Feeds

No admin rights? No Wi-Fi, says D-Link

Wireless networking is not for all

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The mysteries of wireless networking are many and arcane - ask anyone who's tried to type in a WPA key from memory - so much so that D-Link has taken the decision to restrict Wi-Fi usage to admins only.

At least, that's the way it looks to Reg reader Ross Smith. He installed a D-Link DWL-G510 wireless LAN card in a machine destined for use in a branch office some five hours drive away, only to find when the remote site user logged in there was no connectivity. Here's the response he got from D-Link's tech support:

"Unfortunately all users of the wireless card must have administrative accounts on the computer. If they do not have administrative accounts they may connect to the wireless but after 1 minuet or less they will drop the wireless connection.

"We hope that this answers your question and that your request is now resolved."

Mm, yes - so it's a feature, not a bug? Hang on a moment, that's just driven a coach and horses (or possibly danced) right through one of the most cherished tenets of PC security, which is that you only give users the access rights they need, and you most certainly don't give admin rights to all and sundry.

But wait - there's more. Not only do you have to have admin rights to use the wireless LAN, but the access settings are stored per user, not per machine. So as soon as a new user logs on - in your remote office, a 10 hour round trip away, for instance - they are disconnected from the network until they can enter their own network settings.

Nicely secure, but not as useful as it could be - and of course with the machine logged off the WLAN, there's no way for an administrator to log in remotely to fix things.

We asked D-Link to find us a technical spokesperson to talk about the WLAN card in question, but several days later no-one had stepped up to the plate.

Our reader says it is the first D-Link product he's had that needed admin rights for drivers, and will very probably be the last.

"After all D-links recent problems (hijacking time servers, denouncing the GPL), it looks like it's also given up on making decent quality kit," he adds. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.