Configure your Wi-Fi router: install and secure your local network

Death to cables, long live wireless and Wi-Fi! To create your network and connect it to the Internet, it is best to go through a Wi-Fi router. This avoids having a machine constantly on to share a connection. Some routers not only direct incoming and outgoing traffic between the internet and the correct machine on a network, but can also act as an ADSL/cable modem, firewall and VPN (Virtual Private Network) server. ). It is therefore better to define your long-term needs before investing. Obviously an easy task.

It takes between 75 euros for a simple router and 600 euros for a Wi-Fi model with integrated ADSL modem and VPN server. Amount to which is added the price of the Ethernet cards (20 euros, one card per PC) or Wi-Fi (100 euros) as well as that of the cables (10 euros multiplied by the number of PCs connected), if the 'we rely on a wired connection. Depending on the model chosen, it is possible to share an Internet connection between four, eight or more computers. And as a router is independent of the operating system, three PCs under Windows and Linux, plus a Mac, can thus benefit from an Internet connection.

Installation, connection sharing and network security will then be essential steps.

Installing the Router and Network Cards

Turn off all computers that need to be connected to the router if you are installing internal network cards. The procedure is the same whether the cards are Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Insert each card into a free PCI slot. External transmitters/receivers plug into any of the powered machines USB ports. Windows detects at startup according to Wi-Fi cards and external transmitters/receivers as soon as they are connected to a USB port. The operating system is preparing to install its drivers. In all cases, insert the floppy disk or the CD-Rom supplied with the card that the Windows installation wizard asks for.

Unplug the cable connecting the modem to the PC that has been enjoying the Internet connection until now. Insert the end of this cable into the router's internet port located on its rear panel. If your router incorporates the appropriate modem, connect it directly to the ADSL filter.

For more completeness, the rest of this guide refers to the configuration of the Bewan Lanbooster 6104W router. Model chosen for its successful configuration options. The installation of other routers is broadly similar to the latter.

Power on the router, just like any of the machines on the network. Launch your browser on this post. Enter the local IP address of the router (of the type 192.168.XX), normally indicated in the user guide provided. For the LanBooster 6104W it is A dialog box invites you to enter the name of the administrator and his password, defined by default by the manufacturer. The general router configuration menu then appears. It looks like a web page.

Change the administrator name and password by clicking Administrator Settings.

Then click LAN 1 TCP/IP and DHCP Server Settings in the general configuration menu. Check the Yes box next to the Activation field. And this in order to activate the DHCP server of the router. The latter will automatically assign a local IP address of the type 192.168.xx to each computer on the network.

Then, go to the Windows control panel of each machine. Create the local network connection. Access the properties of Internet protocol (TCP/IP) and check that the box Obtain an IP address automatically is checked.

Building a wireless network doesn't stop there! Choose Wi-Fi Network Settings from the general router setup menu, then General Settings. Check the Enable wireless function box. Name your network in the ESSID field. In the drop-down list entitled Channel, choose one of the channels 10, 11, 12 or 13, the only ones authorized in Your country. Launch the Wi-Fi card configuration utility on all machines on the network. Enter the same network name and channel number in the appropriate fields of each utility.

Activation of the Internet connection

It remains to configure the connection to the Internet. From the main menu, click on Internet access, then on PPPoE/PPPoA client. Check the Enable box next to PPPoA/PPPoE Client. Name your connection as you see fit in the ad hoc field. Enter the name and password of your access provider. Check the box Make the connection permanent to avoid automatic disconnections, according to the interval defined by default. Click on OK, then successively on ADSL diagnostics and Launch the PPPoE or PPPoA connection. The ADSL connection is established in approximately ten seconds.

Network security

The application of filters makes it possible to guard against intrusions. A filter here consists of one or more rules describing the type of data packets to be monitored.

Protecting your network from viruses such as the Slammer worm requires the creation of a filter made up of two rules. These last two relate either to incoming traffic (coming from the Internet) or to outgoing traffic from the local network. In the main menu, click on IP filters and Firewall settings. Create a filter associated with these two rules. For the first, set the Pass or Block field to Block Immediately and UDP in the Protocol list. Enter as destination parameters Any (Source IP Address field) 1434 (From Port field only). Check the Enable rule for this filter box. Set this rule only to Inbound in the Direction drop-down list. The second rule will have the same settings except for the Outgoing value in the Direction drop-down list.

With a Wi-Fi network, the intruder is difficult to spot since he does not physically connect to the network. The protection of data passing through the local network is based on the Wep encryption algorithm. In the Wep Settings section of the Wireless Network Settings menu, choose 128-bit Wep encryption in the eponym field. Define between one to four keys (13 characters) that will be used in turn to increase security within the network.

On each machine equipped with a Wi-Fi card, activate the ad hoc configuration utility and insert a key identical to the one in use. The wireless network is protected. Remember to change the key regularly since Wep encryption is considered vulnerable.

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