Here we go then – a Wednesday that feels like a Tuesday, all very confusing. Starfleet was quiet yesterday…. Too quiet… which can only mean there’s a storm brewing and a hard rain is gonna fall (and other such phrases invoking fear and concern in the mind of the reader). I’m assuming a few people made a vacation out of the bank holiday weekend and haven’t come back to work, which would explain some of the deafening silence. That combined with the general sense of ugghhhfff that everyone feels after a long weekend has meant that the corridors of the starship just seem to be a bit echoey (That’s not a real word! Ed.)

Daughter’s not been well, but she’s on the mend. As long as we don’t have a repeat of last year when she was ill enough to be admitted to hospital and left me and Mrs G with sleepless nights and gnawed finger nails. Worrying about your kids is the law!

I’m not going to mention it – but god knows what I’ll be writing about after Friday. D’oh!!! said too much already!!! Actually I do know the answer to this. I’ll be back onto my tech bandwagon with gusto… probably. And to that end, let’s make a start…

A couple of my friends have been messing with thier wireless hubs (not least because of their concerns over the Digital Economy Bill – [careful… Ed.]) and have been asking me whether they should use WEP or WPA to secure their home networks.

Its a no brainer of a question to be honest. The answer being WPA.

WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is a deterent to the novice hacker, but theres plenty of examles of ways to crack it in less than 60 seconds and it’s a relativly old method having been around for 10 years or so. WPA was started in 2003 by the Wi-Fi Alliance. It’s a firmware upgrade if your kit doesn’t already have it and most devices nowadays do and it provides a much stronger level of encryption and just makes it much harder to crack (although not impossible).

For most people this is enough, however, I’d suggest if you’re still worried, then add some extra security by using MAC address blocking. All network adapters have a MAC address (basically a big number that makes the piece of hardware unique – a bit like a serial number if you like). They’re usually printed on a label on the device and take the form XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX. Most modern hubs/routers for home use can enable a feature that allows you to set which MAC addresses can and/or can’t connect to them. If you set it up to allow only your known bits of equipment (PC’s, printers etc) then anyone trying to use your connection has yet another layer of security to get through.

A couple of other tweaks from the default setting that you might want to consider. Change the SSID of your wireless network. This is how your network is identified to external devices. It’s possible to hide the SSID completely, making connection that little bit trickier. You may want to change your internal IP addressing to 10.x.x.x. Reason being that 10 addresses are dropped on the public network (as are 192’s by the by). However this is deeply geeky and shouldn’t be a problem for the vast majority of users.

When configuring your 6 phase microwave/laser googolplex net-con 12 you should find that the….. ooops… ummmm, shouldn’t have mentioned that. Damn. OK, OK, it’s a fair cop. I am a time traveller from the future and I just temporarily forgot that you don’t have 6mlg net-con12’s yet do you. D’oh. Those of you with a keen eye and half a brain will know this means I also know the outcome of the forthcoming election…. Nuff Said. 😉

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