Securing Wi-Fi

One thing that’s worth remembering is that if you’re doing the setup for your wireless router’s encryption settings FROM a wireless computer, the moment you apply the new settings, you’ll lose your connection to the router — essentially your router will be encrypting the connection, but your wireless computer is still running unencrypted.

If this is the case, you can go to your network connection settings (usually there’s a small icon in the System Tray on the lower-right-hand corner of your screen that shows the status of your network connection, but if you don’t see it there you can get to the networking component by going to the Start Menu and selecting the Control Panel). From there, disconnect your current connection if necessary by right-clicking and selecting the disconnect option. There should also be a “View Available Networks” option — select that, and look for your network in the list.

When you try connecting to it, it should ask you for your new WEP password. Once you enter it in and hit enter, you should get your connection back.
Make absolutely sure that you write down your password and copy it exactly. If you’re entering a Hexadecimal key manually, remember that you can only choose 0–9 and A- F. And remember if you’re choosing the passphrase option, you have to type the phrase exactly the same on both machines, including capitalization and punctuation. And lastly, make sure the number of bits is set to the same number on both sides (most give you the choice between 64 bit and 128 bit keys).

One last note: If you’re choosing WPA on the router, you MUST have a computer/notebook that also has WPA onboard (some older machines don’t), otherwise there will be no connection made. In this case, you should step down to WEP on both sides of the equation…it’s less secure than WPA (which we recommend) but it’s better than nothing at all.



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