To set up wireless security, you must use a computer that is wired to the router.
Where to find the router settings: The router's login password is usually on one of the "Administration" pages. The other settings are all found in the "Wireless" section of the router's setup pages, located at 192.168.1.1
First, give your router a unique SSID. Don't use "linksys". Make sure "SSID Broadcast" is set to "enabled".
Next, leave the router at its default settings (except for the unique SSID), and then use your pc to connect wirelessly to the router. Test your wireless Internet connection and make sure it is working correctly. You must have a properly working wireless connection before setting up wireless security.
To implement wireless security, you need to do one step at a time, then verify that you can still connect your wireless computer to the router.
Next, encrypt your wireless system using the highest level of encryption that all of your wireless devices will support. Common encryption methods are:
WEP - poor (see note below) WPA (sometimes called PSK, or WPA with TKIP) - good WPA2 (sometimes called PSK2, or WPA with AES) - best
WPA and WPA2 sometimes come in versions of "personal" and "enterprise". Most home users should use "personal". Also, if you have a choice between AES and TKIP, and your wireless equipment is capable of both, choose AES. With any encryption method, you will need to supply a key (sometimes called a "password" ).
The wireless devices (computers, printers, etc.) that you have will need to be set up with the SSID, encryption method, and key that matches what you entered in the router.
Retest your system and verify that your wireless Internet connection is still working correctly.
And don't forget to give your router a new login password.
Picking Passwords (keys): You should never use a dictionary word as a password. If you use a dictionary word as a password, even WPA2 can be cracked in a few minutes. When you pick your login password and encryption key (or password or passphrase) you should use a random combination of capital letters, small letters, and numbers, but no spaces. A login password, should be 12 characters or more. WPA and WPA2 passwords should be at least 24 characters. Note: Your key, password, or passphrase must not have any spaces in it.
Most home users should have their routers set so that "remote management" of the router is disabled. If you must have this option enabled, then your login password must be increased to a minumum of 24 random characters.
One additional issue is that Windows XP requires a patch to run WPA2. Go to Microsoft Knowledge base, article ID=893357 and it will direct you to the patch. Sadly, the patch is not part of the automatic Windows XP updates, so lots of people are missing the patch.
Note: WEP is no longer recommended. The FBI has demonstrated that WEP can be cracked in just a few minutes using software tools that are readily available over the Internet. Even a long random character password will not protect you with WEP. You should be using WPA or preferably WPA2 encryption.
When I try to change the SSID to something other than linksys...... It wont allow me to access the internet. I set up everythimg else though. I set my securtiy level to WPA2. I am using a MAC to access the internet and I can only gain access through the Airport network. Is this the safest network or would using the built in Ethernet work better, and how to do so. I would just like to know if I have configured everything on my computer properly to avoid anyone gaining access to my network.
Changing your SSID does not effect the router's ability to connect to the Internet. However, it could stop your computer from connecting to the router, if the computer is still trying to connect to "linksys". In the non-working computer, go to your wireless software, and go into "Preferred Networks" (sometimes called "Profiles" ). Delete all networks named "linksys". Delete all other networks that you do not recognize, or that you no longer use. Enter the info for your new network (new SSID, encryption method, and key). Make this your default network, with automatic login. Reboot computer. It should work.
You said you were using WPA2. If you are also using Windows XP, be sure you have the patch that I mentioned in my last post.
A wired ethernet connection is considered safer than wireless. However, a properly protected wireless connection (i.e. WPA or WPA2 with a strong password) is still considered very secure.
If you decide to use only wired connections, turn off wireless in the router.