Securing A Linksys Wireless Networking Using WPA Encryption

by on January 14, 2008

Q: How can I secure my wireless network using a Linksys router that I have already installed and configured with a computer that is running Windows XP?

A: Hello there. Internet security is of the highest concern to anyone on the Internet today. Internet security is particularly important if you are running a wireless network from your home or office. The risks are many including the ability for hackers to access your network or computer while your Internet connection is open. One of the best security measures is to disable your wireless network while you aren’t using it. Sounds simple, but many of us neglect this step. In addition to only having your wireless network up when you are using it, securing it with a password is another great security measure.

According to your question, you are using a Linksys wireless router controlled by a PC using Windows XP as the operating system. This is a pretty common setup. Since you have already installed the router and configured your network, it should be pretty easy to set a password for your wireless network.

To change your wireless network password, you will need to access your router’s configuration page. To do this, open Internet Explorer and enter the IP address that came with your router; it should be included in your router’s instruction manual. The address should look something like this: http://192.168.1.1. A prompt will probably appear asking for your User name and Password. If you did not change them when you originally configured your router, they should be User name, admin, Password, Admin.

Once the setup page opens, select Wireless, and then Wireless Security. Here, there are a few fields for you to fill in, most importantly, Passphrase; this is where you will set your network’s password. You will want to set the fields on this page as follows:

  • Security Mode: WPA-Personal
  • Encryption: TKIP
  • Passphrase: (Something easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess. It is best to use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.)
  • Key Renewal: 3600 seconds

Once you have set the fields as desired, write down your password and put it somewhere safe, and click Save Settings. Your network will now be protected with your new password.

Remember to turn off your router when you aren’t using your computer; it is the only 100% certain way of securing your network. Also, configuring a password for your wireless network will certainly deter those who will ill-use your network. I hope this information helps! Good luck!


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