Wireless Router

Wireless routers
I have a Linksys wireless G router connected to a cable modem. In my home I have a desktop computer with a USB Linksys wireless external card connected to it. I also have a Toshiba laptop with an internal wireless card. These both talk to my router and can get to the internet but it is an unsecured network. I am sure other people in my neighborhood can see my router and they are getting onto it for free, whereas I am the one paying for the cable hook up. I know that because other people are on my router, my speed accessing the internet is derogated some. I have tried to secure the router and when I do this, one of my two computers work and one does not. There is something that I am missing or doing wrong. My question is: Is there an easy step by step explanation on how to secure a wireless router and network? I have asked the cable company for some help, Linksys and the store (Best Buy) where I bought the router - and none of them are much help at all. I have searched the internet for some help and just have not found anything of much help either. I am hoping you or someone at TechTarget can be the help I am looking for.

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

I would certainly make sure the network card drivers on both machines are up to date as this can cause problem’s connecting when using Security on routers and Cable modems.
Start with this, then re-apply the security and see if it connects.
Also, check on your Cable modem. Usually it will tell you what is trying to connect via it’s MAC address, so you can hopefully see what is happening to the machine that is having problems.
Also, if you look at the network connection when you view wireless networks, it may give you a clue.
It may say ‘limited connectivetly’ or such and will not be supplied with an IP address.

we need more info. how are you securing it? take a deep breath, here we go.

first off go to linksys’ website and see if there is a firmware update for that model. upgrade it to the latest firmware and then confirm that you can get to the internet and do your normal surfing with no problems. then start your security config from scratch. look on the back and find the reset button. then unplug the power, hold the reset button down. keep holding it down while plugging it back in and then keep holding it down for 30-45 seconds after power on. this will wipe the config and reset it to factory defaults. then you want to go in and setup the password immediately. this will let you know that only you are changing the config settings. make sure that it is a long hard password.

for example, for an easy password to remember but close to impossible to guess think of 3 numbers, like 745. so you remember 745 but when typing it in press the first number, 7 in this case, and follow that number down the keyboard before you press the 4. so for 7 you would press 7ujm. then for the 4 you would press 4rfv. then for the 5 you press 5tgb. so you remember 745, but the actual password is 7ujm4rfv5tgb. to make it even harder go up the keyboard like this = mju7vfr4bgt5.

after that make sure that you change the default SSID to any name you wish. you will need to check to make sure both computers can still connect to the new name after this change.

Next you want to do MAC address filtering. first thing to do is go to each of your computers and go to the command prompt. go to RUN and type cmd. this will open the command prompt. type ipconfig /all. this will give you the MAC or hardware address of the network card in your computer. The screen will say “physical address”. there will be two if your computer also has an internal wired network card. look for the wireless one. if they say LOCAL AREA CONNECTION and LOCAL AREA CONNECTION you will need to go into NETWORK CONNECTIONS in windows to figure out which one is your wireless. write them down.

then go into the config of the router and find the MAC address filter section. set it to DENY ALL CONNECTIONS EXCEPT: and enter your MAC addresses for the two computers. this will force the router to only let in connections from network cards that have your MAC addresses. save the config. then reboot your two computers and test to see if it works. if it does not and you get stuck you can always reset the router to factory settings again to get back up and running. just make sure to setup that password again!

now after you have both computers working go back into the config of the router and turn off SSID broadcasting. By default all wireless access points, (AP), are set to broadcast their SSID out to the world to let everyone know that they are there. you don’t want this. after turning it off the neighborhood would have to know the SSID to be able to find it, then still would not be able to get in because of the MAC filter. there are some that are savy enough to clone the MAC to theirs but this will block 99% of the users trying to get in.

to go even further you can turn on WPA encryption. you would need to read the manual to see how to do that and then set the same password on each computer’s wireless connection to that AP to match. this would make the security a lot stronger as even if they could clone your MAC they would need the long string password to be able to get in.


quick and dirty:
on the 2 computers, ipconfig/all, record the MAC for the wireless adapter.

linksys default IP is open your browser, browse to the router home page.
assuming you have not chaned it, the default login for a linksys (wrt54g?) router is not needed, password is admin
on the wireless tab, rename the SSID to something other than the default
enable mac filtering, select edit address filter list
enter the 2 mac addresses in the table and apply settings. this will limit access to just your 2 computers. now to secure your connections, go to the security settings tab, select wpa presharred key, select tkip encryption, and type in a key 8-32 characters. note that a space is also a character and increases security exponentially. Save and apply changes, also record the key information. On the
On the clientadd the wireless network (new SSID), wpa, with the key (both SSID and key are case sensitive) and connect.
you will be as secure as possible for wireless and no freeloaders.


Easiest thing to do – set up your SSID (name it something personal), set WPA2 encryption and, if you really want , turn off SSID broadcast.. tada, you’re connected, noone else even knows you’re there…

Discuss This Question: 5  Replies

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when members answer or reply to this question.
  • Nmeddick
    Could you advise which model of Cable modem and external card you have? Also, is it the desktop or laptop machine that stops working when you try to add security? What type of security are you adding? WPA-PSK or WEP? If you let me know this info I may be able to point you in th eright direction! Neil
    485 pointsBadges:
  • Tbitner
    You'll only be able to use WEP with your Linksys USB card even with updated drivers. Even though Linksys say the card supports WPA, it doesn't. Just login to your wireless G router and setup WEP encryption.
    510 pointsBadges:
  • JimR JDEWorldA91
    I have a Scientific Atlantic Webstar cable modem, a linksys external wireless USB card for the desktop and atheros wireless internal card in the laptop. I have tried both WPA and WEP. When I get to the router through a web broswer and I try to set the security to WPA or WEP and then do the same on the Laptop and then the Desktop, one of them will not connect to the internet.....it does say no or limited connectivity. Is there something else on the router that I should be changing? Thank you for any and all help. Jim
    15 pointsBadges:
  • keygeeks
    wireless router is a device that performs the functions of a router and also includes the functions of a wireless access point. It is used to provide access to the Internet or a private computer network.

    20 pointsBadges:
  • keygeeks
    20 pointsBadges:

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

To follow this tag...

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.

Thanks! We'll email you when relevant content is added and updated.


Share this item with your network: