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Old 08-30-2012, 08:57 AM   #1
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Default Wifi vs. cable

So, I just moved into my new dormitory and here's a free public network. Obviously I started worrying about security. I read that using cable to connect to the internet should, in this case, be less secure than using wifi, since wifi has at least some encryption.
My question is that which should I use and how safe are they? Or should I use a VPN?

Thanks!
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wifi vs. cable

Co-Axial cable is a good high bandwidth cable that is sometimes used on secured networks,.

Wi-Fi is good for encryption but when the IP packets go onto the Internet they are un-encrypted and packets can go throu a lot of computers along the way and a hacker can "capture" your info.

Speed will be an problem when a lot of users connect, in this case Unshielded Twisted Pair Copper Cable (UTP) will be good speed wise.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wifi vs. cable

Very few networks that aren't part of ISP servers use co-ax. Heck, I'd be surprised if he happened to have a computer or router that supported it that wasn't a router/modem combo.

What you've read about wireless being more secure than a wire is not correct. The core reason WiFi is encrypted is so sniffers can't pick up your data. In fact, the only time it's truely encrypted by the network is when you're sending already encrypted data. Your wireless card encrypts the data and then is decrypted by your wireless access point before being sent off to the school's network. With WiFi anyone anywhere within the range can pick up your data without even connecting to the network with free (and legal) tools that come standard in a linux distro called Backtrack. Wired on the otherhand is much easier to protect as one would need to put a physical device in line with your network which is pretty visible in a dorm room.

Something to remember, hard-wires are always more secure than wireless.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wifi vs. cable

Cool thanks for correcting me. You learn somthing new every day.

I have a satellite data link and modem/router to connect to my ISP, and Coax cables connect to the modem to my satellite.

But where I live it rains alot, so on those days I get very high latency like 1000ms, tranmission rates are good, on uTorrent I can get upto 3.4Mbps
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wifi vs. cable

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Originally Posted by WYSIWUG View Post
Cool thanks for correcting me. You learn somthing new every day.

I have a satellite data link and modem/router to connect to my ISP, and Coax cables connect to the modem to my satellite.
No problem! The coax from the wall plate/satellite hookup is standard and just about the only place that I'm aware of that an end user like you or I would see that used. In my relativity limited experience running wires for my college all we used for cable runs that stayed within the same building was some form of Ethernet cable and that wasn't a small under-utilized network either. By using coax, providers can use the same wires/connections you already have for their equipment to get internet. It's basically like how a standard DSL line comes in from a phone/rj11 wall jack to the modem before going out on a cat5/5e/6 cable to the rest of your network.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wifi vs. cable

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Originally Posted by celegorm View Post
Very few networks that aren't part of ISP servers use co-ax. Heck, I'd be surprised if he happened to have a computer or router that supported it that wasn't a router/modem combo.

What you've read about wireless being more secure than a wire is not correct. The core reason WiFi is encrypted is so sniffers can't pick up your data. In fact, the only time it's truely encrypted by the network is when you're sending already encrypted data. Your wireless card encrypts the data and then is decrypted by your wireless access point before being sent off to the school's network. With WiFi anyone anywhere within the range can pick up your data without even connecting to the network with free (and legal) tools that come standard in a linux distro called Backtrack. Wired on the otherhand is much easier to protect as one would need to put a physical device in line with your network which is pretty visible in a dorm room.

Something to remember, hard-wires are always more secure than wireless.
Thanks, but the network covers all of the dormitory, so if I use an Ethernet cable, basically anyone from any room who also uses it can see, with for example Wireshark, what I'm doing. No?
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wifi vs. cable

Wireshark can listen to wireless signals as well, you'll never be free from that one. In fact it's wireshark that can listen for and capture wireless signals for networks it's not even connected to and dump the contents to disk. Even encrypted over the air, once they are saved on someone's computer they can take all the time they want to try to crack the encryption and view it.


The plus side to wires is wireshark can only view what's going through the router you are currently connected to so if the dorm next door is on a different router that's parallel to yours they won't see your traffic or data. On the other hand transmitted over wireless it doesn't care what router the data is going to, only their adapter was able to pick it up and log it. We had fun with that in school in my network security class capturing packets in the lecture and the professor would disect them, pull out the facebook urls and navigate to all the facebook pages that were being viewed while we were in class. All that while the VM he was using wasn't connected to the network.

Bottom line is nothing is ever 100% safe. Two users that are authorized to be on the same network can get whatever data they want since it won't be encrypted once received by their computer be it wireless or hard-wire. But anyone can sniff, a wireless network and depending on the encryption type and key strength it could be very easy to get your data anyways.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wifi vs. cable

Wifi is so much better. Cable lags so much
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wifi vs. cable

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Wifi is so much better. Cable lags so much
Cable lags and WiFi doesn't? not sure where you heard that but that is simply not true.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wifi vs. cable

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1337G33k View Post
Wifi is so much better. Cable lags so much
Quote:
Originally Posted by celegorm View Post
Cable lags and WiFi doesn't? not sure where you heard that but that is simply not true.
Ya, there's no way.
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