90% OT Computer query

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:38
ThreadID: 53578 Views:2840 Replies:11 FollowUps:26
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Hi
Severe lack of technical knowledge, a neighbour that has moved his computer to a spare bedroom near our family room, and heavier download charges than normal has resulted in this question.
When using a Belkin wireless router for web access on a second computer, can any shielding be added to prevent the magic invisible rays going in a preset direction to stop thieving neighbours tapping into my internet access?
Yeah, go ahead and laugh, the old lead shield to stop Superman from being kryptonited trick, but is it possible?
Apparently I can set up passwords, but if I could understand the tech speak in the manual, I'd probably forget the password I used.
Thanks in advance
Ian
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Reply By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:41

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:41
YES
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:45

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:45
It's called a Firewall with anti Phishing and Anti Spyware software

Anti-phishing software


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Follow Up By: KSV. - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:50

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:50
Doug,

It is far cheaper faster and more convenient to use router or hardware firewall rather then put lots of cr@p on your computer that only makes it works slow.

Cheers
Serg
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 13:41

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 13:41
KSV
Don't tell me.... I didn't ask the question,Mines chokka's with crap and works fine ....sometimes....Nah it's OK , usually find a solution to my PC problems myself


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Follow Up By: KSV. - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 14:04

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 14:04
No problemo, Dusty. Just mind you that OP asked about wireless security rather then anti-phising software or firewall issues. Your answer was completely out of topic.

Cheers
Serg
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Follow Up By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 14:37

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 14:37
KSV
I know what he asked for ...WIRELESS. bugger eh, wonder what it is I'm using, Oh I wouldn't have the faintest idea, it just works , thats all I care about

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Reply By: KSV. - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:46

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 12:46
Yes, it is possible to encrypt and password-protect your wireless communication. Furthermore it is also possible to lock your transmission to selected computers. But why bother? Lay a cable! I am IT who doing lots of network installation including wireless, yet I am using cable at home. Faster and more reliable. And 100% secure.

Cheers
Serg
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Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 13:25

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 13:25
If he wanted cable in the first place, he wouldn't have bought a wireless modem/router in the first place. There must be a reason he went that way.

Seeing as he already has wireless modem/router, it is so much easier to just use the built in encryption.

Its just a matter of getting someone to do it for him seeing as he is technically challenged.
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Follow Up By: KSV. - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 13:39

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 13:39
Cruiser,

99.9% people buying wireless because it is not such expensive, but in their eyes more “advanced technologies of the future”. Plus attractive factor of “freedom”. But in fact very few if any truly need wireless. Copper cable still faster (in fact *MUCH* faster, as least 20 times and up to 400 times), more reliable, heaps simple and 100% secure. In my view wireless only necessarily in very few application where most noticeable is warehouse scanning. In office in vast majority of cases it is unnecessarily gimmick. Yes I can install secure wireless and yes I am using only cable for my own needs.

Cheers
Serg
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Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:06

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:06
"Wireless" lets you move around with a 'laptop' in a very large area, I can access my broardband system from my neighbours garage, 2 houses away, with NO WIRES at all, running only on the laptop battery.

At home no wires running over floor to trip on either.

Mine runs fully secure, no-one else can get online with the WESTNET security system installed.
Mainey...
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Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 17:41

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 17:41
KSV,

Like you, I have been in the IT industry also, for 20 odd years now.

You may be right in saying that very few if any truly need wireless, and you are right about cable speeds versus wireless, BUT, the the original post was about lack of wireless security on an "existing" wireless set up, so lets concentrate on what he has and not what you perceive that he should have, just because its what you would do.

He has a problem that needs professional help so lets try and steer him in the right direction because it is fixable within the limits of his existing infrastructure. Adding more is not a real solution.

Cheers,

Cruiser

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Follow Up By: KSV. - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 17:53

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 17:53
Cruiser, in my reply I have said that it is possible to encrypt wireless and lock it to MACs and thus make it quite secure. So I did directly answer direct OP question. But at the same I just suggest an alternative way of thinking what I actually believe is right direction.

