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"Unsecured" network query

pleasenlighten
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 10-11-2007

"Unsecured" network query

Hi,
Having installed the Plusnet wireless router via ethernet to my Desktop PC  last year and immediately altered the SSID and changed the KEY (password ) from the factory setting , i have the following query/worry.
I have since bought a laptop and configured to the WiFi .
Now  when i log on to the router which has been previosly  powered up there is no problem. If however, I switch on my laptop and THEN power up the Router I have to refresh the network connection to find the connection, no problem so far except at the time between `refresh` and actual `connection` my  Wireles Connection Listing shows up as "unsecured". How can this be?
12 REPLIES
johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 20-04-2008

Re: "Unsecured" network query

From your description, you have changed the administrator access and password to your router (default is usually "admin / admin"); this will make it harder for unauthorised access to the router itself.  You changed the wireless network name (SSID), but this alone will not prevent unauthorised use of your network. You need to enable encryption on your wireless network. Look for security settings and the terms WEP or WAP (the latter is more secure).
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,474
Thanks: 590
Fixes: 49
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: "Unsecured" network query

Quote
If however, I switch on my laptop and THEN power up the Router I have to refresh the network connection to find the connection, no problem so far except at the time between `refresh` and actual `connection` my  Wireles Connection Listing shows up as "unsecured". How can this be?

My best guess is that its just Windows getting confused. With the router not active, your laptop knows it has a stored connection but until the router is up and broadcasting the SSID it may not be able to detect the encryption method. Once the router is up and you refresh the wireless list it sees your router and now displays it properly.
If my guess is correct you've nothing to worry about...
pleasenlighten
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 10-11-2007

Re: "Unsecured" network query

Smiley
Thanks for the replies.
It seems there is a brief  `black hole` as if from a logged on situation ,I then log off my network connection does, indeed show a `secured network`.
Just another point, How do i find out what Key/password I`ve used.  I have a record of mine but will be "connecting "a friends laptop to her desktop  tommorrow but she does not know her password. It may still be factory default.
Many thanks
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,474
Thanks: 590
Fixes: 49
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: "Unsecured" network query

Quote
How do i find out what Key/password I`ve used.

If its been changed from the default then usually you can't. You can go to the routers setup page and change it, but AFAIK most routers will not show you what the current password is. Of course you can always reset the router to factory defaults and start again...
pleasenlighten
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 10-11-2007

Re: "Unsecured" network query

Thanks MisterW,
This is the situation I found on my setup..... but thinking about it , all I need to do is change whatever Key to a new one and use that to connect  her laptop.
(the brain usually catches up... it just takes a little time!!)
Just one other thing , On my desktop I don`t know if I have a wireless adaptor. Is there a way to navigatethrough  the computer or should I disconnect the ethernet and try connecting wirelessly?
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,474
Thanks: 590
Fixes: 49
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: "Unsecured" network query

Quote
Just one other thing , On my desktop I don`t know if I have a wireless adaptor. Is there a way to navigatethrough  the computer or should I disconnect the ethernet and try connecting wirelessly?

Assuming its running Windows, then open a command window ( run cmd ) and use the getmac /v command. That should list all network adapters ( both wired and wireless ) and their physical addresses. http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/getmac.mspx?mfr=true
pleasenlighten
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 10-11-2007

Re: "Unsecured" network query

Hi
Am running XP and entered `getmac /v` in command window but all I get is `getmac` is not recognised as an internal or external command, operable program(me) or batch file
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,474
Thanks: 590
Fixes: 49
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: "Unsecured" network query

Odd!, maybe its just XP Pro that includes getmac.
You could always use ipconfig/all ( again from a cmd window ) instead, that will show all the adapters ( with a bit more detailed info ).
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 18,342
Thanks: 1,680
Fixes: 189
Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: "Unsecured" network query

My wife's laptop sometimes displays the same message. Where as the other two indicate is secured, I put it down to one of XP's little oddities.

Customer / Moderator / If it helped click the thumb / If it fixed it click 'This fixed my problem'

Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: "Unsecured" network query

Quote from: pleasenlighten
Thanks MisterW,
This is the situation I found on my setup..... but thinking about it , all I need to do is change whatever Key to a new one and use that to connect  her laptop.
(the brain usually catches up... it just takes a little time!!)
Just one other thing , On my desktop I don`t know if I have a wireless adaptor. Is there a way to navigatethrough  the computer or should I disconnect the ethernet and try connecting wirelessly?

Or simply open the backup of your router settings with notepad.
(Assuming you have a backup - if not, take a backup, then open the file using a plain text viewer)
Re the 'Unsecured message, its less of an 'oddity' and more of an 'accuracy'. Wink
Even on a secure network, a degree of communication has to take place before the security can be fully implemented. - Things like SSID are broadcast openly for example (even if you prevent broadcast, it is still broadcast, but with a flag to say that it shouldn't be displayed to clients receiving it...)
So you are getting the message that you are connected to an unsecured network, as you are probably simply waiting for the router to complete its boot sequence and start up all of the elements required to authenticate you and move you to the secure part.
Clearly if these services are already running on a fully booted router, the transition is pretty quick, and you wouldn't notice the 'unsecured' element.
avalon
Grafter
Posts: 361
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: "Unsecured" network query

Quote from: pleasenlighten
Just another point, How do i find out what Key/password I`ve used.  I have a record of mine but will be "connecting "a friends laptop to her desktop  tommorrow but she does not know her password. It may still be factory default.

On this topic I usually advise friends without young kids to put a sticky label on the back of their router with the admin password and wireless key.  When I get asked "Isn't that insecure" I reply that these passwords are to keep outsiders from getting in to their network or stealing their bandwidth. if someone they don't trust is actually in behind their computer on their hands and knees reading their passwords off the router then getting their bandwidth allowance stolen will be the least of their problems!
pleasenlighten
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 10-11-2007

Re: "Unsecured" network query

Embarrassed
Hi,
I`m getting really confused now.
The other day my laptop connection cut out , the SSID i`d been using changed back to `plusnet` and I couldn`t  reconnect. My desktop connection via ethernet was OK, So I immediately (from the Thomson Gateway page) did a system restart and reconfigured my Router and reset it to factory  settings. Tried my laptop with the Router WPA PSK key and connected OK
First question What HappenedHuh
Now I am trying to change the KEY from the factory settings  on the above page but cannot see where to do it.>>>> totally confused