We covered installation of a simple wireless Router about a year back. At that time to make the installation as painlessly simple as possible, we have mentioned that we will use WEP – Wired Equivalent Privacy with 128 bit WEP key by using a string of 26 Hexadecimal (Hex) characters.
But WEP is not really suited for a secure Wifi connectivity due to its poor security implementation. With more and more security risks associated with WEP being publicized, it is essential that home and corporate users move on to more secure means.
WPA and WPA2: Wifi Protected Access is a type of system to secure Wireless networks available in 2 modes – Enterprise version and Personal version. The personal version of WPA uses Pre-Shared Key (PSK) in which every computer is given the same passphrase on a shared basis as the name implies. So as a corollary the security of the system depends on the passphrase. In this mode, the data is encrypted using RC4 Stream Cipher with a 128 bit key together with a 48 bit initialization vector. The major security feature is the dynamic changing nature of the Temporal Key integrity protocol. Together with additional security features like Message Integrity Code, WPA provides a better secure Wireless network.
With the technical background covered briefly as above, we again show you how to set up a WPA secured Wireless Access Point in this blog.
We use the same Wireless Router as we have used earlier in our last year example – DLINK DI 524.
- Fire up your Wireless Router’s control panel in your browser. Head to the Wireless button on the left side of the panel. You should be greeted with a Wireless Settings section of the AP (Access Point) portion.
- Enable the Wireless Radio button
- Select the security to the last option – WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK mode.
– The other options include :
– None (Not Recommended at all)
– WEP (not recommended again)
Enter a 15 character Passphrase in the PreShare Key column.
Click Apply and exit.
Go to your Laptop or any other Wireless enabled computer and set up the Wireless connectivity. You should be able to browse the list ( depending upon the available Wireless Access point in your locality) and select your now secured Wireless Network by the Network ID (SSID). It should display a dialog box in which the option of providing the PreShare Key is visible. Enter your key here and click to save. I am using a Laptop with Windows Vista Business OS. Your OS may allow you to enter this when you select the Wireless connectivity mode in a slightly different way. But essentially, you will need to enter the same Passphrase across all the computers sharing the same Wireless Network.
And you are ready to Rock and Roll …