I have a main desktop computer in my basement. It is connected to a modem box that my ISP gave me, which is also wireless. They also recommended a stronger wireless router, from Linksys, that would better carry the signal upstairs, to my laptop. How do I better protect myself from intruders? Is it necessary to change both the passwords from the modem AND the Linksys?
There is not so much you can do with securing wireless network from a router standpoint, but key points to hardening are:-
- Change default password.
- If available use WPA, not WEP.
- Disable remote administration
- Change the default SSID name
- Enable router firewall
- Disable SSID broadcast
- Enable wireless MAC filter
The question is whether the ISP's device and the Linksys can pair together in order to provide a single WiFi node (with the same settings and password).
If they can do this then you simply need to perform the typical hardening of a device that you normally would (no external access to the admin page, change the default password, etc.)
Having two routers (or one router and one modem with wireless capability) gives attackers the possibility to enter your network in two ways, thus doubling the attack surface. An attacker would only have to know one of the two passwords to access your network.
If you use both devices, I would advice setting the SSID and the password the same. This way, the WiFi clients can connect to either device.
If you only use the Linksys, see if you can disable the WiFi of the modem altogether.