I have a cheap laptop with a cheap integrated wireless card. No matter what I try, I cannot get it to work with a secured wireless connection. The only way for it to connect is to leave my wireless connection open. This lets all of my neighbors in on my connection though. After I found my neighbor using my connection to share torrents day and night, I decided I had to figure out something. I first tried to use the Access Restrictions feature, but found that only blocked the Internet. People could still connect to my network. Then I discovered my Linksys WRT54G router has a Wireless MAC Filter feature. I was able to secure my wireless connection by only allowing certain MAC addresses to connect to my router.
1. First I logged into the admin console of my Linksys router and clicked on Status > Local Network > DHCP Clients Table.
This provides me with a list of computers that have been using my wireless connection. I want to allow my computer techpoint to connect as well as my Tivo. I don’t know what computer is using the IP address of 192.168.1.101 with the MAC address of 00:17:9A:D0:03:3D, I need to block that guy!
2. I left the DCHP Active IP Table open and then back in the admin console clicked Wireless > Wireless MAC Filter.
3. Clicking Enable then Permit only will enable only certain MAC addresses to connect. Then click on Edit MAC Filter List.
4. Add the MAC addresses you would like to allow on your network. Notice I left off the 00:17:9A:D0:03:3D MAC address because I don’t want that dude connecting to my router. But I want to allow the other 2 addresses on the DHCP Active IP Table. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to click Save Settings when you are done.
5. Click Save Settings again and that’s it! You have blocked people from stealing your network connection based on MAC address.
If you ever have visitors that would like allow on your router, you can either temporarily set the MAC address filter to Disabled or add their MAC address to this list.