Cheers
Serg
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Reply By: Mr Pointyhead - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 13:32

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 13:32
It is a criminal offense and people have been charged and convicted in Australia of it. You neighbor is stealing from you.

If you are on speaking terms with the neighbor discuss it with them.

If not, contact the Police as what the neighbor is doing is no different than breaking and entering into your property. You also may be able to seek some civil damages against your neighbor.

You should be able to get the MAC (or Ethernet) address of the neighbors computer from the router logs. This will prove the offense has occurred and when it occurred depending on what logging is available.

As for putting more security on the router, yes you should. You should have MAC address filtering enabled and also enable WPA2 encryption (Do not use WEP as it is easy to break). Note, Windows XP requires a update from the micro$oft site to support the WPA2 standard. It is till possible to crack your network with this sort of security enabled but it is very difficult.

If this technical stuff means nothing to you I strongly suggest that you engage a networking consultant to assist you.

This is a very serious issue with wireless routers and business have lost millions of dollars from these sorts of breakins . The only way to stop it is to educate wireless network users and prosecute the offenders who commit the crimes.
AnswerID: 282074

Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:10

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:10
If you've got loads of download allowance, you probably wouldn't mind someone using up the spare, since it costs you nothing, but a couple of scary issues come to mind;
-Neigbours using your network to download illegal music/video
and worse,
-Neigbours using your network to download kiddy porn.

The thought of the boys in blue chopping down your door and dragging you off whilst protesting your innocence is a bit scary.
And the neighbours looking on, smiling....

WPA2 encryption is the way to go.
Gerry
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Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:26

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:26
I'm guilty of using "other ppls" wireless networks when travelling, how do you think I can recieve & send Emails and read EO when I'm up north lol

But seriously, you should get your system secured as YOU will be paying for THEIR internet use on YOUR system.
Mainey...
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Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:34

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:34
> blush! <
Yeh, I've also been guilty of that, but usually when staying in a hotel somewhere and need internet to check my mail. Usually some unsecured business network in the city LOL!
And I haven't watched all that much porn, really, officer, and I swear they over over 18 years.....
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Reply By: Matt(WA) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 13:55

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 13:55
Sorry to Hijack your thread Ian/Brushmarx. A Question For SERG/KSV:
Where abouts do you work Serg as I am having problems with broadband? I cant get it. I am in Suburban Perth. Are you in Perth?
Cheers Matt
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Follow Up By: KSV. - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 14:00

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 14:00
Sorry, mate, I am in Melbourne.

Cheers
Serg
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Follow Up By: Matt(WA) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 14:03

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 14:03
Cheers anyway
Matt

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Reply By: Camoco - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 14:51

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 14:51
Hi Ian,
If all you are trying to do is prevent your neighbour or any opportunist using your bandwidth then have a quick look at your wireless manual and use WEP as it is dead easy to do. you will need to use a password but as you have a trust relationship with those inside your house (for computers anyway) you can easily write the password down and stick it to the side of your computer.

I use WEP at home as it is very easy for my PC's, PDA and phones to all talk without lots of setting up.

To use WEP just select it as the security and select a password and that should be about it. It can get a lot more involved than that but it will stop the opportunistic or casual user from outside your home.

I am lucky as my boundary is further than the signal can carry, but I still use WEP as a precaution. Yes I also have MAC address filtering and hardware firewall systems but for you it should not be necessary.

If you still find unauthorised use, you then should consult both the Police and a network consultant (but not in that order).

I also have a cable network within the house but outside the server room I use wireless. I did run a cable to the workshop but that was mostly because the signal wouldn't travel that far.

Cables are too much of a hassle if you cannot run and connect them yourself or if you do not want to run them within the wall cavity. That is probably why you are using wireless.

If you are using ADSL+2 you need a comparable wireless router to get the most of the speed. If so you are probably faster than standard ethernet cable anyway.

