How To Set Up A Secure Home Network

This article will walk you through the fine details of conceiving, installing, and securing a wired and Wi-Fi local-area network. For the purposes of this project, we're envisioning a 600-square foot physical space for four to eight people, with two sets of desks in the front of the office, and two sets of desks in the back of the office.

We'll call our fictional small business Ergo; it's an industrial design consulting firm. The goal here is to create a network that has multiple Ethernet outlets and ubiquitous WiFi access. It is worth noting that the principles and directions in this eight-step DIY will work regardless of what size/shape physical space your business is located. The only variables are cable length and the number of wired LAN ports you'll need. One final note: Enterprising proprietors who are building out a physical office for their small business at the same time they are establishing a network will be smart to mount the network cables beneath the drywall and over the ceiling. This will make for a clean-looking, wire-free office. In this case, you'll also need to purchase Ethernet wall sockets for easy access.

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News source: Information Week

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18 Comments

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I thought I've done a bit better with Wi-Fi security here. Not to brag, but honestly, they don't touch any WiFi security at all, and it is now more important than knowledge how to make a CAT5 cable.

The only thing I would add to it would be getting a WiSpy (if money isn't an option) or walking around with a laptop inside the house and around it to make sure the strength of your WiFi is good inside where you want to use it and is almost not present outside, where cowboys would like to latch on to it and start hax0ring.

I keep my wi-fi off unless I'm actually using it. Plus, I use MAC addressing on the router, along with keeping
SSID turned off. If they don't even know you are there, makes it a little harder to hack.
If they really wanted in, I'm sure they would figure out a way somehow.

Yup, they'd just AirSnort for the SSID and MAC info and then have to capture enough traffic to crack the password (the bit that would take the time)

"We found approx 600 wifi networks. Of those networks approx 250 were unlocked."

im suprized that the majority where actually secure... i thought the majority would be insecure.... since the average joe just plugs in his router and uses it.

my wireless network is secure using the secure password generator on https://www.grc.com/passwords.htm ... although i probably have very little to worry about in the first place since i live in the country not many people are near my house that could actually pick up a signal as use it... i would say no more than 5 houses tops could be within range.... plus those houses might not even have wireless internet or even internet for that matter.... although i think theres atleast 1 person cause a while ago we used his wireless signal just to test it ... but now it seems to be out of range cause it only had 1 bar of signal strength now i dont even see it listed anymore lately.

If your using wireless MAC Address Filter is a must. that with WEP and a good password. your good. (well not really but closer then most.) I actually would like to thank my neighbor for not using it because while i was switching over to naked DSL i has a connection to the internet.

TE HE

Ethernet hub. This is optional, but if you need more than 4 Ethernet ports, a hub will allow you to connect extra computers to your network. Hubs commonly come in 4-, 8-, 16- and 24-port versions.

What does setting up a business network (what the article is about) have to do with setting up a home network (the title)? Yes, similar concepts apply in both cases, but there are also many differences in practice.

How to setup a secure home network:
1. Setup your network
2. Do not connect it to the internet
3. Do not leave your home

4. Do NOT use any MS products ;)

Seriously, this article is a little thin (broad overview), but I guess if you are one who wants more meat on the subject, you probably already have a secure network.

DaveLegg said,
The article looked fine, until it suggested using a Hub, not a switch, if extra wired ports are needed.

As Nelson would say, "HAHA".

You can't even buy hubs anymore...as they suck.

That article should have come out 10 years ago.

"This article will walk you through the fine details of conceiving, installing, and securing a wired and Wi-Fi local-area network"

We went out "war driving" yesterday as an experiment. We had no intention of actually going onto peoples networks*, we just wanted to see how many wifi netowrks were open and unlocked.

Using "netstumbler" we drove round our town for an hour. We found approx 600 wifi networks. Of those networks approx 250 were unlocked.

Over 30% of all the networks found were reported as being unlocked!

Pretty poor really.


*remember if you connect and get access onto peoples networks it may be illegal in your State/Country.

I truly think that there should be default security enabled on wireless routers, randomly generated the first time you use it or some other method of doing it uniquely. People seriously don't know what they're letting themselves into - computer shops don't help either, with their promises of 'just plug it in and it'll work' !

Rob said,
I truly think that there should be default security enabled on wireless routers, randomly generated the first time you use it or some other method of doing it uniquely. People seriously don't know what they're letting themselves into - computer shops don't help either, with their promises of 'just plug it in and it'll work' !

Agree about the shops, but for the mfrs. this would involve COSTS! (Oh noes!)

To be secure there has to be a *unique* default key hard-coded into the device *and* on a setup disk/application for the PC side. And remember that needs to be usable on all major platforms!

Part of the joy of routers and similar network-attached gear is that it's platform-agnostic. If the above were required, that would disappear pretty quick.

Havin_it said,

Agree about the shops, but for the mfrs. this would involve COSTS! (Oh noes!)

To be secure there has to be a *unique* default key hard-coded into the device *and* on a setup disk/application for the PC side. And remember that needs to be usable on all major platforms!

Part of the joy of routers and similar network-attached gear is that it's platform-agnostic. If the above were required, that would disappear pretty quick.

A lot of Wireless routers given out by UK isps now have a WPA or WEP code set by deafult and then it placed either on the bottom of the router or on a card in the box.

Its quite a good idea IMO as even if the user doesn't go in and change the code it at least gives some secuirty.

Uhm... not what i sawe expecting from this artical.

Thought it was going to be some sort of security artical, in how to sucure your network. Not setting up one and at the last 4 lines, start about security......