Is Wireless Security Optional?

With more and more home and small offices going wireless, the very notion of wireless security has been an absolute given. After all, the conventional wisdom goes, any time you add wireless capabilities to your network, you're trading security for convenience. Everyone's heard all the horror stories about electronic thieves with Pringles cans and wireless-network detection devices.

I'm here to tell you that the stories are all true. But there's an emerging body of experts who have a startling caveat to add to the doom and gloom: None of it matters.

According to this new mindset, as long as the PCs and devices that connect to your wireless network are themselves secured, there's no reason to even bother to try to secure the wireless network itself. That declaration sounds ludicrous until you really think about it. And the more I do think about it, the more I'm starting to come around to the notion that the conventional wisdom, in this case at least, might be wildly inaccurate.

By leaving your home wireless network unsecured, you can make it easier for visitors to get connected without having to muss around with passcodes. The trick, of course, is to ensure that the PCs that connect to that network are properly secured. You'll want to secure your router as well. But since you're already doing this, you're not adding any work or time, just making your life easier. And really, that's what all this technology is supposed to do anyway, right?

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