Wireless networks have made it easier than ever to access the Internet anywhere in your home.
Almost everyone with an Internet connection will have a WiFi router.
This allows multiple devices to connect to it without wires. This convenience comes at a price though, it also means that other people could be accessing your network.
If you have a WiFi network in your home then you really need to do everything you can to secure it. This guide will highlight a number of tips to help secure WiFi.
Important Security Considerations for your WiFi Network
This guide will look at a number of ways you can secure your WiFi network. These include:
- Setting up WEP or WPA
- Changing your Administrator Password
- SSID Broadcast Settings
- Changing IP address of router
Why you Should Care?
All WiFi routers have built in protection which is relatively easy to set up. However, many people will simply turn off WEP or WPA off.
This is because these types of security can be irritating.
Lots of people also don’t understand why they should bother securing their wireless network.
There are quite a few reasons for this. Firstly other people could be accessing your Internet connection for free. This could cause your Internet connection to slow down. An unsecured WiFi connection could also allow people to use your Internet connection for illegal purposes.
If your wireless network isn’t secured correctly then it could also allow people access to your personal files and pictures.
Setting up WEP or WPA
WEP, WPA and WPA2 are all different encryption standards used by wireless networks. All WiFi routers are capable of some form of encryption and this prevents people accessing information and connecting to the network without the right key.
Although encryption can seem like a real hassle when you are setting up new devices on your network, it’s worth persevering with. You will only have to enter the encryption keys once on each new device. After this the device will remember and continue to access the network as normal.
WiFi Protected Setup is a seemingly useful feature included in most modern routers. This allows you to connect new devices easily to the router by either pressing a button on the back of the router, or entering a pin number to allow access.
This is supposed to make it easier to use WPA encryption on your router. However, it is also very insecure. It is much easier to guess a pin number than a complete encryption key. Also, anyone with physical access to the router can push the button on the back to allow access to the network.
It is advisable to turn of WPS on your router. This is enabled as standard on most new routers. It can be turned off easily by logging into the admin panel of your router and making the changes.
The normal way of using WiFi networks is searching for and selecting the network. If you want to secure WiFi then you can prevent the router from broadcasting the SSID. This means that people won’t know your network actually exists when scanning. To connect you can manually enter the name of the router.
If you don’t want to turn off broadcast SSID, then at least change the name of the router. This will make it more difficult for people to identify the brand and model of router you are using, and so it should be more difficult for them to discover vulnerabilities and change settings.
Changing the IP address of your Router
Although not essential, it’s a good idea to change the IP address of your router to make it a bit more secure.
Most routers use either 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.0.254.
Try changing this to something a bit more random, something that only you know.
Although it is easy to scan and find the actual IP of the router with the right access, it will hopefully slow down any unwanted access to the router.
Changing the Admin Password of your Router
One important step that many people fail to make is changing the admin password. It is very easy to look up the default password for a certain brand of router. It’s also easy to guess if the password is simply “password” or “admin”. Make sure that this password is set to something secure to prevent unwanted access.
A strong password will mean that even if someone has access to your network, they will not be able to make changes to your router.
It is essential that you learn to properly secure WiFi connections in your home. A secure connection will prevent unwanted access to your network and will also keep your files and personal data safe.