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This is a follow-up question to What are the ways to monitor and limit the internet connection speed that individual computers are getting from my wireless router?.

How can I make sure that my home PCs are secure from my neighbors snooping when they are connected through the internet using my wireless router?

Edit: PCs at home use various OSes ranging from Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora, to Windows XP/Vista/7.

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If you're willing to change the firmware, there may be a way to do this w/ DD-WRT, which this router supports. Maybe someone w/ VLAN experience could weigh in? It could also throttle their bandwidth as well. – hyperslug Aug 1 '10 at 16:07

Depending on the OS's you run on your PC's, I assume XP, Vista, or W7, they all have a built in firewall, check each PC firewall setting and turn Off file and print sharing on each PC, set strong passwords on each user account on each PC. If you need to share files on your home network you will need to turn on password protected sharing.

Strong passwords consist of at least 8 characters that consist of Upper and Lower case letters, a number and a special character like ~!@#$%^&*()_+{}

One other thing you can do is to set up a secondary wireless router for you neighbors, put them on their own subnet that is different from yours, this would be the most secure way to isolate the 2 networks.

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I edited my question to include OSes. – Randell Jul 31 '10 at 14:51

If your router can do this, you could use the DHCP (based on MAC address) to put all your PCs on one network and the neighboors on another and restrict the access to your network. But probably your router will not be able to do this if it is a small wireless home router. You can use a second small router connecting its WAN port to the wireless one above. You connect all you home PCs on this second router and configure it to distribute IPs from another sub-network (DHCP and NAT) and to firewall everything from the 1st network and others.

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I wouldn't allow others to connect and use your service primarily as a security concern. However if you absolutely must then see if your router has a guest mode. Usually when the router has a guest mode the guest connection is separated from the primary connection. Some routers with guest modes also include the ability for the guest access to allow or disallow connection to your primary network. One other consideration when doing this sharing any activities your neighbors engage in links back to your ISP issued IP and not to their local machine.

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Not knowing anything about your individual situation, the general thing I recommend to friends is don't allow people unsecure access to a network. When I set up a router at the minimum I...

  1. Change the admin login to a non-default user name and a good secure password or phrase.

  2. Set up and document the wireless feature, connect to it, then turn off "Broadcast SSID"

  3. Make sure the wireless password (or phrase) is strong.

Note: I saw the other question and realize that this question is a matter of sharing a connection. Let's just say this answer relates to general security at a basic level for someone not intending to be generous. I think it's worthwhile info for someone that my read the topic, though doesn't directly answer the question.

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Barring any don't-even-think-about-letting-them response, turn off file and printer sharing, install HTTPS Everywhere onto Firefox, install Tor, and install a keylogger on his/her computer (no, not really).

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Best way to avoid this problem is: don't share your wireless with others and set a strong password for it that no one would break it. Or use keylogger to monitor them(maybe impossible)

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Do you have permission from your ISP to do this? If not...

Most (all?) ISP's have a clause in their contract prohibiting what you are doing. Personally I don't care what you do, but I am pointing out that you have admitted to breaking this clause and would be subject to the penalties. You are also asking members of this forum to assist you in this illegal activity.

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2 is the place to take this up or you could just leave a comment. I don't disagree with you, but 1) we try to give benefit of the doubt, 2) the technical solutions provided may be applicable to scenarios that are completely ethical (which may even include the OP's). – hyperslug Aug 1 '10 at 15:58
@hyperslug - actually, is a more appropriate place now. – Gnoupi Aug 2 '10 at 8:26
@Gnoupi, ah that's right. Forgot about that. – hyperslug Aug 7 '10 at 4:03

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