10 great free downloads for your network

They're useful, easy to learn ... and don't cost a thing.

Technitium MAC Address Changer

As I've written about previously, there are plenty of ways to protect your home wireless network against intruders. One way is to block anyone from connecting to your network except those who have network cards with specific MAC addresses. It's easy enough to set your router to block out intruders. But how do you know if it really works?

By checking it yourself. One of the best ways to do it is to spoof a MAC address, by giving one of your existing network cards a new address. You can do it with this software that lets you change your MAC address with a few simple clicks. Run the program, highlight the network card that you want to give a spoofed MAC address, click Random MAC Address, and then click the Change Now! button. That's all it takes. To restore to your original MAC address, highlight it and click Original MAC.

This program has other uses as well. It's a great way to show all the details about your network cards, including the manufacturer name; MAC address; and IP, Gateway and DNS information associated with each of your network cards. It includes other useful utilities, such as releasing and renewing an IP address for a card, which can help fix broken network connections.

RogueScanner

Here's an even better way to find out whether your network has any intruders on it: Run this program. Before you run it, put together a list of every PC and device on your network. Once you have that in hand, run RogueScanner. It lists every device on your network, including routers, printers, PCs and others. For each device, it lists the IP and MAC addresses. In addition, it peers deeper and tries to find other information, such as whether the device is a workstation, printer, server, router or PC, as well as the manufacturer and model number.

Compare what the program finds with the list of devices that you know are safe and secure. If you find a device on the network that's not on the list you drew up, you've got an intruder.

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Preston Gralla

Computerworld

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