Advice re wireless Broadband

10 replies
Found 9th Feb 2006
Hi, can anyone help?

I currently have cable broadband with Telewest and need to move my PC. Telewest have a deal with Netgear & I can buy a wireless router and USB adapter which seems to do what I want.

The problem is that my wife has heard that wireless routers are not secure and is worried that people can "hack in" so she is not keen.

Has anyone got on info or advice on this?


Wireless routers can be very secure indeed. The problem is that most people who buy them just leave them on the default settings, which leaves them open for anyone to tap into. If you read the manual carefully, change the default passwords, and enable WEP (encryption) in the router's settings, the chances of anyone hijacking your connection are tiny.

I've just got a wireless connection, and it's great not being 'chained' to your phone line.

Original Poster

Thanks for the info poppy10. It's not me who was unhappy with the idea but mainly the wife. I guess I think they wouldn't sell these if they weren't secure. My wife saw a TV report that said someone standing outside the house could intercept my pc, although as we live in quite an open area, I think we might notice!!

Well, she is right. No wireless access is completely secure. There are three categories in consumer's WiFi:
1. Sort of secure (WPA)
2. Less secure (WEP)
3. Not secure at all.

I am not kidding. Do search for airodump/aircrack/airdecap and see yourself. BTW, I don't have any serious knowledge on how to crack WEP/WPA, just read couple of interesting articles.

Here is my paranoid guide

To protect your network from intrusion you need to do the following:
1. Only use WPA-TKIP or WPA-AES.
2. Give absolutely meaningless combination of symbols as key. Crackers are using wordlists for WPA.
3. Use MAC filters. Yes, it is easy to clone your MAC but some protection is better than none.
4. Hide SSID. At least some script kiddie won't have a clue there is wireless network nearby.
5. Change default password on router, disable router remote access, especially through Wireless and kill telnet (if possible).

On the other hand, if you do all the above, you will be an "easy target" no more. They still could break into your network but unless you have some worthy secrets there will be no point to spend so much effort to do so.

BTW, according to some tests, WEP-64 key could be found broken in 3 seconds and WEP-128 in 7-8. WPA takes way more time to break. If it is possible in reasonable time at all.

Don't forget it is all in vain if you are using a CRT monitor as the waves can be decoded remotely


Yeah and someone can analyze what you are typing by scanning sound waves There was security report on that somewhere

Oh yes I forgot about that! There's a rhythm to certain key strokes as well as degree of noise or something? I can't quite remember anymore.

In fact, forget WiFi and use smoke signals hehe...

Actually Kommmunist has explained that set-up very well, good for reference Thanks

Soundwaves and CRT intrusions hmm... If I didn't trust you two I'd think it was April Fools Day lol...

Original Poster

Thanks for the info guys.

However, don't know if should follow rayman's advice - how long would it take to get great deals by smoke! Plus what if you live in a smoke free zone & besides it's not very eco friendly - lol.

Here is an article on keystroke sound text recognition, so no it is not April Fools day It is reality.

As to smoke - how long do you think it'll take to someone to come with idea on "information recovery" by analyzing smoke clouds?

With smoke signals, you need to drop your firewall and for security have a water cooled PC with an Inhell Excellerent processor :roll:
Real HOT Deals rocky1man

Seriously though, I'm Going to have to read up on all these interesting subjects that pop up in replies. Thanks Admin and Kommunist for those

I've gone for wireless, I live in a large town too. I haven't secured my network yet as it slows down quite a large amount. Living in the end house of a terrace has it's advantges, I only have 2 houses that are close enough to pick it up and neither are switched on upstairs if I'm honest. I can pick it up in the car with the laptop, so then moved about with the laptop to find the maximum distance. It really does seem like a short distance. So unless someone knows about it, they won't hack in and use my broadband.
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