Wireless router security:
April 15, 2006 11:57 AM   Subscribe

I have a linksys wireless-G 2.4 ghz router. I use a macbook pro. The set up cd for the router works only on Windows. The router works and i get wireless, but i was unable to set up a security feature. I am guessing anyone in my neighbourhood can use my signal. How can i make this secure if the set up cd with instructions is incompatible with my OS ?
posted by cascando to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
normally with linksys gear you can set up all the features via the built in web admin. You may have to connect via ethernet to access this, but try going to in your web browser (or if that's not it, whatever your router's default IP is).

You may find it referred to as your default gateway in your networking setup on the computer itself.

For most linksys stuff the default password and login is 'admin'.
posted by tiamat at 12:00 PM on April 15, 2006

1. Borrow a friend's laptop PC.

2. Take the router to a friend's place and borrow his desktop PC.

3. Bootcamp.

4. Parallels.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 12:00 PM on April 15, 2006

tiamat's got it. But occasionally it's Easiest way to check for sure, is to go to Apple -> System Preferences -> Network -> Airport -> TCP/IP and check what it says under 'router'. That is your default gateway. If you put that number in the address bar on whatever web browser you use, it should pop up a login screen. As tiamat said, username is typically 'admin' and the password is usually 'password' or left blank.

From there you should be able to edit all your settings.
posted by quin at 12:16 PM on April 15, 2006

Not to derail, but something to add to your configuration activities list, when you get to a Windows machine, or get into the Web administration interface, via the default address, and admin default user profile/password:

Do set up a wired connection, and check the product sticker for your hardware version. Then, check the firmware version on the "Status" page (upper right corner of the page) of the Web administration interface. If the version in your router doesn't match the latest available version (4.20.7 dated 8/25/2005 for WRT54G versions 2, 3, 3.1, and 4, as an example), you need to download and update the router firmware. You may also want to download a the User Guide file from the same Web site, so you can read it as you work with the router.

Older versions of the firmware had some bugs that affect the router's interoperability with cable modems and DSL services, that will make your connection unstable, or even prevent you from connecting to your ISP properly. Not to mention some security problems in the firewall software, and problems with the WPA security code.

Set an admin password for the router, and disable remote administration. Set up the router firewall and turn on NAT, enable WPA for wireless connections, and set up a reasonably long WPA passphrase. Turn off SSID broadcasts if you don't want visitors or passerby easily discovering that you have a wireless access point in operation. If you like, make a backup of your configuration to a file or floppy you can keep safe. Power down the updated and configured router.

Remove the wired connection, and set up a new wireless connection on your Mac appropriately.
posted by paulsc at 12:32 PM on April 15, 2006

Installing the drivers/software/etc from the product's CD is always my choice of last resort.

I always try to make the device operate using whatever native drivers the OS supplies. Failing that, I will download the manufacturer's drivers from the web: they are always more up-to-date than the useless CD.

I always try to make the device inter-operate with whatever software I currently use (ie. browser, photo editors, whatever). The manufacturer's software is almost always deficient when compared to various freeware, open source, shareware, or professional-class commercial products.

Truth is, I can't remember the last time I found a product CD to contain any useful data whatsoever...
posted by five fresh fish at 4:17 PM on April 15, 2006

As tiamat said, username is typically 'admin' and the password is usually 'password' or left blank.

It may, by the way, be the other way around, with a blank login and "admin" for the password.
posted by nobody at 5:13 PM on April 15, 2006

the CD will have a PDF on it that will describe how to change the settings on the router (including the default password). you may have to hunt for it. that said, everyone in this thread is right anyway.
posted by mrg at 6:41 PM on April 15, 2006

Can't you go to the linksys site to download the installation software?
posted by i8ny3x at 7:55 PM on April 15, 2006

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