A free and easy way to test your Wi-Fi security

A free and easy way to test your Wi-Fi security

Summary: If you’re wondering just how secure your home network is, here’s an easy way to find out. Pure Networks, makers of the popular Network Magic management tool for home networks, has a free diagnostic scan that will deliver a scorecard on your network’s security status.

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TOPICS: Networking, Wi-Fi
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If you’re wondering just how secure your home network is, here’s an easy way to find out. Pure Networks, makers of the popular Network Magic management tool for home networks, has a free diagnostic scan that will deliver a scorecard on your network’s security status.

An easy way to test your Wi-Fi network’s security

The Pure Networks Security Scan tool, which works only with Internet Explorer 6 or later, is clearly bait for Network Magic. But it’s a fun download that can provide insight into your network security in just a few minutes.

Run the scan, and the resulting scorecard provides a summary status of network devices, the router and network, wireless security, and the computer on which you ran the scan. It advises you of the number of issues tested for each category, alerts you to any worrisome issues found. Click View and it gives you a detailed look within each category.

Some of the items it tests under Router and Network include whether you are running a hardware firewall, if your password is strong (and, of course, changed from the factory default), and whether your router firmware is up to date. Under the Wireless Security tab, the scan checks to ensure that you have changed the factory SSID, tells you what kind of wireless security you’re using, and whether there are any SSID name conflicts.

The Network Devices tab lists all devices connected to your WLAN, while the This Computer tab tells you whether your PC contains malware that redirects Web sites, as well as whether file and printer sharing are correctly activated, what kind of software firewall (if any) you’re running, and if your antivirus software is up to date.

I tested my home network and scored 98 percent. (Whew!) The only issue the program found was that my router firmware might be out of date.

It’s a fun test to run, as long as you ignore all the suggestions to download Network Magic. But if you like the interface, you might consider the downloading the networking tool. I’ve played with it a bit and the software seems intuitive and helpful. It’s a free download for a seven-day trial period, and the full version of Network Magic Pro will cost you $49.99. If you have Macs mixed in with Windows PCs, opt for the $64.99 Network Magic Pro 4.7 & Network Magic for Mac, which enables you to easily share printers and files between Windows machines and Macs.

Topics: Networking, Wi-Fi

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12 comments
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  • Don't Bother...

    It found 3 critical errors and gave me a 52%:

    1. No AntiVirus Software. WRONG - I have NOD32 installed and running.

    2. Windows Update not set to automatic. WRONG - Windows update is indeed set to automatically handle updates.

    3. Network Magic Not installed. Oh, please. Give me a break!

    This feels more like a zlob than a true security scan. Put up phony warnings and trick into buying software.
    BitTwiddler
    • don't bother

      Plus it requires IE6 or greater to run. why not make it cross platform?
      kolvas
  • Didn??t do anything for me

    I guess it doesn??t work with linux. Try grc.com.
    duclod
  • VERY intrusive, very inaccurate, not worth it.

    It's extremely intrusive, and I'm not wondering if I should've done it on a virtual machine. It makes practically all security measures on my system warn me like crazy.

    It has a lot of false positives as well:

    -The hosts file was modified, but that's just Spybot S&D making sure known bad sites are blocked. I double checked to make sure.

    -It didn't detect my antivirus. Possibly because AVG released a new version recently.

    -It completely mis-detected Automatic updates. I have them turned on, but it detected them as off.

    -It completely mis-detected that I don't have Internet access when I do.

    So, I have a "poor" score only because it has 100% false positives.

    So I've uninstalled the IE plugin. It's a worthless test. Don't bother.
    CobraA1
  • network magic - talk about security breach

    simply put my security classifies things into 4 groups:
    *green = safe to allow
    *yellow = watch this
    *orange = only allow if you know what it is
    *red = do not allow to run
    i got 7 reds installing network magic and 3 when uninstalling. it completely breached my security to do its thing. not cool.

    i would not recommend this to anyone. ever.
    vi0l3t1975@...
  • RE: A free and easy way to test your Wi-Fi security

    Can't run it in Firefox. What IE security holes are they taking advantage of?
    uomcasey
  • Mine Locked My Machine Up

    Displayed a message that a firing squad was being dispatched to my house for using Vista for a short period of time and I was going to be executed for not knowing better.
    itanalyst2@...
  • You fell for it, Rik.

    I agree with other posters. DON'T BOTHER!!!
    Grayson Peddie
  • crap

    First, I had to turn WiFi on.
    Second, I had to launch VMware Fusion.
    Third, I had to download some ActiveX software.

    Then, I run it and it tells me that this is a bad thing!
    "Windows Update Not Automatic
    Windows Update is not set to automatically download and install updates."
    WTF!
    Of course, Windows Update is not automatic. Do you think I am an idiot?

    This "test" is crap. Crap, I tell you.
    davebarnes
  • SEE IF YOU HAVE VISTA!

    If you do you are good to go baby!




    http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com
    FSBRules
  • RE: A free and easy way to test your Wi-Fi security

    Me too. Ihad NM installed previously but it couldn't cope with my system and only worked fully with a limited range of routers.
    I tried this anyway but it failed (could not handle my network setup!)
    Don't bother.
    PS Thinks: ... I wonder if there's an easy way to uninstall all the rubbish it set up on my PC ...
    bpjackson@...
  • Requires IE 6

    Well, I've already read the posts where folks say 'Don't Bother, it's crap'

    My barometer is more sensitive. When I read 'Requires IE 6 or later' - I labeled it as Crap and didn't bother.

    -Mike
    SpikeyMike