Wireless Router & Security A Step By Step Guide on how to secure wireless router

How to set up a wireless router

Setting up a wireless router is not difficult. Fundamentally you turn your  DSL or cable modem off and your wireless router on. Then, you can connect the router to the modem with a cable to your computer and turn the modem on again. You are more or less done. The wireless network connection wizard on your computer will pick up the router, and if your ISP does not have some special requirements, finally, you are on the Internet. You may like How to Make Life Simple With Wireless Technology.

For simplicity and essay of setup and configuration, manufacturers ship wireless network routers with all security disabled. There lays the problem. If you do not take any further action to secure your router, and a surprise, some people don’t, your network will not be secure and will be wide open to all passersby and strangers. It’s like you have hung out a sign. The door is open. Please come in and help yourself by securing your wireless.”

The main problem is not that strangers will be able to use your wireless router to access the Internet but that, without further action, it would be intruders will be capable of monitoring and sniff out the personal information you send and receive on your network. Harmful intruders can even hop onto your internal network, access your computer hard drives, and steal, edit, or delete files on your personal computer How To Start Your Career In Information Technology beginner.

The good news is that it is moderately easy to secure your wireless router connection. Below are three basic steps you should follow.

1. Password protects the access to your wireless router’s internal configuration

To access your wireless router’s internal setup, open your browser and enter the router setup URL. The URL will be specified in the manual. The URLs mesh Wi-Fi and Netgear routers, two major manufacturers of wireless routers, are http://192.168.0.1 and http://192.168.1.1, respectively.

For the above routers, input the username as admin and type admin without the quotes in the password field, and click enter. To change the default password, click on the Password tab and enter the new password of your choice. Read also Things you must do if you want to avoid Spyware.

For other wireless routers, please check your manual. Alternatively, you can search on the Internet with the term default login for the name of your wireless router. Don’t be surprised to find many pages listing default login parameters for many different routers, even uncommon ones What are computer Viruses and One Reason Why People Make Them.

2. Change the default SSID Service Set Identifier

The SSID is the name of a WLAN Wireless Local Area Network. All wireless devices on a WLAN use SSIDs to communicate with each other device.

Routers ship with standard default SSIDs. For example, the default SSID for mesh Wi-Fi routers is, not unsurprisingly, “mesh Wi-Fi.” As you can see, if you do not change the default SSID name of your router, a would-be intruder armed with a few common SSIDs names from major manufacturers will be able to find your wireless router network name quite easily.

To change the SSID name, click on the Wireless tab. Look for an input item labeled SSID name. It will be near the top. Enter a new name for your router wireless network. Don’t use something like “my router.” Use a name that will not be easy to guess.

3. Disable SSID broadcast

Wireless network-enabled computers use network discovery software to search for nearby SSID names automatically. Some of the more advanced software will query the SSIDs names of nearby networks and even display their names. Consequently, changing the network SSIDs name only partially helps to secure your network. To prevent your network name from being identified, you should disable SSID broadcast.

On the same screen that you changed the name of your wireless network, you will see options for SSID broadcast. Click on “Disable SSID” to make your network invisible. Now save all the settings that you have made and log out.

Since your wireless network is now invisible to any computer, you will have to configure all your computers and smartphone to connect to your wireless network using the new name your set. On Windows XP, start by clicking on the wireless icon in the Notification Area below and proceed from there.

With these three steps below, your network now has basic security and is hidden. However, if you keep sensitive information on your personal computers, you may want to secure your wireless network connection even further. For example, you can

  • Change the channel your router uses to send and receive data on a reguldailyday basis.
  • Block devices that can connect to the router by filtering out MAC (Media Access Control) addresses.
  • Use encryption such as WEP and WPA passwords.

As with most things in a lifetime, security is a tradeoff between cost, price, time, money, inconvenience, and benefit of ease of use. It is a personal choice you make. On the other hand, for most home uses, the three basic steps plus WEP/WPA encryption provides a reasonably strong security password.

Turning on encryption is a two-step process. Firstly you configure your router to use encryption using an encryption key of your preference. And then, you configure your computer to use the encryption key as well. The actual process of configuring your wireless network router for encryption varies from router to router. Please consult the wireless router’s manual.

There are even more vital methods for ensuring security on your router. A strong and robust security method is the RADIUS method Remote Authentication Dial In User Service. Using RADIUS requires additional hardware and software. However, some companies provide RADIUS security as a subscription-based service. The fees are reasonable and drop cost.

Therefore, for example, if you run your own business on your wireless network, have sensitive personal data on your computers, such as credit card information, e.t.c, and have many users who access your wireless network, you should consider using RADIUS too. Since the service sector for RADIUS is dynamic and growing, a search on your browser with terms like RADIUS subscription or RADIUS service price is probably the best way to locate one you may like Guide To Computer Security.

Do I Need Wireless Networking

There has been so much hype about wireless networking that it is sometimes hard to get to the critical question do I need a wireless network? To determine whether your notebook computer or smartphone needs to have wireless networking capabilities, you need to understand what it is first.

WLAN

WLAN simply stands for Wireless Local Area Network or Wireless LAN. Wireless network cards use the IEEE 802.11 standard for all wireless transmission. There are also other wireless networking standards, like Bluetooth, but the 802.11 standard is the preferred networking solution of it. The Wireless Network interface was developed originally for interfacing among two or more computers connected through a wireless local area network. Still, it is also being used for Voice and video over Internet Protocol VoIP and internet access, just like the standard Local Area Network interface Basics of Web usability.

A Wireless Networking connection environment does not need complex wiring to accommodate data sharing and internet access. The wireless network uses one to three Wireless Access Points or Wireless Routers to send and receive signals. An Access Point has an antenna and an Ethernet port, which must be connected to a broadband modem for proper internet connectivity. A Wireless network Router adds several more Ethernet ports to allow a combination of wired and wireless connections to it. The Access Point or Router acts as the radio frequency sender and receiver radio frequency electromagnetic waves are the standard way through which data packets are sent and received. This Access Point interfaces with devices such as computers, PDAs, smart Phones, and other Access Points which use 802.11 wireless adapters.

Where on earth there is an 802.11 wireless access point, a wireless networking-capable device can access that network and, generally, the internet access.

Do You Really Need Wireless Networking in Your Notebook Computer?

Whether you need wireless router networking depends entirely on you. Wireless networking capability is always an excellent feature to have in a notebook computer or smartphone, but there are scenarios where wireless networking is essential.

If you want an orderly office or home network, then you need wireless networking. Moreover, if there are plenty of users in your local network or if the number of users is expected to increase, a wireless router is not limited by the number of Ethernet ports on the router. Please take note, on the other hand, that a wireless network connection is not as much reliable as traditional Ethernet connections, and wireless connections are susceptible to radio waves and electromagnetic interference, and some others How to Make Sure my Wireless Home Network Is Secure.

If you are a freelancer, writer, reporter, or in another position where you frequently travel, a Wireless Network connection is invaluable. Wireless Networking is the most world wild used form of public internet access all over the world. With a wireless networking card, you are guaranteed an internet connection, as long as you can find a wireless hotspot to connect.

For interfacing with personal devices like PDAs and smartphones, Bluetooth is a more common option, but Wireless Networking is essential for wireless internet connections now.

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