Is your wireless home network secure? Does it matter?

Many people using broadband internet are now using wireless connections via routers around the home, giving them a greater flexibility for locating their desktops and complete mobility for their laptops, without all the usual hassles of trying to lay wiring all over the home.

The popularity of broadband and the availability of cheap wireless equipment has seen a great increase in the use of wireless networks for home users over the last few years. Almost every high street electrical and computer retailer is stocking them.

On the face of it they offer great flexibilty for very little money and appear to be relatively easy to set up. In fact, they are designed to be plugged in, started up and connected with very little effort or technical knowledge. What's the problem? It's easy, it works.

The problem is, that for most people in this out-of-the-box installed state, your wireless network is just as easy for everyone else to connect to as it was for you.

This means that anyone within range, which can be considerable with newer models, can connect to the internet using your connection and in some cases connect directly to your computer. This means that they could potentially access files on your computer, confidential information or other vunerable data.

"I don't have anything like that I'm worried about", is often said, or "I don't do anything online that I would worry about anyone seeing". This may be true, but there are many others factors to consider when setting up a wireless network and other potential dangers that are not often thought about.

On the following page we shall cover these potential dangers, in order to understand how important they can be and with the right technical knowledge, how quickly they can be resolved.

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