WiFi router heads-up

Roby wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@adelphia.com:

I cant break out the linux box everytime...

whats a good wifi sniffer for win

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I have a D-Link DI-624, but I think this might apply to any gear.

I prefer the security and reliability of a wired connection, and use the radio only occasionally. Otherwise, the radio is turned off via the vendor's software. I have all the right stuff set up for the available security: encryption, new password, MAC filters, new IP addresses, ho hum.

Yesterday, I started Kismet to watch the on-going ownership war for channel six among four neighbors. I was surprised to find a very strong signal booming in on channel six: a/p with bssid = "default", no encryption, sending long messages over and over, no client connected.

I eventually realized it was my DI-624. It had gone berserk, lost all of my custom settings, loaded the factory defaults (aka, stupid mode) and was babbling away trying to find some UPnP devices to get acquainted with. Meanwhile, my local network was open to all those around.

Lessons learned:

  • If your router software supports writing a copy of your custom settings to your hard drive, use it. I did, and it saved me a lot of repair time.

  • Turn off UPnP unless you need it. From what I saw, this feature chomps bandwidth better used in other ways.

  • Be aware that your router may reinvent itself without warning. Running a software firewall on each machine is a pain, but good insurance.

As soon as my D-Link warranty expires, I'm gonna add a baby toggle switch to cut power to the radio chip and avoid another surprise.


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