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Well hi to all sorry about this its now 2 nights in a row iam asking questions about my pc not that clued up with pc. I have just had a free upgrade toBT Broadband total wireless from a 210 router on Ethernet but getting to the point ive done this because i would like to buy a second hand laptop so i can talk to all my lovely friends when iam in bed at night rather than sitting down stairs and when i go away with the caravan. What do i need in a laptop for this all to work with the existing pc is there things it needs to have that not all laptops will have thanks Donald.
 

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If you've already got a wireless router, then all you need is a PC with built-in wireless, or one with a plug in wireless card (either Cardbus or USB.) For Cardbus to be usable, you have to have a Cardbus (also known as PCMCIA) slot, which isn't necessarily a given these days. If you end up going for USB, then you'll need USB 2.0, as USB 1.1 isn't really quick enough for networking (though broadband access might be just about useable.)

Whichever way you go with it, be sure to lock down your system using WPA-PSK wireless security, and a very long, random looking password. Don't use WPA-PSK with a short or obvious password, and don't even touch WEP or MAC address filtering - a 5 year old can get around them.
 

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Hi donald

Have a look at this WEB PAGE LINK

IT'S A GOOD SITE OFFERING GREAT PRICES.

Network Products - Aria Technology

JUST MAY POINT YOU IN THE DIRECTION YOU NEED.

Theres many products it depends on what parts and how old the lap top is.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you've already got a wireless router, then all you need is a PC with built-in wireless, or one with a plug in wireless card (either Cardbus or USB.) For Cardbus to be usable, you have to have a Cardbus (also known as PCMCIA) slot, which isn't necessarily a given these days. If you end up going for USB, then you'll need USB 2.0, as USB 1.1 isn't really quick enough for networking (though broadband access might be just about useable.)

Whichever way you go with it, be sure to lock down your system using WPA-PSK wireless security, and a very long, random looking password. Don't use WPA-PSK with a short or obvious password, and don't even touch WEP or MAC address filtering - a 5 year old can get around them.
Thank you for your help this is all very hard to take in:crazy: give me a pot grease and a spanner and a car but pc's sorry to say just go right over the top of my head ive took all on board iam hoping when i buy this second hand laptop the person i buy from will be able to help and not just try to move it on to me for a sale cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi donald

Have a look at this WEB PAGE LINK

IT'S A GOOD SITE OFFERING GREAT PRICES.

Network Products - Aria Technology

JUST MAY POINT YOU IN THE DIRECTION YOU NEED.

Theres many products it depends on what parts and how old the lap top is.
Hi thanks again iam going to go on ebay and have a quick look to see whats what and have a look at the all important prices:)
 

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The problem with wireless is that the signals don't stop when they hit the boundaries of your property. From our conservatory, I can pick up four other people's wireless networks, and one is a good few hundred yards away.

So the trick is to make your network so that only you can access it. There are various methods of doing this, all of which should be available somewhere in your router's configuration. I'll try to write this in plain English without being patronising. When it comes to acronyms like SSID, WPA-PSK, MAC and WEP, just take them as they are. There's no real need to know what they mean.

1) Disable SSID broadcast. This stops the wireless from sending out the "Hi! Here I am! Anyone want to connect to me?" message. Turning this off means that your network won't automatically appear on other people's computers when they're browsing for a network to connect to. It also means that it won't appear on yours, which just makes life that bit more difficult when adding new PCs to the network. It won't even inconvenience any remotely competent hackers (they can easily find your SSID from snooping on your network traffic) so really, disabling SSID just makes life more difficult for you.

2) Enable MAC address filtering. Every network card ever made has a unique MAC address. In theory, if you tell your wireless network to only communicate with certain MAC addresses, you'll lock out everyone but your own PCs. In practise, MAC addresses can be modified by software. A hacker can 'sniff' the MAC address from your own network card and 'spoof' the same address. Surprisingly, most wireless systems don't seem to mind having two different computers with the same MAC address, so you get no warning that this is going on.

