Saturday, April 16, 2005

new wifi router.

Several years ago I was using wingate to connect multiple computers to the internet and, I decided I needed a firewall, and better system than leaving one computer on all the time. So I bought an SMC Barricade 802.11b wireless router. It has been pretty much trouble free.

I'm sort of a late adapter, using the "if it works, don't fix it" theory. So I have not been in a rush to upgrade to "g," and with "n" just around the corner (there is always something better), I've been stalling. My SMC died last week, so time to upgrade. Several folks I know use linksys. They really like them. Some of them are biased as they work for Cisco, which owns linksys. My three experiences with the linksys routers have none gone well.

Not sure why I didn't look for another SMC. It was a good product. On a side note, the first NAT router I ever installed was a macsense. And it is still running today, although the owner is starting to talk about wireless.

Another friend has a netgear, and it didn't seem all that bad. So I used a gift certificate I had from work to upgrade.

While I was waiting for it to arrive, I attempted to resurrect my SMC, resetting it to factory defaults. I also created a profile on my laptop for an unsecured connection so I could hook up to it. Bang, I'm connected up right away. I enter the URL to the router management page and type in the default password. At this point I'm thinking that I just wasted my money on a new router, when the old one still works.

When the router config page comes up, it doesn't say SMC, it says linksys! Huh? What's going on? It took me a few seconds, but it turns out that my router was still not working, but my neighbor's across the street was. And it was totally unsecured, right down to the admin password having never been changed.

Now this worked out pretty good for me because I could stay connected to the net until my router came. Whoo Hoo!!!

My netgear showed up and I quick like read the install directions (yeah right!), ok browsed the install directions, which walked a new user through the security configuration process. Very handy.

Anyway I ignored them and set it up the way I wanted it, and in 20 minutes I was all up and running again. I also went and confessed to my neighbor, and offered to help him secure his. He politely declined, and said he was going to call linksys and have them walk him through it.

But if you are reading this and you don't know if your wireless router is secure, you need to spend some quality time with the instructions.
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