A wireless router can include a password (in particular, a personal identification number or PIN) as part of its configuration. When a router is thus configured, all computers need to know the password in order to join the wireless network. This is a good security precaution, because it solves two problems: authentication--keeping out unauthorised users--and security--the router derives a different encryption key for each computer using the password as a seed, so each computer can only read network messages directly addressed to it. In particular, you can configure any PIN of your choice on your Netgear wireless router.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Ethernet cable
Connect the computer to an unused numbered port on the back of the router, using the Ethernet cable.
Log into the computer.
Launch a Web browser by double-clicking on its desktop icon. Direct the browser to the configuration utility for the router. The address depends on the router's model. For example, the address is "192.168.1.1" on a Netgear WPN824.
Bring up the configuration menu that allows you to set and modify network security parameters. For example, on a WPN824, click on "Wireless," then on "Wireless security."
Choose a new PIN (password), then enter it into the router's configuration utility. For example, for a WPN824, enter the PIN into the "Shared Key" field if you are using one of the WPA security protocols, or into the "Passphrase" field if you are using WEP. Click on "Save Settings." At that point the Netgear wireless router will be permanently configured with the new PIN.
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