WLAN stands for Wireless Local Area Network. In a WLAN the device (e.g. a laptop, PDA, etc.) communicates via a wireless connection with a WLAN Access Point which is connected (just like a normal computer) via a cable to the Internet or the local network. As the devices are not wired up the users are mobile. This is the advantage of a WLAN. The indoor range depends on structural factors and is considerably lower than outdoors, where WLAN connections are possible over more than 200 metres.
What need to be done
- Protection of the administration page
Most WLAN access points have a user interface for administration that is accessible by browser (http://IP_ADDRESS_OF_ACCESS_POINT). The settings described below can also be configured with this interface. Access to this administration page is protected by a standard password which should be changed immediately.
- Change the network name
Change the default network name (SSID).
- Suppress network name broadcasts
Prevent the WLAN access point from regularly broadcasting its network name (SSID). For this, the « Broadcast SSID » option must be set to « No ».
- Limited access to your devices
Limit access to your access point so that only your devices can communicate with it. This can be done by defining the devices' MAC addresses.
- Switching on the encryption
In the WLAN hardware, activate the WPA or WPA2 encryption and select a strong password for this.
- Use secure protocols
If confidential data are transmitted on your WLAN it is recommended that protocols that perform (additional) encryption be used (e.g. VPN, https, ssh, etc.).