Making your home a Wi-Fi Zone – Part 3

Question raised in our Forums by one of the user:

how can I make sure that only my apartment is a Wi-Fi zone and not my neighbours’ flats too? That is, would it be possible that my next door-neighbours use my Wi-Fi internet connexion?

This was infact the topic which was to be covered as a final and concluding part to this article. It is nice to see that people are now opening up on the forums to raise questions and we encourage our readers to do the same as well.

Wi Fi Protection

Image Courtesy : lifehacker.com

Let us face it. In India, though we have broadband connections, there still exists a ridiculous download limit on most connections. This means that every MB of data counts and after we use up the quota, we are charged quite heavily for the excess usage. So this boils down to the fact that broadband internet usage at homes have to be judicious.

The biggest advantage of a Wi-Fi system is also perhaps its biggest drawback. The internet is wireless and you can enjoy high speed connectivity from any part of your home. But then, so can your neighbour! Imagine that you are careful about your usage whereas your neighbour tends to download a lot of files from internet. At the end of the month, it would be you paying huge bills. We are sure that no one wants to be in such a situation.

And to solve this small issue in the otherwise great Wi-Fi at home we are going to suggest two ways. 

1. Most wireless routers or even wireless modems have an option for encrypting the wireless signals. You could find these options in  the “wireless settings” section of your router. There are atleast two types of encryption available.

  1. WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)
  2. WPA-PSK (Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key)

Both these types would encrypt all the data which is leaving the device and the same encryption scheme would be used by the laptop as well. All you need to do is choose a key for encryption and enter it on your laptop/desktop.

Some say that since each and every data packet is encrypted, this slows down  the performance. But we do not know the validity of this statement.

2. The second option is to lock your wireless router/modem to a particular computer or a group of computers. Each computer has a unique address called “MAC Address”. Entering the individual computer’s MAC address in the router settings would ensure that only these computers talk to the router and no one else.

Connection being stolen and the risk of running huge bills is perhaps only valid in India. But outside India, where perhaps there are no download limits imposed by the internet service provider, other problems can exist. One example is that, your neighbour can download a lot of files slowing down your connection. This means you get slower speeds to surf the net.

We hope you found this series of articles useful.

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Posted by on Jan 11 2008 Filed under Internet. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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