Newbie and security protocols

I keep hearing/reading that one should use WEP encryption or higher. I have a D-LINK 524 Wireless Router and broadband. I am currently using MAC address filtering. I live in a hi-rise building. Only a few users or wireless access points appear nearby. I have my antennae stength at low (12%).

Should I be concerned with security or someone "sniffing" my packets? I choose to use MAC address filtering because I get better speeds with my broadband connection than using WEP. Nobody ever mentions why one should NOT use MAC filtering.

Thanks M

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Just curious
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That keeps the world from hearing your access point. It does nothing for preventing the world from hearing your wireless client radio, which probably lacks a power adjustment.

Oh yes.

Enabling WEP usually causes a 10% loss in performance, although some of the more ancient incantations will result in perhaps as much as a

20% reduction in thruput speed.

MAC filtering is probably a good idea as it eliminates "accidental" connections from random users. However, MAC addresses are very easy to spoof. Windoze does not use the MAC address of the wireless card, but instead uses whatever is buried in the registry. There are even programs available to manually change your MAC address. If someone sniffs your traffic, the MAC addresses are all in the clear, not encrypted, and easily extracted.

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Jeff Liebermann


The software and instructions how to use it is available on the internet to do just what you are talking about.

Be advised that using an un-crypted wireless network is like using your portable or cell phone. Other people CAN be listening in and snooping in your business. Even WEP or the latest WEA is not a sure fire protection. If you want a more secure network go with a hard wired Ethernet cable.

William Lee

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Also, obviously there are hack programs out there that teach one how to hack into wireless systems. Are there any that can actually monitor your wireless network for such attempts, including cloning MAC addresses?

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