Haha guys. Alright, first of all, about the whole downloading thing.... there was a guy that was sent to court because someone was downloading something off of HIS connection... so it's not very fool proof.
There is no way to determine that it wasn't him, but since IP's all link up etc. he is at fault. (I'm sure they didn't charge him, but there was a case nonetheless)
Aside from that. Using SSID hiding and MAC address filtering is not really securing your connection at all. It will stop random people from accidentally joining your network, but it is in no way secure. There are quite a few sites if you google about wireless security, but here is the best way to set it up.
WPA-PSK (WPA preshared key I think)
You set it in your router, put in a like 5-64 character password (I think) and aside from dictionairy attacks the security technology is virtually uncrackable.
Now, I say that fairly loosely because if someone wants to get in, they will get in. WEP is an old security standard that is easily cracked.
Anyway, if you leave your SSID shown it's easy to connect. Go to the little windows wireless configurator, double click on your SSID name there *should be a little lock beside the name indicating it has security. When you double click on it, it will ask for your password, and you're up and running! You never have to punch in the password again on that computer unless you get disconnected or something random like that.
Anyway, I think grc.com has alot of information... but your linksys router is very good and has a lot of open source support as well. There are some pretty cool things you can setup if you want to leave your thing open, such as an open forum for any who connect to your router, so that you can start a local community :P. I think there's also a way for them to have 0 access to the internet until they email you or whatnot, then you can do what you wish. (Maybe even charge them for the access :P)
ANYWAY. The risks you are taking from leaving your wireless open is pretty big. Using a packet sniffer anyone can read ANY text you are sending across your wireless connection including passwords etc. so I really urge you to lock it up at least somewhat. But, the reason I say SSID hiding and MAC filtering are useless is because using software they can still find your SSID and they will see what MAC addresses are connecting to the router. WHen they do that, they will spoof the MAC address and end up getting in anyway.
OKAAAAY. I typed a bunch of nonsense, hopefully it makes some sense.
Last edited by monkey-boy; 12-14-2005 at 10:46 PM.