Questions

Security for wifi usage

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Security for wifi usage

abanerji
I have been using a regular wired DSL broadband modem in my Compaq laptop. I shall be travelling, and am looking at iPass (http://wireless.tataindicombroadband.in/wireless/wifi.html). Since I am a bit confused about the security issues which may have to be addressed now, I am requesting for guidance.

I have a Broadcom 802.11b/g device.

My current OS/security setup is as below :-
a) Win-XP SP2 (completely patched, vetted by Secunia)
b) AVG AV/AS free 8.5
c) ZA firewall free 7.0.483
d) Sundry utilities/protection software : Ccleaner, Spywareblaster
e) Safe browsing habit

My first query : In the settings for my wireless network connection, there are the following choices :-
a) Any available network (access point preferred)
b) Access point (infrastructure) networks only
c) Computer-to-computer (ad hoc) networks only
Choice a) is selected by default. I presume that when I am using the iPassConnect dialler, these choices are irrelevant. Are these choices relevant only for a free wifi hotspot connection?

My second query is about the security aspect. Do I need to activate WPA/AES, and if so, how? Also, I read somewhere that SSID broadcast should be disabled ... how is that done? More, is it necessary to have any security key / passphrase ... or, are the iPassConnect login credentials (username, domain, password) good enough?
Or, are these security issues relevant only for a free wifi hotspot connection, and not required when using iPassConnect dialler?

Thanks,
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OH Smeg

a) Any available network (access point preferred)

This should be OK but ideally you should have it only connect to your WiFi Access Point. This way it will connect tot he strongest signal which may not be your Router. However when you are traveling this is the way that you will require things to be.

c) Computer-to-computer (ad hoc) networks only

This should be disabled as it allows other WiFi Enabled Computers to connect to your NB and potentially access your Data.

My second query is about the security aspect. Do I need to activate WPA/AES, and if so, how?

This is not a option when you are traveling because it relies on the settings in the Router/WiFi Access Point. To set these you need to go to the Routers Setup Screen and set the various Security Measures as required. After that you need to go to the NB and run the Wireless Setup Wizard and add the Passwords/PassPhrase when Prompted.

Also, I read somewhere that SSID broadcast should be disabled ... how is that done?

This is again done in the Routers Setup Menu and doesn't apply if you are traveling as you will not be using your Router.

More, is it necessary to have any security key / passphrase ... or, are the iPassConnect login credentials (username, domain, password) good enough?

You can never have too much Security but in the event of WEP/WAP and so on this needs to be set at the Router and then the computer so as you will be using different WiFi Access Points while you travel this is not an option.

Or, are these security issues relevant only for a free wifi hotspot connection, and not required when using iPassConnect dialler?

These Security Measures are only possible when you are using your Personal Router/WiFi Access Point and are not available when you are using WiFi Hot Spots. But if you find any Hot Spots that are Secure you will not be able to log onto them.

Col

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abanerji

... for clearing my doubts.

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OH Smeg