Your router is part of your window to the world. At home everything you see and do on the internet goes through your router, and wireless routers are becoming the normal way of connecting. But if you can see out the window, there is a possibility someone may be looking in. And you don’t want that. Your wireless router should be set up so that information comes and goes only when you want it to, and is only used by those to whom you have given permission.
Why change the settings on your wireless router?
If you don’t someone else can connect to your WiFi and use your bandwidth. What difference does that make?
- Slows down your connection. Your ISP only gives you a certain download/upload speed. The more it is being shared the slower it will get.
- Security. If they can get on your wireless, they may be able to get inside your computer. They may get personal information from your computer.
- Malware and viruses can be installed on your computer without your knowledge.
- Illegal Activity. Your internet may be used to do file sharing, or send spam. Worst case, imagine that child pornography or some other terrible activity was originating from your connection. It may be difficult to prove that you were not involved.
Consider this scenario: “When setting up a wireless network at home, I was surprised to be able to connect to my neighbor’s unsecured wireless router. Not only could I have used his bandwidth for free, but had I been so inclined, I could have used the connection for illegal activities. If the police came looking, he may not have been able to prove the activity didn’t come from one of his computers.”
Properly securing a wireless router is not difficult.
There are a number of settings to look at.
- SSID -Service Set IDentifier- This is the name of your wireless connection. You give it a unique name, preferably one that doesn’t directly relate to you. For example you may wish to avoid using your personal name, or other personal information that may identify you. It can be a random set of characters if you wish. Routers will often come from the factory with a default name, such as “dlink” or “linksys”. Be sure to change this.
- Change the administrator name and password.
- Use a passkey, or password. Turn on WPA (avoid WEP) for authentication and TKIP for encryption.
How to secure your wireless router.
There are lots of blogs detailing how to set up security for YOUR wireless router. Get the name and model and google it. If you like assistance with a specific router Contact Us with the name and model of your router and we’ll try to help. For an overview of changing settings follow this link: http://lifehacker.com/5553789/what-settings-should-i-change-on-my-wi+fi-router
Pay special attention these sections:
Change the SSID and Administrator Password
Change Your Security Settings
These few steps will result in a greater level of security with your wireless router, with no one looking in your window.