An open wireless network, such as those found on many coffeehouses and libraries for their customers, transmits all data in the clear. Due to the broadcast nature of radio transmissions, any computer within range can receive and inspect all network packets for all computers. In many cases, this is a significant security concern. Appropriately configured, wireless routers can encrypt all radio transmissions, so that only their intended recipients can inspect packet contents. You can configure Netgear wireless router to provide an encrypted wireless network, and in so doing, lock out unauthorized outsiders.
Things You’ll Need
- Ethernet cable
Follow These Steps
- Connect your computer to any of the local ports on the back of the Netgear router, using the Ethernet cable. The local ports are grouped together within the same metal plate.
- Start a Web browser on the computer and navigate to the Netgear router’s configuration Web address. That address is clearly indicated in the router’s manual. For example, for a Netgear WPN824, that address is “192.168.1.1”.
- Navigate the configuration menus to the wireless network security section. For example, for a WPN824, click on “Wireless settings.” Select “WPA PSK” in the “Security Options” section. Choose and enter a passphrase of at least eight characters into the “Passphrase” field, ideally including letters, keyboard symbols and numeric digits. Click on “Apply.” At that point, the Netgear router will be locked; only computers knowing the WPA-PSK passphrase will be allowed to join the network.