Mark wants to use his Android phone as a hotspot. Leo says that it's under the Internet settings under "Hotspot and Tethering." And his phone carrier must support it, usually for an extra charge. But he's having issues using any security with a password. Leo says that's not good. It shouldn't be disabled. Leo wonders if that phone doesn't support WPA2. None is not a good choice. If there's WEP, that wouldn't be great, but it's better than nothing. He'll ideally want WPA2 with PSK (pre shared key).
When you get a new router, there are a few things you can do to make sure it's set up securely.
The first thing you'll do is connect it to your computer and check the manual to find out how to configure it.
Once it's connected to your computer, you'll use the browser to navigate to a special address as instructed in the manual. It should be something like 192.168.1.1. This will take you to the login screen for the router.
Tom wants to make sure his wireless router is secure. Leo says the only thing Tom really needs to do is turn on WPA2 encryption. It's in the router setup, which can usually be accessed at 192.168.1.1. He should turn on WPA2 and give it a password that isn't obvious. Once that's turned on, all the traffic is encrypted.
Steve has his own Wi-Fi router but his cable company just gave him a new router with Wi-Fi built in. Is it more secure? Leo says they're about the same security wise. He'll want to be sure to turn on WPA2 password protection. And often routers have security flaws and rarely get updated. So Steve should make sure he has his router firmware updated.
Brandon is trying to connect an older laptop to Wi-Fi, but it isn't working. Leo says that if other devices can connect, then chances are that the laptop may not support WPA2, which the network runs on. He could try WEP, but it's been cracked, so it's not really all that secure if there's someone with maligned intent. But if it's all he can get, it's better than nothing.
Naomi wants to change her router name, and is wondering what else she can do to secure it. Leo says to avoid personal details, and avoid using the name of the router. Leo uses the names of rock stars. She can really name it anything, even "FBI Surveillance Van." If she configures it properly, it's as secure as wired, just not as fast. For pure performance online, she should use a wired connection through Ethernet. If she doesn't need the wireless, then just disable it in the settings.
Leo's list of what to do to lock down your Wi-Fi router:
John wants to secure his wireless network, and is wondering if he should set it up with MAC addresses. Leo says MAC addresses don't really do anything. He recommends setting up the router with WPA2 (NOT WEP) encryption and give it a good password with alpha and numeric digits. He should also set the SSID for something that is easy to remember (Leo uses dead rock stars).
Dick has a 7 year old ThinkPad, and he can't get on WPA2 Wi-Fi networks. Leo suggests buying a USB WiFi Dongle. That'll take the WPA2 signal for him.
The chatroom says that it's possible to change out the Wi-Fi card on the laptop, but Leo says it's cheaper to go the dongle route. Dick just has to be sure he's using the latest Service Pack of XP (SP3). He'll also get better reception that way.