3) Enable WEP security. This provides encryption, but unfortunately the encryption is flawed. Using freely available software, a hacker can bombard your router with packets, record the results, and run the information through a decryption program that will give them the WEP key. This kind of hack typically takes less than 10 minutes.

4) Enable WPA-PSK security (the only one actually worth bothering with.) WPA irons out the vulnerabilities of WEP to provide proper encryption. However, it's still vulnerable to what they call 'dictionary attacks' and 'brute force attacks.' In a dictionary attack, the hacker has a program that tries thousands of passwords very quickly. If you've chosen a single word key, they will get in. In a brute force attack, the program will try every possible single character password, then every possible two character password, then three characters and so on. The number of permutations increases exponentially as the password length goes up, and by the time you hit 20 characters or so, it would more than likely take years to get in.

So the trick is to use a long password, and preferably something that nobody would guess. For absolute maximum (overkill) security, use a completely random sequence of letters and numbers that you just save a copy of somewhere for future use. If you're going for this ultra-paranoid approach (and why not?) then have a look at GRC's 'perfect password generator' page: https://www.grc.com/passwords.htm

If you know the exact model of your router, then hopefully a Google will turn up a guide on how to configure WPA-PSK.

In a nutshell, disabling SSID broadcast, enabling MAC filtering, and switching on WEP security will only prevent people from accidentally connecting to your network, or foil the attempts of novice hackers and curious neighbours who can't be bothered doing a bit of research and downloading the hacking software. Only WPA with a long encryption key will foil someone who knows what they're doing.

Just to outline the dangers of leaving your wireless open:

1) People will have access to your local network, bypassing most firewall security. If you have shared folders on your PC, then they can read and possibly modify or delete your files. If you have a printer shared on the network, they could churn out a thousand page document just for a laugh. Local access may also make it easier for them to install malware on your computers.

2) People can steal your Internet bandwidth, downloading huge amounts of data through your account. This will affect your own download speed, and if you do any streaming audio or video, or use the likes of Skype, the quality may suffer. I they're really hammering it, you may find pages failing to load in your web browser, and if you're on a capped broadband package, they'll almost certainly exceed your quota. Don't fret if you occasionaly have browsing problems or stuttering audio/video already. It doesn't necessarily mean that someone is hacking your wireless.

3) People can use your account to download illegal material such as pirate software or (more worryingly) child pornography. All traceable back to you if anyone looks up the IP addresses.

Sorry to rant on, but I don't feel many people appreciate the dangers of running an open wireless network. If you've been given a wireless router and you're not using the wireless functionality of it yet, then see if there's an option in the configuration to switch off the wireless for now. That's the safest option of all.

Some early devices (including the first of the 802.11g access points) do not support WPA. Your options are to either upgrade your hardware (check if there's a firmware fix first) or live with the above possibilities.

Windows XP needs Service Pack 2 to support WPA, though if your network card provides its own network control software (the Netgear ones certainly do) then that will do the work for you and you don't need SP2.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The problem with wireless is that the signals don't stop when they hit the boundaries of your property. From our conservatory, I can pick up four other people's wireless networks, and one is a good few hundred yards away.

So the trick is to make your network so that only you can access it. There are various methods of doing this, all of which should be available somewhere in your router's configuration. I'll try to write this in plain English without being patronising. When it comes to acronyms like SSID, WPA-PSK, MAC and WEP, just take them as they are. There's no real need to know what they mean.

1) Disable SSID broadcast. This stops the wireless from sending out the "Hi! Here I am! Anyone want to connect to me?" message. Turning this off means that your network won't automatically appear on other people's computers when they're browsing for a network to connect to. It also means that it won't appear on yours, which just makes life that bit more difficult when adding new PCs to the network. It won't even inconvenience any remotely competent hackers (they can easily find your SSID from snooping on your network traffic) so really, disabling SSID just makes life more difficult for you.

