Review: Protect your wireless network with WiFi Guard on duty | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Review: Protect your wireless network with WiFi Guard on duty

Monitor your Wi-Fi network for unauthorized access with this easy-to-use freeware.

SoftPerfect's WiFi Guard helps protect your small Wi-Fi network by scanning regularly for new and unrecognized devices, pinging to verify devices, detecting firewalls, and reporting anything suspicious so you can take action, if necessary. You don't need to know a lot about Wi-Fi networks to use Wi-Fi Guard. You just need to know a little about your own home or small business network (or networks) and who or what is allowed to connect to it. When an unauthorized device appears, you'll know your network security has been compromised. WiFi Guard scans all your network devices, so it works in PCs that lack Wi-Fi, too, and will display Wi-Fi data from your router. But it can only monitor Wi-Fi network adapters from a Wi-Fi-enabled PC.

WiFi Guard's compact user interface opens with a blank window, so the first job was to click "Settings" and select our Wi-Fi connection from the Network adapter menu. If there's more than one adapter or connection listed and you're not sure which to choose, look for an IP address. The unused connections will usually display all zeroes, while your active connection will display the IP address assigned by your ISP or router. We could disable audible alerts, enter custom IP ranges, and set how many devices the program can scan, simultaneously (up to 32) and scanning intervals in the Settings, too. We clicked "Scan Now," and WiFi Guard identified six devices: Our PC (This Computer), its Internet gateway, and three Unrecognized Devices flagged in red: The two PCs wired to our network, and our phone. Right-clicking flagged entries let us enter specific information and recognize devices.

WiFi Guard only sounds the alarm. It doesn't block devices or access your network settings. That's your job. But it's free, compact, easy to use, and lets you know if someone's accessing your home or small business network without your permission. We're glad WiFi Guard is on duty.

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