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How to configure a secure wireless network?

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How to configure wireless network

Before you begin to setup security on a wireless firewall, use this requirements checklist.

Firewall Make and Model (example Linksys WRT54G Wireless Firewall)
Firewall Password
PPPOE username and password (if required by ISP)
Wireless Client PC Network MAC address 00-0D-63-48-F9-EF
Need to know if IP addresses are assigned by ISP or DHCP
If IP address is static, need to know the ip address or addresses
Need to know if LAN is using DHCP or static
Need to know requirements for any port mapping or other routing
Download the firewall products manual from the manufactures website
The ISP's DNS servers addresses

 

Step one - access the firewalls web management
Obtain access to the firewall device through its browser interface. For most home wireless firewall systems like Linksys, Netgear, DLink, etc. the browser interface can be reached at 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. If the computer that your using to connect to the firewall is using DHCP and the firewall is serving DHCP then you should be able to get the address of the firewall very easily from your computer if it is connected to the firewall. In windows you can type ipconfig -all from a dos window. The address listed as the default gateway is the firewall address. In Linux take a look at the gateway setting in /etc/sysconfig/network. If your computer is not using DHCP, the internet settings must be configured manually on the client machines. To configure the internet connection in Windows select TCP/IP properties and choose to configure manually and enter the settings that correspond to the firewall.


The TCP/IP settings should look something like this for Austin Road Runner Customers

If the firewalls address is 192.168.1.1
And the firewalls subnet is 255.255.255.0

The clients settings should look something like this
The IP address should be 192.168.1.(some number from 2-255)
The subnet mask should be 255.255.255.0
The DNS servers should be 24.93.40.62 and 24.93.40.63

To configure the settings manually in Linux edit /etc/sysconfig/network and /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 or if you have multiple NIC's select whichever interface you want to configure then run /etc/rc.d/init.d/network restart to restart the network and apply your settings.

Verify connectivity to the firewall by using ping. Example if the firewall's IP address is 192.168.1.1 then ping from DOS or a Linux Shell 192.168.1.1 you should receive a response from the firewall interface.

If your unable to logon to your wireless firewall due to a bad password most firewalls can be reset to factory default settings by pressing and holding the reset button on he back during a powercycle or for some given amount of time. Consult the owners manual for the default username and password and reset directions.

Step two - configure the wireless firewall settings
Once your connected and logged into the web interface of the wireless firewall configure the WAN interface according to your ISP. Also, change the default username and password if possible. Next, assign an SSID to the wireless firewall. The SSID should be changed from the default and if possible the SSID broadcast should be disabled. Next turn on WEP encryption, use at least 128 bit encryption. Assign a WEP passphrase or type a key if necessary. Add any client MAC address to the allow list and deny all other MAC addresses if this is an option for your firewall.

Step three - client setup
If your clients wireless NICs don't have 128 bit encryption try to update the firmware on the wireless network card from the manufactures website before settling for 64 bit encryption. First, if necessary configure manually the IP address, DNS servers, and subnet mask for your wireless network card. Then, setup a profile with the wireless clients NIC software. You must enter the SSID from your firewall, your WEP encryption key or if your lucky passphrase. If you entered the correct MAC address in your Firewall MAC filter, the correct WEP key, and SSID then you should be connected. If your not connected double check your settings and on the firewall, and your clients MAC address.

Troubleshooting

Is network card enabled and functioning properly?
Are their other network cards or 1394 connections confusing the issue?
Can other clients connect?
Can wired clients connect?

As a last resort
TEMPORARILY DISABLE THE SECURITY SETTINGS
Disable the MAC address filter
Enable SSID broadcast
Disable WEP

 

 
 
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