Cheers Cam
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Reply By: brushmarx - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:11

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:11
I think you have got the wrong idea, but thanks anyway.
What I was after was the feasibility of placing a physical barrier between the router and the neighbors house like a lump of aluminium or steel or lead, so the little invisible rays can't head to thier house and just bounce in another direction so they disspate after the 20 or 30 metres thay can fly.
Talking about WEPS etc is over my capacity, and if a simple fix can be had, it will be easier than the stress fighting it out. Worst case scenario, I'll just burn the bastards house down.
Thanks
Ian
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Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:22

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:22
Talk to your ISP, they will give you their idea of their security system.


Check your Broardband speed here->McAffee Speedcheck

For comparison I get: "off the clock"
at max of over 2 MBPS
with 150.0005 KB in 0.047 seconds
Mainey...
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Follow Up By: Psi - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:25

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:25
Trouble is that radio waves are everywhere.....under your floor and in your ceiling. Best to go the hard yard and install the right equipment and be done with it.

Cheers

Psi
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Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:41

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 15:41
Hi Ian,
With regard to your question of a shield, the short answer is "no".
About the only way you will stop your signal reaching the neighbour is to put a complete metal mesh screen under, over and around your house, and even the, a bit might leak through.

No offence meant, but if you can't get your mind around WEP, WPA2 etc, then pay for a guy to come in and set it up. Basically encryption is already available on your wireless device, all it needs is setting it up with a few keystrokes. Then you will be able to stop your neighbour leeching your broadband.

Gerry
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 16:13

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 16:13
Get someone to come and set up encryption in your security settings. You only have to do it once and if you write down the key which is 64 digits long you can reenter it if you have problems.
You have to enter the SAME key on each machine connected to the router and in the router itself. Not hard to do. I had to buy a new Gateway router last week and had it all up and riunning in half an hour.
Interstingly in that time some nasty neighbour had hooked into it before I set the security. They wont be able to now and I have the MAC address of his machine so he better not try again.
Any one who doesnt enable this is rather naive as people go around in cars with a laptop looking for people like you to d/load theu for free. Surprised you havent been caught before.
AnswerID: 282101

Reply By: troopyman - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 17:48

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 17:48
Ring Belkin and they will tell you how over the phone . The number should be on the paperwork you got with the router .
AnswerID: 282113

Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 20:49

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 at 20:49
I am not answering the question except to say that there is security somehow available.

I ot caught by internet theft when I was on dial up with low downloads.

Over 4 months it cost me $2,ooo with me blaming the kids for downloading movies etc. which they denied.

Then one day I was home by myself switched on the computer and there was some emails saying I had used 100% of my allocation and then a couple of hours later it was up to 150% ... remember only me at home.

Long story short I had to pay Big P the money and I had no recourse as you don't know if it is a neighbour or someone parked out front that is stealing.
AnswerID: 282143

Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 00:56

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 00:56
How can someone steal your download when the phone line is plugged into your PC with dial up other than the possibility of a virus running your PC??
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Follow Up By: brushmarx - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 10:32

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 10:32
I had a similar problem a few years ago with dial up through Powerup.
We were away for two weeks and our bill showed a heavy usage including this period of time.
No-one had broken in, and being dial up, outside access should have been impossible.
I sent them a nice letter pointing out that no-one was home, and they responded by saying someone must have been in the house and used our computer.
I took my complaint to the Telecommunications Ombudsman, and ended up paying the normal monthly allowance of $30.00 only.
I do not use Powerup any more.
Cheers
Ian
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Follow Up By: Outnabout David (SA) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 18:54

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 18:54
We had purchased a wireless router and did not know it had to be firewalled to stop theft.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 18:59

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 18:59
Ah ok so it was not BP's fault.
I interpreted the post as being an issue with BP.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 19:37

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 19:37
You have the wrong end of the stick here Outanabout.
A firewall is to stop people breaking INTO your computer FROM THE INTERNET and you need one regardless of whether you are on dial up broadband or whatever Zone Alarm. tiny personal firewall. Nortons etc are firewalls or have them in the pogram.


