non encrypted wireless

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
what is danger of running non encrypted wireless of an airport extreme? is it that someone close to you gets free wireless access or can they actually hijack you computer? can they gain access to personal info? thanks for help.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,562moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gdog View Post


    what is danger of running non encrypted wireless of an airport extreme? is it that someone close to you gets free wireless access or can they actually hijack you computer? can they gain access to personal info?



    Both. The thing is, it really depends on where you are because at work I use an unecrypted connection because the signal barely reaches our own computers let alone someone next door.



    Security is reduced quite a lot on a local network because they know your IP address. If you had a neighbour trying to access your computer from the external network, they have to find out where you are first and if they don't communicate with you electronically, that can be tricky. Plus they have to get past your router. If someone is on the same internal network, then all they have to do is scan the network to find out what IP everyone has and try to find an exploit. It's not like they have easy access because personal file sharing would normally be off and you would have a system password but it's less secure.



    If you don't fancy messing with encryption, you can limit your client list so that only you are allowed onto the network.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    tnmiketnmike Posts: 21member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Both. The thing is, it really depends on where you are because at work I use an unecrypted connection because the signal barely reaches our own computers let alone someone next door.



    Security is reduced quite a lot on a local network because they know your IP address. If you had a neighbour trying to access your computer from the external network, they have to find out where you are first and if they don't communicate with you electronically, that can be tricky. Plus they have to get past your router. If someone is on the same internal network, then all they have to do is scan the network to find out what IP everyone has and try to find an exploit. It's not like they have easy access because personal file sharing would normally be off and you would have a system password but it's less secure.



    If you don't fancy messing with encryption, you can limit your client list so that only you are allowed onto the network.



    I have a wireless router at home that I use for 2 computers. Sometimes the DSL gets incrediblly slow. Could a neighbor be tapping in to my signal and using my internet access and making it sluggish with downloading and such? I have no encryption setup but I have file sharing off on both computers.

    Thanks...
  • Reply 3 of 6
    tnmiketnmike Posts: 21member
    bump*
  • Reply 4 of 6
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TnMike View Post


    I have a wireless router at home that I use for 2 computers. Sometimes the DSL gets incrediblly slow. Could a neighbor be tapping in to my signal and using my internet access and making it sluggish with downloading and such? I have no encryption setup but I have file sharing off on both computers.

    Thanks...



    If you do not have encryption turned on anyone can get on your internet connection. That means anyone can download torrents of data and your internet experience will be markedly slower and jerkier. Or they can hop on your connection and download kiddie porn. The police might have a whole lot of interesting questions for you because it will be your account that they will investigate.



    The second part of not having encryption is that when you send an email or submit a credit card purchase, the data is easily read by anyone sniffing your connection. Actually gaining access to your computer's hard drives is harder, but by having your network wide open, you have made it easier for anyone who wants to try. And unless you are monitoring activity logs, you won't even know.



    Turn on encryption! Don't bother with WEP, go for WPA:

    Look up "airsnort"
  • Reply 5 of 6
    tnmiketnmike Posts: 21member
    Thanks Sherman,



    I downloaded Airsnort...looks like it's a windows program (I have a Mac) Couldn't find a mac version.



    I'm new to this encryption thing...how does one "turn it on"?
  • Reply 6 of 6
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,562moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TnMike View Post


    I'm new to this encryption thing...how does one "turn it on"?



    It's in your router settings. Normally you access it via a browser so if your IP is 192.168.1.2 then your router is often 192.168.1.1 and you'd type that into Safari. This will get you a page of settings where you can enable wireless encryption. Once you choose a method of encryption and a key, you need to use those settings in your network system prefs.
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