WFN #14 – Home Networking Basics

Same3Guys Words from Nerds

Listener Emails

  • Yes, Chris S from Cocoa Beach. We got your movie quote from War Games. We loved that movie, too.

Home Networking Best Practices

  • If you don’t have one, PLEASE get a router. All routers come with something called a firewall. And that means a layer of protection from the big, bad Internet. And when you do, the first thing you should do is change the admin password. 
  • Never plug your cable modem directly into your computer. Keep the router between your computers and the modem.
  • If you have a router but lost the manual, you can download it from the manufacturer’s web site. There is no shame in reading the manual. 🙂 This will tell you what to type in your web browser to manage the settings on your router. 
  • If you don’t need wireless,  you will still benefit from the built-in firewall. 
  • And if you don’t need wireless, you should turn it off on your router. That means you can skip all of the other tips we talk about.
  • But if you do need wireless (lots of people do these days) then you should change your SSID. But what is a SSID anyway?
  • Enabling encryption is also a good idea. But remember that you have to set this for each device that will be using your wireless network.
  • Filtering MAC addresses is an advanced topic. No, this doesn’t mean keeping Apple computers off your network. 
  • Most people know about Windows Update. But there is something even better called Microsoft Update that will make sure you get Office updates, too. 
  • If you’re a Mac user you most likely know all about Software Update
  • Consider software protection as an added layer. If you travel with your laptop, it’s a good idea anyway. A good free A/V program is AVG.
  • Secunia – a free utility that scans your entire computer to see what needs to be updated, including Windows, Office, Java, Adobe, Flash to name a few. 

Movie Quotes

  • “Is it safe?” –  Marathon Man
  • “Just kick back and relax, man.  We got everything you need:  CD, CB, TV, VHS, telephone, full bar.”  – Argyle, Die Hard