Turn your home or small-office router into an enterprise-level powerhouse

Four steps to increase your router's capabilities

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You can also assign priorities to wireless PCs. Go to the MAC Priority section, and add the media access control address of any wireless adapter. (To find an adapter's MAC address, go to the command line and type ipconfig/all And press Enter. At the bottom of the screen, look for the number next to Physical Address. That's the MAC address.)

When you're done, click Save Settings.

Restrict Internet use

If you want to restrict certain PCs from using the Internet during certain hours, you can turn off Internet access for any PC on the network for certain hours. You can also block access to certain Web sites or services, either during certain hours, or all the time.

Giving Skype high priority.
 
Giving Skype high priority. (Click image to see larger view)

From the main DD-WRT screen, click Access Restrictions, and a screen like that shown nearby appears. Click Enable, and from the Policy drop-down menu, select a number. You can create up to 10 separate policies. Enter a name for your profile in the Policy Name box. Then click Edit List of PCs. From the list that appears, select PCs either by MAC address or by IP address or range. Click Deny, because you're going to deny access to the Internet or services during certain hours.

Giving Skype high priority.
 
Restricting Internet access. (Click image to see larger view.)

Now fill out the rest of the screen. You can restrict access by day of the week, for all day or within a certain time range, you can restrict specific services, such as ftp or certain games, you can block specific URLs, and so on. It's all pretty self-explanatory. When you're done, click Save Settings.

Preston Gralla is a contributing editor to Computerworld, and the author of more than 35 books, including Windows Vista in a Nutshell.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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