June 19, 2011

Shield your Vista Laptop from Attacks with a Wireless DLink Router

5BVD6939FMBD My current Internet setup consists of a DSL modem connected to a DLink DIR-300 Wireless router to which I connect my Vista laptop. My Vista firewall is on and so is my malware protection. I visit sites that are not so trustworthy to say the least and yet I have not suffered from serious cyber attacks. Of course I remain vigilant in using my Internet mail application in that I discard anything that I have no prior knowledge of.

I have come to theorize that my wireless DLink router is protecting my laptop from the threats that come from the wild Internet. And so I have come to a realization that maybe it is a good idea to have wireless router even if you only have only one computer that is connecting to the Internet.

If you have a DLink wireless router similar to what I have, try checking out the logs recorded in the memory of your router. In your Internet browser's address space, type http://192.168.0.1/ and press the enter key. Type in your username and password to access your router's interface. Click on STATUS on the top portion of the page and then click on Log on the left hand side. Examine the error results recorded by your router and check how many attacks your connection is being subjected to.

You will note that your connection is almost always suffering from different kinds of attacks that come from the Internet. Imagine if you don't have a wireless router that these attacks will be targeting your laptop instead. Realize that it is very important that your laptop is adequately protected by firewall and malware defense if you don't have a router to stop these attacks from reaching your Vista laptop. That is how I came to conclude that it might be a good defense strategy to have a wireless router even if you're only using one computer to access the Internet. In effect, you are adding one layer of protection that can shield your Vista laptop from malicious attacks.

Another important measure that you should not forget is to have your DLink firmware up-to-date. To do this, click on MAINTENANCE at the upper portion of your router's web interface. Click on Firmware Update on the left hand side of the window. Note what your current firmware version is. Click on the Check Now button to find out if you have the latest version of the firmware. If you have the latest version, then you don't have to do anything. Otherwise, follow the instructions on how you can update your router's firmware. You will typically download the latest version on your laptop and then use it to update the router's firmware. Your router may automatically reboot after the firmware has been replaced.

The firmware inside your router is relatively smaller and simpler than the operating system in your laptop. It has been specifically designed to operate in the dangerous world of wild Internet. Thus, its security protection can be more robust than that of your operating system. It is more able to withstand the different attacks that emanate from outside. While your router operates just like your computer, it doesn't have files that need to be protected from unauthorized access. With a wireless router, it is like having a sentinel on the gate who controls who to let in and who to deny access. And it is armed to deflect any malicious attack that your computer may suffer from and quickly mitigate the threat. Your laptop is thus free to be used for useful application in your business or personal life.

Another important consideration is to avoid using your router without any security settings. It is usually the case that your router's default mode of operation is not to have any security settings at all. Be sure that you employ the highest security mode available in your operating environment. Also, ensure that you change the default username and password that are used to access your router. Use a strong password that is at least 12 characters long and includes both small and big letters, numbers, and punctuations.

However, not all threats can be successfully blocked by your wireless router. That is why it is of vital importance that your laptop's firewall and malware protection be up and running. The last end of the protection would be your own safe way of performing your tasks in the Internet. Avoiding untrustworthy Internet sites could lead you away from malicious people out to do harm on your money or your life. Working on your laptop using an ordinary account and not an administrator account could prevent unauthorized execution of malicious programs on your computer. Being careful in opening attachments or clicking links on your email could save you from harmful threats lurking behind seemingly normal appearances.

So if you're currently connecting your Vista laptop directly to your DSL modem, you might want to consider using a wireless router if only for the additional protection it affords. Once you have one, check out the logs recorded on your router and you will realize that your connection is constantly under some form of attack from unscrupulous people in the Internet. If you are concerned about the security threats posed by wireless operation, then use a wired router instead and place it between your DSL modem and your laptop.

Read my other article on troubleshooting Vista connection problems in a wireless home environment at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2012/01/troubleshooting-vista-connection.html.

Read an article on how you can surf the Internet safely with your Firefox 4.0 in your Vista laptop at: http://sites.google.com/site/thetechnicaljournal/surf-the-internet-safely-with-your-firefox-4-0-on-your-vista-laptop

Read an article on using sensible accessories to extend the useful life of your laptop at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/01/use-sensible-accessories-to-extend.html

Read an article on laptop bag features that can save your laptop from breaking down at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/01/laptop-bag-features-that-can-save-your.html.

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