Use MAC Filtering and hide your SSID on your wireless for security- but not against a wardriver

MAC address filtering is found in your router’s settings and can be effective against the standard user that knows your password to your wireless router.    A great example of this is your children’s friends.    They may learn the password but you can put in your MAC addresses of all of the devices on your home network and prevent them from connecting if their MAC address is not in your router.

The weakness in this is that although you may do this, anyone listening to your network traffic (Wireshark and other scanning software) will see the broadcast of these devices, thus seeing your MAC address, and can then spoof one of your MAC addresses.   After that, game on.

So everyone thinks hiding their SSID (the name of your wireless) is great.  It is for most home users.   It prevents neighbors from seeing your network or if someone is doing a quick drive by.  However, anyone who has NetSurveyor, inSSIDer, Xirrus, other software or an RF analyzer (less than $75- also see our other articles on wireless) can see the network and quickly identify the SSID.   (See Microsoft’s Technet Article)

These two options are ways to hide or prevent the AVERAGE user from connecting to or detecting your network.  Strong passwords and strong encryption are your best choice.


About TCAT Shelbyville IT Department

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology - is one of 46 institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System, the seventh largest system of higher education in the nation. This system comprises six universities, fourteen community colleges, and twenty-six Applied Technology Colleges.
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