A Wireless router is a device that performs the functions of a router but also includes the functions of a wireless access point and a network switch. They are commonly used to allow access to the Internet or a computer network without the need for a cabled connection.
Thus, a Wireless router can function in a wired LAN (local area network), a wireless only LAN (WLAN), or a mixed wired/wireless network.
To make the most of their security planning, enterprises need to focus on threats that pose the greatest risk.
Most current wireless routers have the following characteristics. Also we will see how to Set Up a Wireless Router or WiFi Access Point:
- LAN ports which function in the same manner as the ports of a network switch
- A WAN port to connect to a wide area network, typically one with Internet access. External destinations are accessed using this port. If it is not used, many functions of the router will be bypassed.
- A wireless antenna allows connections from other wireless devices (NICs (network interface cards), wireless repeaters, wireless access points, and wireless bridges, for example), usually using the Wi-Fi standard.
Some wireless routers also include a DSL or cable modem in addition to their other components.
Wireless router or access point brings convenience because you’re not tethered to a wired connection. Setting up a wireless router or access point depends on the software that comes with the router or access point.
Warning: Wireless networks offer great potential for exploitation for two reasons; they use the airwaves for communication, and wireless-enabled laptops are ubiquitous. Wireless networks are vulnerable in a myriad of ways, some of the most likely problems being rogue access points (APs) and employee use of mobile devices without appropriate security precautions, but malicious hacking attempts and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks are certainly possible as well.
Wireless connections are more complicated to set up than wired connections. You’re basically setting up a radio transmitter that broadcasts to little radios attached to your PCs. You need to worry about signal strength, finding the right signal, and even entering passwords to keep outsiders from listening in.
Wireless transmitters, known as Wireless Access Points (WAPs), come either built into your router or plugged into one of your router’s ports. The setup software is different on every model, but it requires you to set up these three things:
- Network name (SSID): Enter a short, easy-to-remember name here to identify your particular wireless network. Later, when connecting to the wireless network with your computer, you’ll select this same name to avoid accidentally connecting with your neighbor’s wireless network.
- Infrastructure: Choose Infrastructure instead of the alternative, Ad Hoc.
- Security: This option encrypts your data as it flies through the air. Turn it on using the recommended settings.
Some routers include an installation program for changing these settings; other routers contain built-in software that you access with Windows’ own Web browser.
As you enter settings for each of the three things, write them on a piece of paper. You need to enter these same three settings when setting up your PC’s wireless connection.