Security Options configuration walk-through – D-Link

Let’s also look at another router configuration example, and again walk through the network security settings and the logic that we used to come to our final configuration.

Here is part of the Wireless configuration screen for the D-Link 601 router.

an example of D-Link router security mode configuration screen

We can see that there is a Security Mode setting, a WPA Mode setting and a Cipher Type setting – all displaying now familiar router technoglyphs. So our initial guess is that we are going to need to dip into each of these to get the right security settings. And we're also seeing a reference to TKIP (which is on the AVOID list), so we know that we've got work to do.

Security Mode

Let’s start by fishing around in the Security Mode settings (the top-most option in the diagram above).

Securing your D-Link wireless router with WPA-Personal security mode

At first glance, none of these look acceptable. The first two ('None' & 'WEP') are on the AVOID list. ‘Personal’ is GOOD but ‘WPA’ is to be AVOIDED. And finally ‘Enterprise’ is also on the AVOID list. So the third option ‘WPA-Personal’ looks the least worst. Let’s select that and keep fishing. There are more options to play with.

WPA Mode

The second configuration option in the D-Link interface 'WPA Mode' allows us to be more specific about our choice of 'WPA'.

securing a D-Link wireless router with WPA2 security mode

Here, we can specify the WPA mode. This is a slight abuse of the facts, but never mind, let's press on. The first option is ‘Auto’ which is to be AVOIDED. As is the third option ‘WPA Only’. But ‘WPA2 Only’ is GOOD. Bingo.

Just one option left to configure.

Cipher Type

Here we have 3 choices.

Select AES as the cypher type for maximum wifi network security

‘TKIP’ is be AVOIDED, so no to that one. 'TKIP and AES' is close, but no cigar. But the second option 'AES' is very much on the GOOD list, so we are done. The second option on the list 'AES' it is.

Our final configuration on this particular router looks like this:

The more secure settings possible for this version of a D-Link router

So while there are a lot of pointless and off-putting words on the screen, and a millions ways to go wrong, we just muddled our way through each and every option, and by a process of elimination, arrived at a secure configuration. We just kept as close as we could to GOOD and we got there.

Recapping on the process

Step 1 – Log onto your router’s configuration interface

Step 2 – Find the wireless settings menu option and select it

Step 3 – Locate the security settings

Step 4 – Ensure that they are set to GOOD options only

Step 5 – Save

Unless your using D-Link or Netgear routers, chances are that your router’s wireless settings screen won’t look anything like either of these examples. Just looking at these two models, we can see immediately just how different they can be. But not to worry - the same process applies. If you avoid the AVOID options and stick with the GOOD ones, then you’re going to get there. And if any of the AVOID options are unavoidable (e.g. there is no option for WPA2), then you’re going to the store to buy a new wireless router.

Next up - Priority #2 - Disabling Wi-fi Protected Setup

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