Switching from Wired to Wireless - should be easy but completely stumped!

Discussion in 'Wireless Internet' started by noydini, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. noydini

    noydini Guest

    Hi people,

    I have been trying to find a straighforward way of turning my wi-fi
    signal off when I don't need it.

    By way of background my home set up is a reasonably powerful desktop
    which I use for most of my home computing requirements and a work laptop
    with a wireless network adaptor in it. The desktop is a wired connection
    (using the ethernet cable). I only use the laptop to log in to my office
    network remotely using a VPN connection.

    I'd rather not be broadcasting a wi-fi signal unneccessarily (at
    weekends and at night etc) for security reasons etc. It seems sensible
    to turn on the wireless signal when I need it rather than have it on all
    the time.

    I thought this would be straightforward but called sky support just to
    check. They confirmed that all I needed to do was to log into the
    router, go to wireless settings and disable wireless access point and
    broadcast SSID.

    I did this and initially it was fine. no wireless signal but desktop
    working fine. When I came to use my work laptop, I logged in and
    reenabled these boxes. The wifi signal started broadcasting straightaway
    (i could tell this because the network was picked up on my PDA.

    For some reason however, the work laptop could not recognise the signal
    and would not communicate with laptop. I thought problem must be at the
    router end because it was the first time I'd turned laptop on since
    disabling signal.

    I called sky support and went through all the usual stuff (checking
    network key, SSID, checking network adaptors were working in device
    manager) but got nowhere. The problem was enventually resolved by the IT
    guy at work reconfiguring settings on the laptop (I think he simply did
    a system restore).

    Surely there must be a way of disabling signal without it messing up
    laptop settings every time?

    Any help would be appreciated.


    noydini, Nov 2, 2007
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  2. My opinion is that you're worrying unnecessarily. Simply broadcasting a
    signal presents very little actual risk. So long as you've configured proper
    security on your wireless router, so what if someone sees you? They won't be
    able to do anything. So save yourself the hassle.

    Now, of course, we need to define "proper security." This does NOT include:
    WEP, MAC address filtering, or hiding your SSID. None of these will stop an
    attacker, despite the fact that many people still recommend the last two.
    WPA and WPA2, either in preshared (authentication) key mode or with a RADIUS
    server, are the only real choices that address known wireless attacks. I'm
    going to assume that you don't have a RADIUS server at your house, so
    WPA-PSA or WPA2-PSK should be what you use.

    I've written more about the fallacy of MAC filtering and SSID hiding here:
    That article also includes links to information on configuring WPA and WPA2
    in Windows, which will be helpful for you if that's what you're running.
    Steve Riley [MSFT], Nov 5, 2007
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