The effectiveness of your home network’s security largely depends on the configuration quality of your router or gateway. Leaving it open or vulnerable could result in unwanted freeloaders consuming your bandwidth or, more severe cases, an intruder snooping on your internal traffic to gather sensitive information that could be exploited. If you find certain settings inaccessible in your gateway, consider disabling the router function and using a dedicated router, either a traditional one or a mesh network router. This article will dive into setting up a secure wireless network in your home.
Tips to Secured Your Wireless Internet:
Due to rising technology, securing your wireless network or Wi-Fi is more important than ever. Wireless internet is easily accessible to anyone, whether your neighbor or a hacker. To bolster the security of your network and restrict access exclusively to authorized devices, you can adopt a series of simple measures.
Change Your Default SSID (Network Name)
Default SSID is usually the manufacturer’s name, which can be easily guessed. Changing your network name to something unique that is not easily guessable is a dominant aspect. Most manufacturers assign a default SSID to their wireless routers, often using the company’s name. When your computer scans for available wireless networks, it shows a list of networks publicly broadcast their SSID. Such actions can heighten the probability of a hacker endeavoring to breach your network. To minimize this risk, changing your network’s SSID to something that doesn’t reveal any personal information, thwarting hackers and deterring their malicious intentions is advisable.
Make Your Password Unique and Strong
Manufacturers ship the majority of wireless routers with a pre-set default password. Hackers often guess these passwords, especially if they know the router manufacturer. Choosing a strong password is crucial to ensure your wireless network’s security. A strong password should contain at least 20 characters, combining numbers, letters, and symbols. Opting for complex passwords significantly increases hackers’ difficulty in infiltrating your network. You should change your password periodically to have a new one.
Enable Network Encryption
Most wireless routers have an encryption feature; however, manufacturers often disable it by default. Enabling the encryption feature on your wireless router is imperative in fortifying the security of your network. We recommend allowing this feature immediately after your broadband provider installs the router. Among the assortment of encryption alternatives accessible, the latest and most potent one is “WPA2.” By employing WPA2 encryption, you can notably fortify the security of your network. Additionally, selecting a unique password for your network further enhances its safety and mitigates the risk of unauthorized access.
Turn Off Network Name Broadcasting
By default, your router uses a wireless device to broadcast the network name (SSID) to everyone nearby. When utilizing a wireless router within your home, we highly recommend disabling the broadcasting of your network name to the general public. Typically, when nearby users search for available Wi-Fi networks, their devices display a list of nearby networks for selection. However, by disabling name broadcasting, your network will remain hidden, making your Wi-Fi connection invisible to those unaware. While this functionality proves advantageous for businesses, libraries, hotels, and restaurants seeking to offer wireless internet access to their patrons, it is unnecessary for a private wireless network like your home Wi-Fi network.
Keep Your Software Up-To-Date
Occasionally, a router’s firmware, like any other software, may contain vulnerabilities that pose significant risks unless promptly addressed through firmware updates released by the manufacturers. It is crucial to consistently install the latest available software for your router and promptly download any security patches provided. While software updates are often released to address security vulnerabilities, ensuring your devices are equipped with the latest versions is vital. By doing so, you diminish the risk of unauthorized access to your Wi-Fi network by hackers. Keeping up with firmware updates and security patches further enhances your network security.
Utilize a Firewall
A firewall protects against malware, viruses, and other nasty intrusions, providing a shield to your computers and protecting them from potential harm. While wireless routers typically include built-in firewalls, they may occasionally be shipped with them disabled. It is important to verify that your wireless router’s firewall is enabled. If your router does not include a built-in firewall, installing a dependable firewall solution on your system becomes imperative. This step is crucial in strengthening your defenses against malicious access attempts on your wireless network. By ensuring the presence of an active firewall, you enhance your network’s security and protect your devices against potential threats.
Disable Remote Management
Remote management is a functionality that enables you to oversee and manage your router’s settings from a distant location. As mentioned, most wireless routers would allow users to access the web-based configuration interface remotely. While convenient, it can be a potential security risk if left allowed. We recommend disabling remote management unless you have a specific need, as it minimizes the risk of unauthorized access to your router’s configuration. You can configure your router’s firewall to block access to the web-based interface from outside sources. Most wireless routers offer password authentication for remote administration– ensure you use a strong and unique password.
Limit Access To Your Wireless Network
You can configure your wireless router to only allow known MAC addresses (the unique ID of each device connected to the network). That restricts access to those with valid MAC addresses. You can configure a network administrator password, which allows you to set up router settings. You can use the SSID feature to create a new name for your wireless network and make it visible only to those who know it. In addition, look for a security setting that enables WPA2. That is one of the strongest authentication methods, preventing intruders from accessing your data.
Securing your wireless network is crucial to prevent unauthorized access. You can safeguard your data from intruders by implementing dominant security measures like SSID broadcast, enabling WPA2 authentication, and setting up a virtual private network. Following these steps, you can confidently use your wireless network without worries. With the right alert and monitoring systems in place, you can verify the safety and protection of your data. Maintaining a secure network is essential for safeguarding your information and your family’s safety. Stay updated with the latest practices and updates to keep your network safe.