Wireless Network!

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by TOn3LaB, Oct 29, 2004.

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  1. TOn3LaB

    TOn3LaB Registered Member

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    Wireless Network *UPDATED!*

    Hello all!

    I've previously posted about some network advice before (here) After some thought, and the fact that the entire downstairs of my home has been redecorated. My wife is not entirely happy with me ruining a her new wood floors to lay cables! So now - I am looking at a wireless setups and have been thinking about these components:

    Linksys WRT54GS Wireless-G Broadband Router
    Linksys WMP54GS Wireless-G PCI Adapter (Two)
    D-Link DSL-302G ADSL Combo Modem

    Code:
    PC1 XPSP2 with WMP54G ---+
    			 |
    			 +
    			Linksys WRT54GS --> D-Link DSL-302G --> INTERNET
    			 +
    			 | 
    PC2 XPSP2 with WMP54G ---+
    Is this a good setup? Will I have any problems? Does anybody have any other suggestions?

    Thankyou in advance!

    T3
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2004
  2. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

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    Doing some checking but do not buy the D-Link DSL-302G. Be right back with more info.
     
  3. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

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    This is a good idea - Linksys WAG54G found here - http://www.linksys.com/international/product.asp?coid=6&ipid=371
    This is a DSL Modem and a wireless router in one.

    • Connect your PCs via the built-in Router and 4-port Switch to jump start your Ethernet network and share the Internet throughout your household
    • Built-in Wireless-G (802.11g) Access Point also lets you connect without running wires
    • Advanced firewall and security features protect your PCs, your data, and your family

    With this you only need your wireless cards for the computers and nothing else except the DSL line plugged in to this Linksys.
     

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  4. still_longhorn

    still_longhorn Registered Member

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  5. TOn3LaB

    TOn3LaB Registered Member

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    Hello,

    Thankyou for the replies!

    Q Section: I chose the WRT54GS because I’m told it has more advanced Firewall features (SPI), I thought this would be better. Also, my son keeps hassling me to connect his Xbox, I was thinking these advanced features would be better for security. I'm only interested in the PCs working currently before I tackle his console. Also by going wireless we can clear away some of the duplicate peripherals we have in our office rooms.

    still_longhorn: That looks like an entire motherboard, I'm not prepared to change these PCs as yet, there pretty new. But its something I will definitely consider for when I buy any other computers.

    What would be the perfect modem to partnership this router?

    Many thanks!

    T3
     
  6. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    T3,

    I recently converted the wireless branch of my LAN from a Netgear 802.11a access point to a WRT54GS running as an access point (i.e. DHCP server disabled) I run Sveasoft firmware on it and replaced the antennas with a pair of 5.5 dB ones (see here).

    If there's a criticism of Linksys, it's in their firmware quality. Generally, you won't notice this unless you use some of the more advanced features (like VPN), which I don't, but I opted for the 3rd party firmware anyway since it does appear a little more stable and has some added features such as ability to increase power to the antenna (don't go overboard here or you will toast the unit). Sveasoft is one option. HyperWRT is another 3rd party firmware option. Check out the forums over at DSLReports or Linksysinfo for additional information. These tweaked firmwares are available for a limited set of the Linksys products. If you're interested in going that route, assess compatibility and offerings first. Between the WRT54G and WRT54GS, go for the GS even if you do not plan on using the Speedbooster feature (more RAM and faster processor) .

    DSLReports also has a DLink forum, but I didn' see a lot of coverage of the DSL-302G and I have no experience with it.

    My basic network topology is the same as yours - two PC's and a laptop off the WRT54GS with two hardwired to a switch then Zyxel ZyWall 10W router. Modem is a run of the mill Motorola SB4200. Works fine within the entire house - modest two story 4 bedroom affair. The only unknown is whether whatever you choose has the range for the distance and building materials used in your residence - that was why I provided some upgrade flexibility for myself on the wireless side - just in case signal strength was an issue (it isn't now)

    Blue
     
  7. TOn3LaB

    TOn3LaB Registered Member

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    Hello,

    BlueZannetti: Thank you for your detailed reply. I have seen a few of the third party firmware’s around, but as they are third party I was a little worried about there stability. But as you are running one of these I’m a little more confident. Are they modified Linksys firmware or re-written firmware?

    Normally when I finish work I burn a backup of all my important files on my Laptop to CD, but with this setup I could purchase a Noteback adapter and transfer them to my desktop. The main concern is getting the desktops working first. Signal strength might be an issue for my wife’s PC it is located in the room next door but the dividing wall is concrete block. I think it would be wise just to upgrade the antennas anyway.

    I think I will be purchasing both the router and wireless cards now, I just need to find a good stable modem for the router to partner.

    If anyone has anything else to add it would be greatly appreciated!

    Many thanks!

    T3
     
  8. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    They are modified - basically this is related to the use of GPL code in the original Linksys firmware. They look original down to screens and logos. Here's a screenshot from my setup. The only apparent difference - aside from the added features - is the firmware version name. This is Satori 4.0.

