecube and PS2, and I plan to get a Nintendo DS. Eventually I hope to have a Wii, PS3, maybe an X-Box 360, and a PSP.
You would need a wireless bridge, this is the reason I set up a wireless network. I use a wireless bridge(mn-740) to connect my Xbox360, I have had no issues with this set-up.

Hopefully someone else will chime to correct me if I am wrong or can help with the other questions.

Last edited by 1998Nole; 06-04-06 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 06-05-06, 06:37 AM
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Question 1: How should I secure files on all three computers,from unauthorized access? Right now, I have specific folders set up on the older computers for File Sharing, although I believe I used a password for them...

Only share sub folders and password protect them. DO NOT share the root drive ie C:\

Question 2: How can I keep data being transmitted from being "snooped"?

I can only speak from personal experience. I use a wired network for most of my work including financial transactions (Banking, Investing, online purchases, taxes, ect.) So my desktop is hard wired into the router/switch and I use it primarily for these tasks.

Question 3: Is there a way to leave the wireless connection open (here neighbor, borrow a cup of 'Net ) without leaving a security hole, or is it just not worth it?

Depends. There are different levels of security for wireless networking, it depends on your situation and level of comfort. I have my WAP (Wireless Access Point) setup only for MAC filtering. I have set a unique name and setup password and then only allow MAC's that are listed to connect. No WEP or other security enabled. In this setup you could list your neighbors MAC and they would be good to go.

Question 4: If I *DO* decide to leave the connection available, is there a way to see how people are using it?

There is software available to do tracking. My linksys WAP has a log of connections and attempts. This log is enough for me, I can see the MAC's of machines that connect and/or attempt to connect.

Question 5: If a friend brings over a laptop, is there an easy way to add him to the network just once, so I won't have to keep doing it?

In my setup I would simply put his MAC address in my "Allowed" list and its there for the duration.

Question 6: Do I need a software firewall (cheap or preferably free would be good.) Also, what is Hijack This, and should I install it?

Yes, I previously used Zone Alarm but now rely on Windows XP built in firewall. I have also run Symantec client security. I believe Hijack this is a tool to help you rid yourself of spyware once infected, it can easily document all running processes on your PC to allow for careful cleaning, I dont think it provides any real time protection from threats.

Question 7: What kind of set-ups do I need for wireless gaming (or even wired, for that matter?) I have a Nintendo Gamecube and PS2, and I plan to get a Nintendo DS. Eventually I hope to have a Wii, PS3, maybe an X-Box 360, and a PSP.

Again my principle is wired is best if an option then wired as required or as a convenience. So my XBOX is hardwired, I use my PSP connected to the WAP. If you have the option I would run wire where-ever possible, in general it will be more secure/robust/ and generally less expensive.

Question 8: Is there a way to use a network hub in one room, connected to the router in another room? I could hook the PS2 up to this, if there isn't a wireless option for it... I would prefer to not have to run a bunch of cables to the living room (or my room, as I have the PS2 in there right now.)

Yes, read up on basic networking terms. A router in simple terms is a device that allows you to share a single WAN (Wide area network) IP address with multiple LAN (Local Arean network) machinces. The WAN is the internet the LAN is all of your local PC's and game devices. Typical consumer routers have a router with built in switch and often a WAP. You can attach additional hubs/switches and WAP as needed. (Note Switches are preferred to hubs)

Question 9: Is there a way I can use a USB printer (or other USB device,) if the computer it is normally connected to isn't turned on?

Yes there are devices that will allow you to do this. Again in the interest of cost savings I have chosen to leave my main desktop computer on 24/7 to act as a file server (MP3's, photo's, etc) and to allow acess to printers and scanner.
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Old 06-07-06, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cseyer
Question 2: How can I keep data being transmitted from being "snooped"?

I can only speak from personal experience. I use a wired network for most of my work including financial transactions (Banking, Investing, online purchases, taxes, ect.) So my desktop is hard wired into the router/switch and I use it primarily for these tasks.

Question 8: Is there a way to use a network hub in one room, connected to the router in another room? I could hook the PS2 up to this, if there isn't a wireless option for it... I would prefer to not have to run a bunch of cables to the living room (or my room, as I have the PS2 in there right now.)

Yes, read up on basic networking terms. A router in simple terms is a device that allows you to share a single WAN (Wide area network) IP address with multiple LAN (Local Arean network) machinces. The WAN is the internet the LAN is all of your local PC's and game devices. Typical consumer routers have a router with built in switch and often a WAP. You can attach additional hubs/switches and WAP as needed. (Note Switches are preferred to hubs)
On Question 2, is the data being transmitted by the wired computers secure, if the wireless connection is turned on?

For Question 8, the reason I was asking about the hub is because that is what I had in my original network setup before I got the wireless router. It is a Linksys Etherfast 10/100 Workgroup Hub... Of course, I would have to run a cable into the living room for either the hub or the individual game console, so I was thinking I could plug in multiple consoles using the hub... On the other hand, I could just switch the cable, since I'm not likely to be online with two different consoles at once...
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