How To Setup, Password Protect & Encrypt Wireless Internet Connection

In this post I will tell you how to configure your own wireless internet connection and to enable password protection and encryption to secure your Wi-Fi network against hackers and unauthorized users.

For this configuration I am using a TP Link 54m (802.11g) wireless router. Normally connecting your wireless router with your active ADSL switch with a cross cable will instantly provide wireless connectivity. However, this method will also allow unrestricted access to adjacent systems around the neighborhood to freely use the connection. This can also cause network security issues. To prevent this from happening, you can password protection your connection with a key.

 

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To do this you will have to access your DSL router by connecting it to your system with a straight cable. The reason I am advising connecting the router to the system directly is because if you have a new router it is possible that it may have the same IP as your ADSL switch i.e. 192.168.1.1.

Note: You can get a straight or cross-cable made from your vendor or buy it from a computer shop instead of having to make one yourself. The difference between the two kinds of cables is basically related to the combination in which the wires are bound. Both cable types have the following combination.

linkcable

Combination A

  • White Green
  • Green
  • White Orange
  • Blue
  • White Blue
  • Orange
  • White Brown Brown

Combination B

  • White Orange
  • Orange
  • White Green
  • Blue
  • White Blue
  • Green
  • White Brown
  • Brown

Straight Cable has the same combination on both sides e.g. A+A

Cross Cable has one combination on either side e.g. A+B

Step 1 Login

In case the IPs are separate you can simply connect the router to the ADSL switch with a cross cable (If you don’t know how to make a Ethernet cable, you can buy one ( as mentioned earlier). Nonetheless, many routers normally come with Ethernet cables. To get started, type the IP of your router in a browser or Windows Explorer and press Enter. Most routers have a default IP of 192.168.1.1. (for checking the factory default settings of your router), you can consult the user manual. This will be prompted to login with your user ID and password. Most routers by default have admin as both. For example:

Username: admin

Password: admin

Login

Step 2 Change IP

Since most routers come with the same default IP, therefore, might not be able to connect your internet wirelessly as well as to a a system which has no Wi-Fi card. Therefore  you may be unable to connect the internet on both systems the wired and wireless devices. To resolve this issue you can go to the network settings to change your IP e.g. 192.168.1.2, to connect both wireless and wired computers. This option can be located in the LAN tab in the Network drop down menu (depending upon your router’s settings).

LAN

Step 3 Change Login Credentials

You can change the default username and password, to make your router more secure from external attack. This option in my router was located in System Tools, in the Maintenance drop down menu. The location of certain settings may be present in separate sections of different, switches, routers, IP Phones, etc.

Password Protect

Step 4 Encryption And Password Protection

To add a key to your router, you can go to the security section and configure your wireless settings. You can use ASCII or Hexadecimal key format with a 64, 128 or 152 bit key (depending on your router options).

  • For 64-bit encryption – You can enter 10 hexadecimal digits (any combination of 0-9, a-f, A-F, zero key is not promitted) or 5 ASCII characters.
  • For 128-bit encryption – You can enter 26 hexadecimal digits (any combination of 0-9, a-f, A-F, zero key is not promitted) or 13 ASCII characters.
  • For 152-bit encryption – You can enter 32 hexadecimal digits (any combination of 0-9, a-f, A-F, zero key is not promitted) or 16 ASCII characters.

After you have configured these settings, use the key to connect to your wireless network.

Wireless-Key

If you wish to revert to the default settings anytime, you can restore to the factory default settings from the Factory Defaults section. This will restore your login credentials, IP address, etc back to the original factory settings.

Restore

Summary

1. Attach Your wireless router to your ADSL modem via cross cable in the LAN ports.

2. Access the wireless router via the IP.

3. Encrypt and add connection key.

4. Save your settings.

Optional

1. Change wireless routers IP.

2. Change login credentials.

To avoid confusion, I have not referred to the rest of the settings as they are normally not required.