    Blue
     

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  9. TOn3LaB

    TOn3LaB Registered Member

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    Hello,

    BlueZannetti: Thankyou for the screenshot doesn't look to complicated to configure either. I've now just ordered the Linksys router and there wireless pci cards. Last job is a good stable modem i'll have a bit of a rummage on some forums and find one.

    Thankyou Blue and all who replied!

    Happy networking, happy wife - I hope!

    T3
     
  10. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    Make sure to post back here if you encounter any problems in the setup.

    Have fun!

    Cheers,

    Blue
     
  11. TOn3LaB

    TOn3LaB Registered Member

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    Hello,

    Blue: I will post any problems I have, and the success aswell! :D

    I've just been thinking about the layers of security I may need once network is together. I thought it might be a good idea to share what I intend to do on each machine and maybe gain some extra advice to improve my setup.

    As the Linksys has built-in firewall features I intend to add a few extra layers of security to both PCs;

    Browser Firefox
    Firewall Look 'n' Stop (Outbound control and low on resources)
    AntiVirus Kaspersky
    Spyware Tools SpyBot - S&D, SpywareBlaster

    Regards!

    T3
     
  12. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

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    You are correct that a unit with the best firewall and "Stateful Packet Inspection" is worthwhile to obtain and have and the WAG54G HAS "Stateful Packet Inspection" for it's firewall and even the ability for Denial of Service attack prevention. This unit has the most security in it that Linksys offers. You can get no more security in the unit you mentioned. We know it can be sometimes confusing to sift through all the Linksys and other vendors' products but after a thorough exam we can recommend this one as your best solution according to what you have posted. The WAG54G does all you have spoken and more. If you wish to read the Product Data Sheet with more detailed information you can find it here - ftp://ftp.linksys.com/international/datasheets/WAG54G-ds-ukeula.pdf

    Please let us know what you think about this suggestion now.
     
  13. TOn3LaB

    TOn3LaB Registered Member

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    Hello,

    Q Section: Yes it does have all of those features I'm sorry for doubting your post, I have been reading many different posts and reviews. I am now totally confused with the Linksys website and there product info. I've just ordered the WRT54GS today, does this mean that the WRT54GS does not have the same security features as the WAG54G?

    Now I feel i've made the wrong choice!

    T3
     
  14. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

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    Perhaps you can still change the order! As far as just the security features go it seems as if they have equal security capabilities.

    A tip for you - if you have the option to manually choose your encryptian key then choose that. Once you do use at least 21 characters and use the WPA mode. Change the SSID and change the password. Enable MAC filtering (which specifies which computers can access your network as in only the ones in your house). This is good for a start. Let us know how it goes.
     
  15. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    I use a linkys befw11s4 wireless and have had no security problems at all. It works like a charm. If I had to do it over I would purchase linksys again. bigc
     

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  16. Q Section

    Q Section Registered Member

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    Hello bigc73542
    TOn3LaB was looking for a solution for his system needs and the Linksys WAG54G includes a wireless G router as well as an ADSL modem, has SPI and all the other goodies. Did you get the latest firmware upgrade to enable WPA on your BEFW11S4? And have you utilised the suggestions posted by us above? Even though a 'B' router usually does not have WPA capabilities yours can with the firmware upgrade
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2004
  17. bigc73542

    bigc73542 Retired Moderator

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    I do have the latest firmware . Having a DSL modem built in would be an advantage to a DSL subscriber. I have built directional antenna shields to prevent side screening of my wireless signal. It seems to work well testing it with a field strength meter. Over all I feel pretty secure and do like the performance of linksys products I believe that he will be happy with his choice,

    bigc
     
  18. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    T3,

    It is confusing, isn't it.

    The WRT54GS has SPI. Integration of the modem with the router yields one device, which is good or bad depending on your perspective.

    For future flexibility, there are limitations. If you're always going to be on ASDL, you might not notice. If there's a potential option to other technologies, you'll be getting a new gateway or router and modem. If you want to take advantage of some of the features of the 3rd party firmware, you can't do it with the WAG54G since the WAG54G uses (currently) proprietary firmware code. I wouldn't expect that to change.

    Personally, I like to separate the distinct functions provided by modems and routers since technology advances in there two areas are not necessarily coupled.

    The overall security features of the WRT54GS are fine.

    Blue
     
  19. TOn3LaB

    TOn3LaB Registered Member

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    Hello again,

    Thank you for the replies its much appreciated!

    Linksys really need to sort there website out in terms of wording and also update the comparisions chart.

    I'm going to will stick with the WRT54GS, because there is a possibility of changing to the technology in the future, at least I would only have to change the modem. Also, yesterday a friend of mine actually purchased the WAG54G and went roung to take a look at it. I have a day off today so I may try and pickup a DSL modem from somewhere.

    Thank you for all your help, great board!

    T3
     
  20. TOn3LaB

    TOn3LaB Registered Member

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    Hello again,

    Out of curiosity I emailed Linksys and asked if there were any differences in security between there WRT54G/GS and the WAG54G, here is the reply...

    They also advised me on a DSL modem, they suggested either the Zoom X3 or X4. But upon reading the specs of these units it would appear that both have router and firewall features, but i'm not sure wether the features are on the unit itself or that they intergrate well with other routers. Does anyone have any experience with these units?

    Many thanks!

    T3
     
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