In today’s world security is one thing we are all concerned about. We are hearing news of individuals or companies being hacked and of course we don’t want to be mentioned in that way. So, this is the reason why we should learn how to secure our wireless routers.
The Settings for a Secure Wireless Router
When we start securing our routers we have to take care about the other settings and not to mess things up. While routers produced by different manufacturers have different graphic interfaces, but generally all the settings we are going to mention can be found.
Before you start tweaking your router make sure to take note of the settings before the modification, just in case you need to change them back later.
In order to login to the router settings, you can either use the router setup CD or your browser. If you choose the second one you will need the router default IP (usually 192.168.1.1) and the default login details which can be found in the owner’s manual.
- This password is used to access the router settings page. It is highly recommended to change the default admin password with a new one. Keeping the default password unchanged makes you vulnerable.
- Remote management should be disabled. This will prevent anyone outside your network to gain access to the router settings page.
- Logs should be enabled in order to check where the problem was.
- Of all the encryption types, using WPA2-Personal is highly recommended. Combine it with AES encryption and a strong Pre-Shared Key and you will already be much more secured.
- We don’t recommend using WEP or WPA
- Avoid leaving your wireless network open and without encryption.
Mac Address Filtering
- It is recommended to enable MAC address filtering. This option lets you authorize specific devices based on their MAC address. Gather the MAC addresses of the devices you use and add them to the router settings page where MAC address filtering is managed. You can easily find how to get the MAC address of a specific device thanks to Google.
Network Name (SSID)
- The default SSID should be changed. When you change it make sure to avoid using your name or address.
- Some people recommend disabling SSID broadcast. This will be more a problem than a benefit so avoid this one. Hackers already have tools to discover hidden networks so hiding the SSID is of no use.
It is recommended to disable it in order to make your network a bit more secure. Of course, you will have to add devices on your own, but you can avoid this by enabling this option whenever you add a new device.
You should disable this feature and opt for manual setup.
If you have a newer router you have nothing to worry about since they can work on different bands at the same time. 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The first one is used most often. The other band is generally used by advanced routers and your PC has to support this frequency too. If not, you will have to get a network adapter.
This option assigns IP Addresses to your LAN devices. It is wise to limit the number of IPs it can assign. It’s best when the number of devices and the number for IPs that can be assigned matches.
Maybe you will find some of these recommendations a bit difficult but the final goal is to have a secured wireless network. It would be much easier to ignore all these tips and hope not to get hacked. However, if that happens you will lose much more than your time in setting up the router all over again. So, instead of just reading these tips, take some time and try to find all these settings in the router settings page. At the end you will have a secured router and at the same time you will learn something about your own wireless network. Just make sure to have your default login IP, username and password written somewhere and keep them for further use. You never know when you will need them.