How do I manage security on my AT&T DSL using a 2WIRE wireless router?
February 5, 2007 6:10 PM   Subscribe

How do I manage security on my AT&T DSL using a 2WIRE wireless router...when I don't have the software or cords?

I have a 2WIRE wireless router (I think it's a router. It's a little x-shaped thing that connects to my phone cord - I may be using the wrong term). I use it for my awesome AT&T DSL plan.

The problem is...I think someone else is using my connection too.

There are three lights on this router - the bottom one shows when a computer is connected to the network. In the past, when my computer was turned off, the bottom light was off too. For the last month or so, the light is on all the time - even when my computer is off. This makes me think someone else is connected. I only have one computer in my house so only one computer SHOULD be connecting to the network - ever.

I want to know how I can figure out whether someone else is connected to my network. This is complicated, however, by the fact that I no longer have the cords to connect my laptop to the wirelss router to allow me to edit the properties on the network. I am also using a different laptop now than I was using when I set up the network three years ago. I am still able to connect to the network to use the internet and such but I can't edit properties on the router.

I do have WEP enabled on the router - I did it a long time ago - and I used the router's serial number as the password - so I would think it would be difficult to guess the password. What am I missing here?

To sum, my question is three-fold:
1) How do I figure out if someone else is connecting to my network?
2) How can I change security settings on the router without the cords it came with?
3) If I can't do #2 without the cords, do you have any suggestions on which cords to purchase? I am clueless here, as you can tell.
posted by MeetMegan to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
go here and see if you get the management screen of the DSL router.
posted by popechunk at 6:20 PM on February 5, 2007

Popechunk's got it. I've got the same setup and both my computer and my PDA are listed. See what's in bold at the bottom left and what's grayed out. There should really only be one (in your case) in bold, which is your primary computer. Anything in gray is something that has been connected but isn't currently.
posted by monkeymadness at 6:24 PM on February 5, 2007

I just did as popechunk instructed - I get page cannot be displayed. Any other ideas?
posted by MeetMegan at 6:35 PM on February 5, 2007

Check out the 2Wire site for info on how to connect to the management function of your router.

Then check out a recent Ask MeFi which should walk you through the rest of it. Ignore the bits about using and the like: the address you need is in the first link.
posted by ssg at 7:07 PM on February 5, 2007

ssg - I did check the 2Wire site for the connection to my router - it's the same addres as popechunk used above - and I get the same error. They also don't say which cords I need to buy.

Additionally, I already have WEP enabled on my router so the previous Ask doesn't help me.

Any other suggestions?
posted by MeetMegan at 7:12 PM on February 5, 2007

MM, do you know what your IP address is? What happens if you go here or here?
posted by popechunk at 7:17 PM on February 5, 2007

popechunk - thanks for the help. Both of those links (the second one I corrected to yield the same "Page cannot be displayed" result as the first link you shared. :(
posted by MeetMegan at 7:25 PM on February 5, 2007

ooops - yes I do know my IP address. What can I do with that?
posted by MeetMegan at 7:25 PM on February 5, 2007

GENIUS! popechunk you are a genius. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. Using my IP address got me into the configuration screen and I changed the password. That knocked off all the other computers (there were 12!) and hopefully it'll be awhile until they figure out what the new password is.

posted by MeetMegan at 7:31 PM on February 5, 2007

read the AskMe link that ssg posted so that you can secure it well enough to slow down your hacker neighbors a little bit.
posted by popechunk at 7:34 PM on February 5, 2007

Yep, everything is resecured using WPA, which was surprisingly easy! Thank you!
posted by MeetMegan at 7:42 PM on February 5, 2007

Naturally, you made up a long and meaningless random string of garbage for the WPA passphrase and stuck it on a USB key, didn't you?

WPA is plenty good with a good gibberish passphrase; still pretty poor with a short dictionary word or string of decimal digits.
posted by flabdablet at 10:44 PM on February 5, 2007

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