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Is WPA2-PSK on a router safe enough??

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#1
Hello everyone, its been a while !

I have a quick question about my wireless router ( Netgear WGR1614 v9 )
Well after receiving this router by my ISP ( Virgin ) Iv'e been very happy with it. But slightly concerned about security.

Everyone in my family has now got a Netbook and two laptops that connect wireless. I have configured the router to use WPA2-PSK which is a mixture of characters and hex digits I believe. Once I was happy with the password, I put the password on all three machines. No problem. Also I stopped broadcasting SSID, in hoping to prevent network detection from other users, apart from my family.

Now call me paranoid ! I was was watching the router the other day and was surprised to see the wireless icon flashing like anything! Now this was strange as all devices were off! Could this be someone snooping in??

And if I was to change my encrpytion password again, will it be worth changing again if the " Hacker " is getting through what ever I encrypt it with?

Thanks for reading,

Reader34
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#2
Pretty much all versions of the WPA2 encryption method are virtually un-hackable.

Even a novice hacker can, with the help of plentiful online guides, hack a WEP encrption, but WPA2 will more than be secure against 99.8% of people.

But just so that you know, Ecrypting your wireless only protects you from hackers who are near enough to your house that they can access your Wireless signal. It will do absolutely nothing to protect your from hackers that come in from the internet. You'll need protection software for that, and even then, most of that won't deture an experienced blackcap hacker.

It's nothing rare to see your wireless light flashing when all devices are off. Most routers will systematically scan for wireless devices that are in range as a means of updating the network. Additionally, in some cases, certain frequencies, such as those emitted by cordless phones, can cause slight interference which can trigger the wireless light to flash. Lastly, there's also a flash of activity any time someone DETECTS your wireless network. This means that if a neighbor scans and sees your network in their available list, your light will flash (even if they don't attempt to connect). But if nothing else, you can take comfort in knowing that even if they do attempt to connect, they'll most likely never succeed considering that WPA2 is virtually uncrackable.

I won't say it can't be done, as I know otherwise. But I'll say that its a very rare bit of knowledge for anyone to have.

If you want that extra bit of security, you could try MAC address filtering, this way only allowed wireless adaptors / laptops can gain access to the network. This means that even if someone gets ahold of your network password, they couldn't access it from a non-approved device.

There are ways around this as well, but once again, very rare bit of knowledge.

Just remember though, if someone has significant enough reason for targeting you (meaning they're really serious about stealing some data), and they're close enough to your house to access wireless, then they're just as likely to wait for you to leave and then break in and steal the computers themselves.

Nothing is flawless, so if you're going to be paranoid, you may as well take it to the extreme, lol.


#3
Thank you for the informative answer :)

I can say that now I will sleep peacefully at night, knowing that I'm using awesome encryption lol !!
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