Computing Helpdesk – how to secure your wireless network
Has your wi-fi has been slowed to a snail’s pace recently? It could be that you’re due a new laptop to cope with all the internet’s latest inventions. If your home network isn’t password protected, it’s more likely that you need to set up a few simple security measures.
From positioning your router away from your neighbours to changing the way new computers discover it, you we explain how to secure your wireless network.
Home networking guide – our verdict on how to set up a wireless home network
1) Change your wireless password
If your home wi-fi isn’t protected by a password this means that anyone within range of its signal can use it. Not only will this slow down your overall internet speed, but it could mean hackers can tap into the computers connected to your wireless network.
To add a password to your router, you’ll need to access its settings by typing the default access address written on its base. This looks something like 126.96.36.199 or 192.168.0.1. Once you’ve logged into this settings menu, you’ll be able to choose a new secure password for your router.
2) Encrypt your router
Although encrypting your router sounds like a complex process, it’s easily done using the same method you used to change your password. In your router’s settings menu, you’ll be offered a choice of WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption. Pick WPA2 as it’s the most up-to-date and secure standard.
3) Change your SSID
Your SSID is the name of your home network when you log into it. It’s usually the name of your broadband provider follower by a string of numbers and letters like BTHomeHub-87DYZ-8. Changing the name of your SSID suggests to potential deviants that you understand wireless security and have protected your home network.
4) Disable guest networks
Some wi-fi routers create a special guest network for friends who may need to access your internet. These allow them to browse about without viewing all of the files or devices connected to your network. The downside of this generosity is that it’s relatively easy for a hacker to make the jump from a guest network to your proper network. You can disable guest networks in your router’s settings.
5) Position your router carefully
Not all wireless security tips require you to delve into your router’s settings. Placing a router away away from the front of your home means passers by are less likely to pick up its signal. Plus, there’s always the option off turning off your router when you’re not using it.
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