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A Few Questions

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harveymt's picture
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Joined: 17 Jul 2008
Posts: 351

Just with my recent troubles in relation to wireless networks, I have a few general questions.

1.) Is wireless security important? Is it only a matter of stopping people using your connection or can they get access to your computer?

2.) Are there many differences between the different formats? I read WEP is easily cracked but WPA is better? Is there much difference between WPA and WPA2? Do they use a different amount of resources, ie is one faster than another?

3.) AES and TKIP. What are they and what is the diffence? Again, is there a performance difference between the two?

4.) Does the wireless security just add a password to access the network or does it encrypt all information sent over the network?

5.) What are MAC clients and do I need to worry about them?

There may be a few more but they've slipped my mind just now.

kena's picture
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Joined: 28 May 2008
Posts: 1042
Re: A Few Questions

Yes  if your bandwidth is capped someone could take you over limit. Piracy you could be held liable for illegal downloads. If your complacent about your wireles security who knows what they could hack into.


link to resonable tips/explanations here for your other queries


I'd never have a Apple MAC on my network  so dont worry about 5.. .. Seriously tho MAC address is 12 Digit unique number allocated to your network Interface (i.e. Connected device   WII,PS3 etc.) If you setup your network to only talk to certain MAC's its another way of ensuring no-one access your network but a pain if you have a visitor wanting to connect their laptop.


Anyway hopefully the link  will give you the knowledge you need basically use WPA2 (Mixed WPA/WPA2) and AES.

genfish's picture
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Joined: 27 Jul 2009
Posts: 163
Re: A Few Questions
harveymt:

Just with my recent troubles in relation to wireless networks, I have a few general questions.

1.) Is wireless security important? Is it only a matter of stopping people using your connection or can they get access to your computer?

Yes, its important. If you leave your network open, people could do the things Kena mentioned. They could get access to your files, or printer, or whatever if you have any vulnerabilities. Theres quite a lot someone could do depending on what equipment you have, what software you are running etc. If you have capped broadband like Kena says, you dont want anyone using your allowance.
harveymt:

2.) Are there many differences between the different formats? I read WEP is easily cracked but WPA is better? Is there much difference between WPA and WPA2? Do they use a different amount of resources, ie is one faster than another?

WEP is easily cracked. If there are packets going through a router, my laptop cracks WEP on the best settings for your average router in say 2-3mins. There is little difference between WPA and WPA2, WPA2 uses another encryption algorithm. If you have both options, use WPA2. The overhead of all methods is so small you will not notice a difference from using no encryption at all.
harveymt:

3.) AES and TKIP. What are they and what is the diffence? Again, is there a performance difference between the two?

Use AES with WPA2. Theres no noticeable performance difference.
harveymt:

4.) Does the wireless security just add a password to access the network or does it encrypt all information sent over the network?

 

Data is transmitted in packets. Each packet has some data, and a little bit of stuff called a header which tells the recipent computer what type of information is in the packet, amongst other things. The whole packet is encrypted using the method you choose.



harveymt:

5.) What are MAC clients and do I need to worry about them?

Every network device (wired network card and wireless adaptor) has an address called a MAC address. Not like an IP address, that is just so the network knows where data should go. The MAC address identifies the actual physical piece of hardware, and every device has a different one. If you've been looking at your router, and it has MAC filtering, you can specify which hardware devices can only access your network. To look for a MAC address, in linux, open a terminal and type ifconfig. In windows, go to a console and type 'ipconfig /all'. Its in the format 00:00:00:00:00:00 (possibly separated by dashes in windows IIRC).

 If you're network is open, and you see in the DHCP list that there is a device you do not know, run to your neighbours house and smash up his laptop to get the MAC address from the chip inside to see if he's been stealing your internet Wink