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verizon wired / wireless router and advanced security

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juliek's picture
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I have Verizon as an ISP, and I have some wireless and some wired hardware. Verizon recomended some advanced security measures, and to disable the SSID (I think), so people could not randomly access wireless signal. While I was making the changes, packets sent and packets received values were both at zero but by the time I finished, packets sent was 1642 and packets received were 2146. Does anyone have any idea why that would be the case?
I had read somewhere that companies were injecting packets? What are packets anyway?
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Smartmom's picture
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Re: verizon wired/wireless router and advanced security

Hey Julie Smile

If your computer is off line then its normal for it to be sending 0 packets. Packets are data that goes in between your computer and your router. The number of packets can really vary too depending on how long your computer has been on (the duration), what programs you have running and if your downloading or uploading.

My computer has been on for 6.5 days however Laughing I reset my connection earlier today (my online gaming son booted me off - bandwidth hog). Currently I have about 20 tabs open and 2 browsers. I am also uploading so here is my activity

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Re: verizon wired/wireless router and advanced security

What Smartmom is actually showing in her screenshot is how many bytes have been transfered, rather than packets transferred. A byte is a unit of measurement while a packet is how data is actually transferred, and packet sizes can be different.

To describe it at it's most basic, you can kind of think of a packet and a paper envelope. If I wanted to "send you this sentence", I would chop each word up and pack it into it's own envelope, and mail you 4 different envelopes, each with one word in it, and instructions also at the top of each one, on how to re-assemble the words in each envelope, so you can read the sentence as it's supposed to be read.

Packets are how all computers talk to each other, it goes from one computer, across the net into your computer. In the case of packet injection attacks, to someone with the skill and know-how, they can insert their own packets into the "stream" of packets being sent to your computer, with malicious intent. To show you what packets really look like, there are "Packet Sniffers" available so you can peer into each individual packet that goes through your network adapter. Here's a screenshot I just took of WireShark running on my computer:

Packet sniffer sniffing packets using wireshark

Each individual colored line near the top is an individual packet, and the data in the highlighted packet is shown in the 2 panes below it.

To get back to securing your internet connection, hiding your SSID does help a bit, it makes it so that people just looking for open connections won't see yours pop right up in the list of available wireless connections. The downside of that is you also won't see it easily whenever you might want to try connecting with a new wireless device.

Another thing to do is to enable WPA encryption on your router, or at bare minimum, WEP (easily cracked though). As long as you know your WPA key and password, you won't really need to worry about seeing your SSID because entering your WPA Key/Password will find your router for you.

Hope that wasn't too confusing. Smile

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juliek's picture
Joined the Dark SideI use FirefoxI use Internet ExplorerWindows UserI donated more than $20+ to GeekDrop!STaRDoGG <3's you ;)
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Re: verizon wired/wireless router and advanced security

Deb, Thanks so much for your time and effort. I understand it much better now, and in case you hadn't noticed I think some of this tech stuff is really starting to stick with me.Thanks again! Julie

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