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Disable DHCP and Use Static IP Addresses To Protect Your Wireless Network

Don't Invite Strange Devices To Play On Your Network

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One of the great things about home routers, wired and wireless alike, is that they generally come with the ability to automatically assign IP addresses to devices that try to connect to the network. Since most users don't know anything about IP addresses, subnet masks and other details, it is very efficient and convenient to let the router automatically take care of those details.

The downside to this convenience though is that the router shows no discretion about which devices to assign addresses to. A wireless device that gets within range of your wireless network equipment may be able to acquire an IP address from your router.

For small networks like a home network, you can add some extra protection by turning off the DHCP, or automatic IP addressing, feature of the router and manually assigning static IP addresses.

Refer to your wireless network router or access point owner's manual for details about how to access the administration and configuration screen and disable the DHCP functionality. Once you do that, you will need to configure each one of your wireless network devices with a static IP address rather than for automatically acquiring IP address information using DHCP.

To find out what you current IP address information is, you can follow these steps:

  1. Click Start followed by Run.
  2. Type command followed by Enter
  3. Type ipconfig /all in the command prompt console and press Enter
  4. The results displayed will tell you the device's current IP address, Subnet Mask and Default Gateway as well as the current DNS Servers among other things

To reconfigure the IP address settings of a device in Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start followed by Control Panel
  2. Click Network Connections
  3. Locate the device you want to configure
  4. Right-click it and select Properties
  5. Under the this connection uses the following items: window, scroll to the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)] entry and click on the Properties button.
  6. Select the radio button next to use the following IP address and enter the IP address, subnet mask and default gateway of your choosing (use the information extracted above as a reference)
  7. Select the radio button next to use the following DNS server addresses and enter the DNS server IP addresses from the information extracted above.

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