2) Enable MAC address filtering. Every network card ever made has a unique MAC address. In theory, if you tell your wireless network to only communicate with certain MAC addresses, you'll lock out everyone but your own PCs. In practise, MAC addresses can be modified by software. A hacker can 'sniff' the MAC address from your own network card and 'spoof' the same address. Surprisingly, most wireless systems don't seem to mind having two different computers with the same MAC address, so you get no warning that this is going on.

3) Enable WEP security. This provides encryption, but unfortunately the encryption is flawed. Using freely available software, a hacker can bombard your router with packets, record the results, and run the information through a decryption program that will give them the WEP key. This kind of hack typically takes less than 10 minutes.

4) Enable WPA-PSK security (the only one actually worth bothering with.) WPA irons out the vulnerabilities of WEP to provide proper encryption. However, it's still vulnerable to what they call 'dictionary attacks' and 'brute force attacks.' In a dictionary attack, the hacker has a program that tries thousands of passwords very quickly. If you've chosen a single word key, they will get in. In a brute force attack, the program will try every possible single character password, then every possible two character password, then three characters and so on. The number of permutations increases exponentially as the password length goes up, and by the time you hit 20 characters or so, it would more than likely take years to get in.

So the trick is to use a long password, and preferably something that nobody would guess. For absolute maximum (overkill) security, use a completely random sequence of letters and numbers that you just save a copy of somewhere for future use. If you're going for this ultra-paranoid approach (and why not?) then have a look at GRC's 'perfect password generator' page: https://www.grc.com/passwords.htm

If you know the exact model of your router, then hopefully a Google will turn up a guide on how to configure WPA-PSK.

In a nutshell, disabling SSID broadcast, enabling MAC filtering, and switching on WEP security will only prevent people from accidentally connecting to your network, or foil the attempts of novice hackers and curious neighbours who can't be bothered doing a bit of research and downloading the hacking software. Only WPA with a long encryption key will foil someone who knows what they're doing.

Just to outline the dangers of leaving your wireless open:

1) People will have access to your local network, bypassing most firewall security. If you have shared folders on your PC, then they can read and possibly modify or delete your files. If you have a printer shared on the network, they could churn out a thousand page document just for a laugh. Local access may also make it easier for them to install malware on your computers.

2) People can steal your Internet bandwidth, downloading huge amounts of data through your account. This will affect your own download speed, and if you do any streaming audio or video, or use the likes of Skype, the quality may suffer. I they're really hammering it, you may find pages failing to load in your web browser, and if you're on a capped broadband package, they'll almost certainly exceed your quota. Don't fret if you occasionaly have browsing problems or stuttering audio/video already. It doesn't necessarily mean that someone is hacking your wireless.

3) People can use your account to download illegal material such as pirate software or (more worryingly) child pornography. All traceable back to you if anyone looks up the IP addresses.

Sorry to rant on, but I don't feel many people appreciate the dangers of running an open wireless network. If you've been given a wireless router and you're not using the wireless functionality of it yet, then see if there's an option in the configuration to switch off the wireless for now. That's the safest option of all.

Some early devices (including the first of the 802.11g access points) do not support WPA. Your options are to either upgrade your hardware (check if there's a firmware fix first) or live with the above possibilities.

Windows XP needs Service Pack 2 to support WPA, though if your network card provides its own network control software (the Netgear ones certainly do) then that will do the work for you and you don't need SP2.
Hi well jusus christ my brain is in over load:crazy: i will say thanks for now dont take this the wrong way but by god you love to write thorough:) :d
 

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Hi well jusus christ my brain is in over load:crazy: i will say thanks for now dont take this the wrong way but by god you love to write thorough:) :d
I was going to do an "apologies for length" but I've already shouted at Pyro for bringing b3taisms onto the board :p

To put it another way, either switch the wireless off, or enable WPA-PSK with a long password. If you want to know why, then you get to read through that lot :crazy:
 
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