Home / Home Improvement / 4 Tips To Secure a Wireless Network

4 Tips To Secure a Wireless Network

How to secure a wireless network and protect your data transmission over the air

A wired home network offers the highest level of security because no data is transmitted over the air.

However in many cases Wi-Fi is the only option for your portable and mobile devices to connect to the Internet from home. For example you would be able to watch your favourite YouTube channels, or update your Facebook page, from an iPad Wi-Fi in your lounge room only if you are equipped with a wireless router hooked up to the Internet.

Consequently most of us end up having a combination of a hardwired, high-speed network and  a wireless one in the house.

These days networking equipment manufacturers make installation and configuration of a wireless router quite simple. Open the box, plug a cable to the Internet socket, put in your username and password given to you by your ISP and voila.

Because it’s so simple to get the accessory up and running most of us forget to visit the security page of the router to configure the security side of it. In this article I’d like to share with you four tips to make your home wireless network more secure.

Tip #1. Don’t broadcast your network name (also known as SSID)

Have you noticed that when you fire up your wi-fi device sometimes it detects wireless network available around you? That is because people around you have set up their wireless router without making it invisible. When in my house I can detect up to six live wireless networks around me!

D-link wireless settings
If you have a D-link wireless router just select Wireless manual setup menu. On this screen select "Invisible". Only you will know what the SSID of your wireless network is. Your router should have a menu to allow you to make your wireless network invisible. Linksys for instance is "Don't broadcast SSID"

Tip #2. Select WPA2 encryption instead of WEP

Prefer WPA2 encryption as it is much stronger than WEP. Most of new Wi-Fi enabled devices are compatible with WPA2 security mode.

Wireless setting to select WPA2
Select WPA2 as security mode or encryption method in your router security configuration

Tip #3. Activate MAC address filtering and only allow your devices to connect to the router

MAC address is a unique network address assigned to your Wi-Fi device by the manufacturer. These addresses are unique in the sense that there can’t be two Wi-Fi devices with the same MAC address in the world.

Most routers allow you to explicitly list which devices can access the Internet via the router. Below screen shot is from the D-Link DIR-655

Wireless settings to configure MAC address filtering
Use MAC address filtering capability of your wireless router to limit access to the Internet only to authorised devices

Tips #4. Make your passwords hard to guess

This one is probably the most overlooked.

In general routers are pre-configured in factory with default values for admin password, IP address, etc. Think about changing the password and network name when you first set up your equipment. If you forget to action tip #1 above your network will be visible to your surroundings. Indelicate persons might be able to access and take control of your router.

What method do you use to secure your wireless network?

Read detailed article about How to Design and build a wired home network

Check Also

Install Laminate Flooring [DIY]

When building your new house there are many things you might want to do yourself …

One comment

  1. Passwords should be always be alpha numeric so that your account will be secured and safe from hackers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *