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How to Secure your Wi-fi Router and Protect your Home Network



How to Secure your Wi-fi Router and Protect your Home Network

Your Wi-Fi router is the enabler that acts as the gate between the internet and your devices; any connection that reaches your devices is routed through it. In most cases, a router also plays the role of the modem, the modulating –demodulating component of your LAN network.

And unlike a modem, the router also distributes the incoming connection between different wireless and wired devices using the LAN Network. That means if the router is down, your relationship is automatically lost.

There are many ways through which a wi-fi router malfunction, there will be visible hardware damages or software incompatibilities, etc. You can fix the simple ones by performing wifi admin login and tweaking the settings. But the most severe cause of concern always is external malicious actors who can be hackers, snoopers, or freeloaders.

So here, we are discussing some simple steps to fence your asset from such intrusive actors. For the sake of better understanding, they are given under three separate heads.

General Network Configurations

Step 1: Change the Service Set Identifier (SSID) also known as the Network name

Avoid using specifics and explicit indicators that may enable the attacker targeting you to identify your network from a set of such systems quickly. Instead of using house names or the model names of the device, use catch Phrases unrelated and not easy to guess.

If necessary, you can hide your SSID by the process of obscuring it. At all costs, change the default name that comes by.

Step 2: Changing the network administrative password

You can customize your router settings and, therefore, your network settings by accessing the online user interface. The entry webpage will prompt for username and password. In most cases, the users will leave the default built-in password settings that come by such as admin or user and password. But it is advised to change them as an infiltrator with the knowledge of the model specifics can easily exploit this vulnerability.

Step 3: Choosing the right network encryption

Always be sure not to leave your network open. Leaving a Wi-Fi network open will create several threat possibilities like hacking, or somebody can use your system to indulge in illegal activities, which can, in most cases, indirectly implicate you.

Once deciding to encrypt the network the next step is choose the right type of security ,the available modes include; WEP (64),WEP(128),WPA-PSK(TKIP),WPA-PSK(AES),WPA2(TKIP) and WPA2(AES).Of which, the first two are considered highly vulnerable, and the last mode; the WPA2(AES) as the most secure encryption.

There is also alternate encryption called the mixed mode it is recommended in case your network consists of legacy devices which will be incompatible with the advanced AES encryption.

Step 4: Set up the Wi-Fi password

An ideal password is considered to be a combination of letters, symbols, and at the least containing one uppercase letter and is recommended to be of 20 character strength.

However, for the sake of ease of memory, a unique passphrase such as a verse of great personal importance or the favorite line of a poem, anything too personal for other people to guess, will also work to some extent. And make sure to avoid your phone number or birthday as they will be too obvious.

Router Settings

Turning off the WPS

Wireless Protected Setup option allows you to easily set up the wireless network by switching on the WPS button located at the back of the router. Though it will enable the user to easily access the system by avoiding the necessity to enable it from the web page, from a hacking perspective, it is easy to exploit the network.

Unless there is a compelling need for lots of new devices to be accommodated into the network, it is advised to turn the WPS option off.

Disable Remote Access

Remote access to the router settings allows someone to change the configuration from an unconnected wireless device. Thus leaving the remote management option may potentially open doors for malicious external actors to take control of your device. Therefore it is advised to leave the access to the router’s setup available only via a directly connected device.

Proper maintenance

Your router is your most strategically important device and has to be looked after properly. Remember to update the firmware frequently, if possible, opt for a network firewall to weed out unwanted traffic through your network and to prevent intrusion attempts.

Also, make sure that all the devices are similarly updated and are at their optimum condition. Vulnerability in any one of them may harbor a potential threat to the entire network.

MAC filtering

Through Mac filtering, you can connect to unwanted devices, thus making them impossible to join even if they possess the right password. Also though this adds an extra layer of protection by predetermining who can and cannot access the Wi-Fi, it can come in your way if you add new devices in the future.

Apart from the software as mentioned above and hardware tweaks some other measures to further enhance your Wi-Fi security include;

Placing the wi-fi router at an optimum location, preferably in the middle of your house which will not only ensure equal access to every room; it will also prevent it from containing the router’s range within your building, thus shaking off unwanted freeloaders.

Turning the wi-fi router off when not in use will prevent the device from potential electric surge related damages as well as hacking attempts.

In short, the key to ensuring maximum security to your Wi-Fi network is to bring forth maximum possible customizations and layered blocking of external intrusions. So we can say that the more customized your configurations, the better equipped they are to withstand attacks.