With a wireless router you need Encrypted security like WEP WPA or even better WPA2 to stop people just hooking into it.

Technically if you had a router and your modem was turned off
( an internal computer one) they should not have been able to connect to the net. Also as I said, on dialup you have to log in each time you connect so someone must have known your password etc.
It sounds like we are not getting quite the correct story.
Was it just a router or a gateway modem/router on broadband or was it a router with a dialup modem in the computer or a separate modem It does make a difference as to what can happen
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Follow Up By: Outnabout David (SA) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 21:10

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 21:10
ok TERMINOLOGY MAY HAVE BEEN A BIT WRONG AND THINKING ABOUT IT A BIT MORE IT WAS JUST AFTER WE CHANGED TO BROADBAND.

oops shouting by mistake.

It waqs due to the wireless router not having encryption security or whatever.

This went on for a few months and i had discussions with BigP asking what could acuse it and I explained all the equipment we had including the wireless router.at no time did they ask was it encrypted.

anyway the real issue with big pond was that they sent emails regularly about useage after 75% was used until the 100% was reached. now on one or two occasions although time went forward the useage went backwards by 10%. I keep emails and still have them and wrote to them and supplied copies to explain why there was this anomoly and could there be something wrong with the metering equipment. Now this goes through CUSTOMER SERVICE but debt collections are in another city and the two departments would not or could not talk to one another so in the end I just paid it because they were threating a default notice.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 22:03

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 22:03
The problem is of course yours for not installing the equipment correctly. Or perhaps being ignorant of what was required you should have asked an expert or perhaps "phoned a friend".

The metering equipment would have been recording correctly and as you didnt know how to check whoever it was was having a ball.
You can access your router/modems settings usually by typing http://192.168.1.1 into your browser and it will take u to the setup page.
This is for a Linksys, all are similar if slightly different

If it asks for a password look in your quikstart it will give u the defaults. For Linksys its admin / admin
Go to Status and DHCP table, open that and it will tell you what is connected to your local network.

Some of the help desk people dont know s** from clay.
I spent nearly 5 hours with Telstra trying to get a phone to send video messages. Was guaranteed 4 times it would work. It didnt.

The 5th guy said no it wont cos the plan u r on wont allow video messages. Now why couldnt the other 4 see that on their screen.
No wonder Testra has a bad name.
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Reply By: Member - Pixie - Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 00:47

Friday, Jan 18, 2008 at 00:47
WEP protection and set the router to only allow specific MAC addresses that you add individually

Your router manual will tell you how to do this - it is relatively simple and fairly secure unless your neighbour is hell-bent on accessing your network

I have heard that a CD sitting over the aerial can help direct the signal but I have never tried it.
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Follow Up By: Scubaroo - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:12

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:12
WEP security is *very* easily cracked by even newbies in moments - use WPA or WPA2. It's a false sense of security, but better than nothing.
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Reply By: Scubaroo - Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:10

Saturday, Jan 19, 2008 at 15:10
brushmarx,

I suggest you post your question on www.whirlpool.net.au - it is a broadband/IT forum with places for questions just like this. Explain that you have problems with a neighbour using your wireless connection, and that you need someone to help explain step-by-step in layman's terms how to configure the router and your computer to secure your network and stop your neighbourhood thief. WPA2 security is generally straightforward to configure on your router and PC - just post the router model number and version of Windows you're using in your initial post so that you get the correct instructions.

Your neighbour would most likely know that they are connecting to your wireless network and pinching your broadband (and is probably relying on the fact that because you've left your network unsecured that you wouldn't have the savvy to figure out they were using it), a knock on the door or a note requesting them to cease using it might help in the short term until you get your security sorted. Another poster in this thread was right - it IS theft and can be treated as such by the police (if you aren't on neighbourly terms!).
AnswerID: 282505

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