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Drip, Drip, Drip!!!

Drip, Drip, Drip!!!
by Gary Woods

Has you're your Wi-Fi connection been getting slower and slower like it's just dripping information to you at a slow trickle? Well if so it's possible that your neighbors may be piggybacking on your network and using your Internet pipe without your consent. There are a lot of Wi-Fi networks out there so some people have decided it's cheaper to borrow somebody else's signal instead of pay for their own.

The solution is to activate the Wi-Fi gateway's security measures which are built into all wireless routers. Router companies want their products to be as easy to set up as possible so they leave all the security measures off so people can get set up as soon as possible.

The first thing to do to start protecting yourself is to change the wireless router's vendor supplied password and Server Set Identifier (SSID). The SSID is the name that is broadcast for your router. Whenever I open my laptop I see a lot of unprotected networks named Linksys or Netgear. There are a lot of people who know what the default password is for these systems, so it's not too tough for them to open up your router and start wandering around inside of your computer.

The next thing to do is get WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) fired up on your router and configured on your Laptop. This setup will change from router to router, but the companies are very helpful in getting it going for you.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc