Best Practices for Securing Your Wireless Router.

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect router, it’s time to configure your settings. One of the most important measures you should take when you set up your router is configuring your security settings.

Here are seven measures that you can take to protect your network from unwanted guests:

1. Change the Default Username and Password

This should be your first step in setting up a new wireless router. The default administrative username and password that come with most routers are simple and well-known to hackers. To change these settings, refer to your owner’s manual on how to log in to the router’s administrative console, which is generally done through a web browser. Not sure if your new password is strong enough? Read this post on picking a crack-resistant password.

2. Turn on Encryption

When you get your router out of the box, the encryption services will most likely be set to off. Encryption converts your network data into code, so outside parties cannot read it. There are different types of encryption, but the strongest is WPA2 (followed by WPA). Use a complex password when setting up your encryption services.

3. Turn off SSID Broadcast

An SSID, or service set identifier, is a name given to your wireless network. In order for a device to connect to your network, the user must know the SSID. When you broadcast your SSID, it appears at regular intervals over the air so others can see it. Then, all they need is the password to connect to your network. To prevent hackers from trying to connect after finding your broadcasted SSID, turn broadcasting off. If you know the SSID, you can simply enter it into your devices to connect.

4. Change the Default SSID

Even if you have SSID broadcasting turned off, if you haven’t changed the default SSID on your wireless router it can still be easily hacked. Many routers come with the same default SSID, so unwanted guests trying to connect to your network will have not trouble guessing your SSID. Instead, change your SSID to something that is difficult to guess.

5. Turn off Guest Networks

Guest networks come with most wireless routers and can be used to share your Internet connection with guests while keeping the files and devices on your network private. Passwords for guest networks are generally configured with default passwords that are easily found online or no security at all. Turn off your guest networks when they are not in use.

6. Use MAC Filtering

A MAC address is a hardware address given to a device. When you use MAC filtering, you can choose what devices connect to your network by listing the MAC address of each device. Then, all unlisted devices will be blocked. If you have multiple wireless devices, setting up MAC filtering can be difficult. To make it easier, begin by connecting all wireless devices you want to your network. Nest, open the DHCP client table in your router’s administrative console, and you will see the MAC address of all connected devices. Simply copy the MAC addresses and enter them into your MAC filtering settings.

7. Try Fing

Fing is a network monitoring mobile app and Desktop command-line tool. It will scan your network and  report hostnames, IP addresses and MAC addresses of all devices connected to the network. Just in case your security features don’t work, you can use Fing to see if any unwanted devices are connected to your router.

Still need help choosing or setting up your wireless router. Contact Tranquility Internet at 573-443-3983, and we’ll help you out. Local computer shops that carry wireless routers include Personalized Computers, Columbia Computer Center and PC Avenue.

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