In this short guide, we’re going to go through 5 steps to secure a home wireless network.
Step #1 – Change router’s default password
A) If you’ve never logged into your wireless router, look up the make and model of the router, and find the default IP Address, username, and password, then log in.
B) For example, if your wireless router has a default IP Address of 192.168.0.1, default username of admin, and default password of blank. Login by doing the following:
- Open Internet Explorer and type in the address http://192.168.0.1
- When prompted, the username would be admin, and the password would be blank.
C) If the router’s password is still set to the default password, it is important to change this password to something else to keep an intruder from effectively kicking you off of your own network.
Step #2 – Disable SSID Broadcasting
This option decides whether people can or cannot see your wireless signal. This is not necessarily recommended because although this will keep your network invisible to the common nosy neighbor, it will not protect your network from any serious hackers. It can also make setting up your own devices on your wireless network more difficult. So, it’s good to know how this works, but always use encryption and don’t rely on just disabling SSID broadcasts to keep your network secure.
Step #3 – Enable Encryption
It’s important to use encryption on your wireless network. Not only does it keep intruders off of the network, but it also keeps eavesdroppers from listening in on your network traffic. The two major types of wireless encryption are listed below. Please also note that any encryption enabled on the wireless router must also be enabled on each Wireless Device that needs to connect to the internet.
- WEP – This is still the most common type of encryption enabled on most wireless routers. Please note that this can be broken by serious hackers in about 2 minutes, but will keep out most neighbors and passerby.
- WPA2-PSK – This is becoming the most common type of encryption and is enabled on most new wireless routers. WPA2 is more secure than WEP but can be compromised by brute-forcing your password.
- WPA2-Enterprise – Also called 802.1x, it uses session passwords generated each time your device connects to the network. This security mode has not been compromised yet, but is not available on some older types of Wireless Devices.
If you decide for the WPA2-Enterprise security mode, IronWifi will act as a guard verifying identity of users and devices connecting to your Wireless Network. Without this service, people could get in by breaking WEP encryption, faking through a MAC Filter, brute-forcing your WPA2 password, or by good old fashioned hard line plugging into your router directly instead of connecting through the wireless. Taking control of connecting devices is the final step in securing a Wireless Network.