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Simple Network Questions


HaVoK-69
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I just currently replaced my old Linksys WRT54G with a newer WNDR3300 from Netgear and had a few questions.

1. The Router is Dual-Band, but how do I jump onto the 5 GHz channel from my netbook I only see the 2.4 GHz

2. I assume the Dual-Band feature is wireless only, so is there any way to futher improve my connection for gameplay via Xbox Live via ethernet?

3. Does Port Forwarding Work on Consoles and is there ports to forward for xbox live and the such?

4. I'm currently set up with default updated firmware and WPA-PSK [TKIP] + WPA2-PSK [AES] encryption set up with a complex passphrase, Any suggestions on further securing my network?

5. Is it possible to still setup an Untangle box between either the modem and router or router and computers through a switch with this setup?

Thanks and I appreciate any help.

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1. The Router is Dual-Band, but how do I jump onto the 5 GHz channel from my netbook I only see the 2.4 GHz

Does your netbook have an N adapter?

2. I assume the Dual-Band feature is wireless only, so is there any way to futher improve my connection for gameplay via Xbox Live via ethernet?

If it's plugged in, not much.

3. Does Port Forwarding Work on Consoles and is there ports to forward for xbox live and the such?

There are, but they only apply to hosting games usually, Microsoft will tell you to turn on UPnP, but thats such a bad idea you really don't want to.

4. I'm currently set up with default updated firmware and WPA-PSK [TKIP] + WPA2-PSK [AES] encryption set up with a complex passphrase, Any suggestions on further securing my network?

Use AES only.

5. Is it possible to still setup an Untangle box between either the modem and router or router and computers through a switch with this setup?

Absolutely.

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Could you give a better explanation on "If its plugged in not much" and why I should only use AES? I would think AES and TKIP together would give a more secure network

You could turn off all other devices on the network. i.e. not much.

AES is stronger than TKIP, WPA uses AES or TKIP not both simultaneously.

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There was a recent Hak5 episode where he made a firewall/router, pretty interesting, and very applicable. And port forwarding is a setting on most routers, I didn't think there was anything on consoles/computers.

As for trying to get more performance for your xbox, you could set up QoS, but unless you have a lot of info going through your router, it won't make a difference, since chances are your router is much, much faster then your internet connection, so the bottle neck is your ISP connection

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You could turn off all other devices on the network. i.e. not much.

AES is stronger than TKIP, WPA uses AES or TKIP not both simultaneously.

Correct if I am wrong, but I believe the USA defense force supercomputers are able to break the AES encryption?

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Correct if I am wrong, but I believe the USA defense force supercomputers are able to break the AES encryption?

Depends on which AES variant you're talking about, if it's AES-256 then academically, it's broken, however practically it's decades from being broken.

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Depends on which AES variant you're talking about, if it's AES-256 then academically, it's broken, however practically it's decades from being broken.

My university lecturer once told that, if they dedicate all their super computer processing power, they can break a key of up to 512 bits. Interesting stuff.

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Also there is no such thing as AES-512. The largest block size developed at the moment is 256.

Edited by Alias
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Also there is no such thing as AES-512. The largest block size developed at the moment is 256.

Might have been talking about in conjunction with another cipher which would be easy to mistake "addition" if you didn't know that wiki has a nice write up on AES. But that might be me over thinking a typo of his part as the night is getting late and the beer is getting warm as I type.

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All encryption is broken. Ok, I guess I should clarify that. All encryption is weak to brute force attacks, so with a weak key then no algorithm will help. AES 256 practically however is not broken (IIRC).

Also on a side note... To get AES 256 bit encryption couldn't you just take your password split it, make two hashes (instead of one) and then encrypt with one hash then the other

so for example

Your password is: password

so get the hashes for pass and word (using a secure hash such as SHA 256)

Then encrypt the plain text with the hash of pass and then of word.

Edited by Zimmer
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If you're going to do key strengthening then at least use it properly. Doing what you have said above will certainly make the overall encryption key slightly stronger to brute force attacks however then if ever there is a weakness (and there are a few) in SHA256 then your key strengthening also breaks.

Overall it doesn't really matter your method will work fine however if you're encrypting something that you want to keep secret for say 20 years then it probably won't stand up.

Also on a side note, what you're saying will work however it would be much more secure if you looped the process say 100000 times, it's CPU and time consuming however a lot more secure. Or you could just replicate the chosen password 100000 times and then hash that cause if someone's trying to brute force the key then they'll have to deal with so much more data thus slowing the attack.

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If you're going to do key strengthening then at least use it properly. Doing what you have said above will certainly make the overall encryption key slightly stronger to brute force attacks however then if ever there is a weakness (and there are a few) in SHA256 then your key strengthening also breaks.

"Slightly stronger" is a slight under statement. Every time you increase the size of the encryption key by one bit the number of possible combinations doubles. e.g. 2 bit key length has 4 combinations (2^2 = 4), 3 bit key length has 8 possible combinatons (3^2 = 8), 4 bit key length has 16 possible combinations and so forth.

Increasing the key length from 256 to 512 increases the possible cobinations from 65536 to 262144.

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Lots of good info in this thread, but...

...There are, but they only apply to hosting games usually, Microsoft will tell you to turn on UPnP, but thats such a bad idea you really don't want to.

^This is probably the most relevant info for the OP. If you enable UPnP, expect massive emorage fits to occur on clients as well as security issues. I don't think UPnP has been successfully (In practical terms) implemented on a single home router yet.

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Lots of good info in this thread, but...

^This is probably the most relevant info for the OP. If you enable UPnP, expect massive emorage fits to occur on clients as well as security issues. I don't think UPnP has been successfully (In practical terms) implemented on a single home router yet.

Thanks for clarification, I don't see how the thread went so far off topic into encryption algorithms but whatever. Thanks again

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