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Four Smart Features in Linksys Routers

Four Smart Features in Linksys Routers

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Published by Frank
Four "cool" things you can do with your Linksys router that will make it more secure and harder for hackers to, well, hack it.
Four "cool" things you can do with your Linksys router that will make it more secure and harder for hackers to, well, hack it.

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Published by: Frank on Apr 20, 2009
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06/18/2009

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Four Smart Features in Linksys Routers
 
Smart Features in Linksys Routers
Introduction
This handbook will talk about numerous ways on how to operate your Linksys router. Having asecure and easy-to-use network is very important because you do not want to have randompeople accessing your network to do illegal activities (and yes, it can happen). Having a securerouter will help you repel unauthorized use of your router and lower the chances of gettinghacked.In the following paragraphs I will explain what a router is and what you need for a router to work securely. It will also talk about how to use a router (Linksys) and how to make it secure forresidential use. This handbook is a useful tool and is written from first-handexperience/knowledge with the product.I will also talk about a third party firmware you may decide to install on your routers. Though Iam not liable to any problems you might face when using the third party firmware, I will providelinks to official websites that will guide you on installing the firmware and how to properly use it.
What is a router?
A router is a communications device that works in accordance of your modem. The modemcatches the Internet Protocol from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and forwards it to yourrouter where you may use it for Local Area Networks and enhanced security. Lets just say that if you have your computer directly plugged into the modem, it will not be as safe as if it wasplugged to a router. Routers block most unauthorized access to your network. It blocks unwantedports to make it harder for hackers to access your personal information.Routers come in different specifications. Some routers are all ethernet and no wireless (i.e. youneed to be directly plugged into it in order to have access to the Internet). Other routers will bewireless (as most of them are today), and will have specifications such as "Wireless-A/B/G/N" onthe box. This means that the router accepts 802.11a/b/g/n signals. A is the slowest of them all andis very outdated. As the list goes on, the most popular is B and N, where N is not finalized as of yet (April 2009). The transfer rates between router and computer in wireless-G is 54mbpswhereas in wireless-N it is ~130mbps. Wireless-N also has a greater radius as to where you areable to connect wirelessly to the router.FLJR902
 
Smart Features in Linksys Routers
How to access the router?
When you want to access your router you have to use a browser i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox,Chrome, etc. To change the specifications through these browsers you must type in your DefaultGateway (which you will find in your command prompt after typing the
ipconfig 
command).Once you find your default gateway, you will type those numbers into your Uniform ResourceLocator (URL). Once you type the numbers in, you will be prompted a username and password.Note that the default username/password on many Linksys (i.e. WRT160N, WRT350N) isadmin/admin.Once you are inside the router, the journey begins! You will be able to change encryptions, setDHCPs, enable MAC filter and many more! In here you will find tabs such as Administrationwhere you will be able to update your firmwares. The firmwares are available at the officialLinksys website.
Firmwares
Firmwares enable your router to work. Without a firmware your router will not work. Firmwaresenable communications and interface communications between the user (you) and the hardware(router).Beware that when you install firmware you must know which version/revision your router is.This version can be found on the serial number on the physical router. If the serial number has no version number after the serial, then the default is V.1. Otherwise, the version will be specified.If you are a fairly knowledged individual in using your router you may decide to install add-wrtfirmwarewhich is based on Linux. There are tons of extra features which will very much enhanceyour experience with the router. To know whether or not your router is supported, you may check the supported hardware sectionof the website. If your router is listed as "yes," then it iscompatible. If it is "no," do not bother installing this firmware.This firmware enables an important feature that enables the router to become a repeater. Arepeater is basically a router that works with another router to prolong the signal. So if you wereacross a very big house, you may set up a repeater where you will get 5-bar signals.Hereis thedd-wrt website section that helps you set up a repeater and explains in greater detail what arepeater is. To install the firmware, check the installation pagewhere it will tell you step by stephow to install it.The following Linksys features are based on the default Linksys firmware that comes with therouter. Note that you are able to do these on a dd-wrt.FLJR903

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