Wireless Router Security | Top 12 Tips
1. Always Change the Default Administrator Passwords.
These passwords are given out to many people across the world and are very easy to guess.
They can be easily hacked and it is recommended that you use something more unique than what is given to you.
Anyone with access to the method in which these default passwords are assigned can easily crack them and hack into your network.
Be safe and be sure to use a password that only you know.
If someone is able to guess the default administrator password, they will be able to easily and effortlessly access your information.
2. Change the Default SSID Name
All access point and routers use what is called an SSID. This is what many people refer to as a network name.
Most companies that are producing routers do not change the name of each individual router, but rather give them all the same name.
It is important that after you set up your router, you change the name of it.
While knowing the name of the router does not actually give someone access to the network, it can help give them an idea of what possible password combinations are most likely.
People looking to hack into your network will also become aware of the fact that you do not know how to change the SSID name if it is something common.
This will clue them in on the fact that your network is likely not professionally assembled.
Hackers will be more likely to attack these networks because they will know that the person putting them in place was not a professional and will thus have more holes and potential weaknesses in the encryption.
Use caution when picking a name that does not target you for attacks, but use something more subtle.
Do not include any details in your SSID about the location of where you are or anything else that may give away your identity.
Any little bit of information that may seem inconsequential to you may actually be gold to a hacker and be the difference between the getting into your network or not.
3. Enable Network Encryption
By using encryption, you ensure that your network is much more secure than those without encryption.
Many home networks do not utilize any sort of encryption service at all which leaves them vulnerable to a number of different attacks.
Without any sort of encryption, it becomes much easier for hackers to break into your network.
There are two main types of encryption that most networks take advantage of. These are called WEP,WPA And More Secure WPA2.
These three of encryption are very different and provide different benefits. WEP can typically be hacked relatively easily using a few different tools that many hackers have access to.
WPA is much more difficult to crack, but also more difficult to initially set up and get running.
Because of this, many people opt for WEP even though it is much less safe.
4. Disable WPs
Many routers by default come with something known as Wi-Fi Protected Setup.
It is important to disable this when setting up your wireless network.
This function is used as a way for new users to get familiar with their network and add new devices with ease.
It often includes an 8 digit pin number.
Many of these can be easily cracked using a brute force attack which makes any wireless network using them much more susceptible to attack.
Make sure to disable them before using your wireless network to prevent hackers from making changes to your hardware.
5. MAC Filtering
This is a feature found on many routers available today. It allows whoever is in charge of the wireless network to add a MAC address to act as a unique identifier for any device that the owner of the wireless wishes to allow to have access to the network.
This prevents any device that does not have a MAC address from accessing the list. This is different from just using a password protection because with a password, any device that has the password can access the network.
By using the MAC address, users limit the amount of people that can access the network and greatly increase their overall security. Use MAC addresses to ensure no unwanted devices gain access to your network.
6. Set Up a Guest Network
Many people will have others that wish to use their Wi-Fi network. Rather than giving access to your regular private network, it is possible to set up a separate network that gives guests access to the internet, but does not allow them into your private network.
By doing this, you greatly increase your overall network security and also prevent any unwanted users from gaining access to your private network.
This allows for extra security and for the ability for new users to access the internet in your business or home. This is a great benefit that does not sacrifice your overall network security.
7. Eliminate DCHP and Use Static IP Addresses
Many home networks will, by default, use dynamic IP addresses for all devices that are connected. Rather than connecting using just one IP address, the network utilizes a pool of IP addresses that can then be assigned to any number of devices.
Unfortunately, if a hacker gains access to this pool of IP Addresses, it becomes much easier for them to gain access to the network and all of your private information.
Using DCHP eliminates this risk and is quite simple to set up for anyone without previous network experience.
8. Disable Remote Access
On many wireless networks, it is possible to access your router’s user panel from any device connected to the network.
Other routers even allow for devices to access even when they are not connected to your network.
It is extremely important to disable remote access to ensure that people that are not connected to your network do not have access to your network panel and can thus not make changes to your network without your approval.
9. Keep Your Router’s Software up to Date
Router companies will often stay on top of the trends in wireless network security management and the tools the hackers are using to attempt to break into networks.
The companies making the routers then release software updates that guard against many of these breaches. By staying up to date with this software, you will ensure that your network has the least possible ways of being breached and also stay one step ahead of any potential hackers that may be attempting to access your network.
10. Turn Off Broadcasting
Broadcasting is the way that your wireless router informs devices of its SSID so that they make access it. By turning on broadcasting, you allow anyone with a device capable of accessing Wi-Fi in your vicinity to see your SSID.
This increases the chances that a hacker will come across the SSID and be able to access your network. By turning off broadcasting, only devices that know you SSID will be able to see your network and access it.
11. Use a Strong Password
Rather than using something simple that relates to your life, choose a password that is complex with many different types of numbers and symbols.
The more complex, the less likely that a brute force attacker will be capable of penetrating your network and gaining access to your information.
12. Install Third-Party Firmware
Rather than using the default firmware included with your router, it is possible to use firmware developed by an outside company to secure your network.
This firmware is often more secure and will not have any backdoor access that would allow for hackers to get into your network without permission.
This is one of the toughest measures of security you can take. Two popular third-party firmware are DD-WRT and OpenWRT. Use them to really secure your network and to make sure hackers don’t stand a chance.