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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Airport clarification


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Spikepit

 
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Hi all. i am new to Apple products ... computers in general and am paranoid about something. My internet usage is being used quicker than it should be and then I find this 'Airport' thing (which I assume is the same as Wireless Network Connections on my PC at work?) and it has a list of other names in it.

Some of the names on the list I know as my neighbours some I don't know. SO I'm wondering what is this list exactly? So my question is, are:

~these other people I can talk to some how on my mac.
~the names just a list of people in my network (like on the PC at work) or worse (and most importantly what Im worried about)
~these the names of people that are using up my internet?!?!?!?!

Thank you in advance.
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Lifeisabeach

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spikepit View Post
Hi all. i am new to Apple products ... computers in general and am paranoid about something. My internet usage is being used quicker than it should be and then I find this 'Airport' thing (which I assume is the same as Wireless Network Connections on my PC at work?) and it has a list of other names in it.

Some of the names on the list I know as my neighbours some I don't know. SO I'm wondering what is this list exactly? So my question is, are:

~these other people I can talk to some how on my mac.
~the names just a list of people in my network (like on the PC at work) or worse (and most importantly what Im worried about)
~these the names of people that are using up my internet?!?!?!?!

Thank you in advance.
That list of names would be other wireless routers within range of your computer. No need to worry about them… just connect to your own. But… if you can see theirs, then they can see yours. Do you have a password set up for accessing your wireless service? If not, then anyone could be connecting and using it freely.
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EvenStranger

 
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Wireless networks, by default, broadcast their names to make them easier to find and join. Think of carnival barkers trying to draw customers in. If there's a lock by the name, then the network is using some sort of encryption and requires a password to join. If not, it's open and unprotected.

You may also configure your wireless network as a "closed" network, where the network name is not broadcasted. The upside to this is your neighbors won't see it in their list of wireless networks. The downside is you will have to type in the name of the network to join it, at least the first time. It's not super secure, as the name can be discovered, or once joined, it's in the wireless history.
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Spikepit

 
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So they cannot be using my internet at all if I have a password? Which I do (a really complex one at that), meaning that my internet is getting used because of another reason, not some else using my internet?


I just want to be certain. Thank you so so so much for noviceness!

So there, I said, what now!
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EvenStranger

 
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Unless they know the password, no, they won't be able to use your wireless. I encourage you to use WPA encryption, ideally WPA2. WEP encryption has been compromised so that capturing a relatively few packets can provide enough information to decrypt the key.
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Spikepit

 
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Thank you so much. I'll take this on board.

So there, I said, what now!
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As EvenStranger suggests, WPA2 Personal with a 13 numerical/alphabetical combined password.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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I've mentioned before using "pass phrases" or a sentence which is meaningful to you to create a secure password. Let's say for example I choose "My parents were 23 when they got married." I use the first initial of each word - Mpw23wtgm. I now have a password containing upper and lowercase characters, numbers and punctuation. Very secure, memorable, and virtually impervious to a brute force attack.
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