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securing wireless connection on windows xp via netgear

Posted on 2011-02-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi Folks,

So I'm at a friends house using her wireless. Unsecured wireless. I tell her I will secure it for her. I'm on my laptop, not hers. I use Windows 7, she uses Windows XP. Can I secure her wireless connection from my laptop? and if so, does that mean that anyone that hooks into an unsecured wireless connection can secure it, locking out the owner?

Or is all this moot because I should secure it via her Netgear router?

Thanks
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Question by:dlewis61
6 Comments
 
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Jerod Sanderson earned 21 total points
ID: 34981926
If the Netgear router has the default settings out of the box yes some one can connect to her wireless access the settings page via ip address and change the settings to lock the owner out.  on the router its self there should be a reset button or insturctions on how to reset the router to factory defaults if that should happen.  You can secure her wireless connection from your laptop.  
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by:WesWilson
WesWilson earned 42 total points
ID: 34981930
You need to secure it by logging into her router. It doesn't matter what computer you connect from. The router will have a setup wizard you can access from your web browser.

If you connect via a wireless connection, be aware that when you apply the security settings to the router (which may include a software restart on the router) you will no longer be able to connect from your laptop without supplying the credentials. (If you connect via a network cable, you won't have that issue.)
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by:Mdragga
Mdragga earned 21 total points
ID: 34981950
If the base IP address is still 192.168.0.1 (or something similar) then anyone with the ability to do a Google search for the default Router User/Password information that can get a signal can get in there and adjust the settings. Thankfully wireless network ranges are small and unless she has some particulary mischievous neighbors this probably won't be an issue. This interface isn't as user friendly as the intial setup software that will help you with the router setup but its still very doable for an expirienced user. I'd recommend you secure her network and changer her User/Password as well to provide her with some protection
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by:sah18
sah18 earned 21 total points
ID: 34981978
It doesn't matter which system (yours, hers, or anyone else's) you use to secure the network, because securing the network means that you are in fact connecting to her router (the netgear), and modifying the settings that are stored on her router.  This does require that you have access to the router, and as bbt suggests above, chances are high that this unsecured router still has its default login and password (since no one bothered to secure it, most likely no one bothered to change the username/password either).  So, once you're logged into the router, not only secure the network, but I'd highly recommend you also change the router password as well (and give that information to her -- or tape it to the bottom of the router itself).
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by:WesWilson
WesWilson earned 42 total points
ID: 34982000
To connect to the router's Setup screen, go to your cmd prompt, do ipconfig, and check your default gateway (probably 192.168.1.254, 192.168.1.1, or 192.168.0.1). Put that address in your web browser.

When prompted for a password, login with username "admin" and password "password"

Be sure to change the password before you are done (and share the new password with the owner).

For more info, check out:

http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/112/~/securing-your-wireless-network%3A-wpa%2Fwpa2-%28recommended%29
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by:Robert_ACi
Robert_ACi earned 20 total points
ID: 34982070
Don't do it over wireless, hardwire in and then set up the router. I always do a 30/30/30 reset on the router before I configure it. Hold the reset button in for 30 seconds, while keeping the reset button down, unplug the power, continue to hold for 30 more seconds and then plug the power back in and hold for the remaining 30 seconds. I like to wait until all of the lights train up and then I pull the plug and continue on to configuring. Point your browser to 192.168.0.1 and proceed to configure. The most important setting is the Wireless Security. Set it to WPA2 Personal as this is our best defense at the moment. After that, click the status page and ensure that you're getting an external IP. If you are, then you're all set.
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