How To Secure Wireless Routers
By default configuration of a wireless router may invite unwanted users to your network who can access your Internet connection. These unwanted users can also steal confidential data and files from your laptop or computer. Manufacturers arrange easy steps so that router can be easily set up the network user. But here is a challenge for open router configuration system that how they are securing a wireless router from unwanted user attack. Here are few steps that guides you how to secure your wireless connection against hackers or unwanted users.
How to access the settings and configuration of wireless
For accessing the settings and configuration of wireless router connect with router either through Ethernet cable or wirelessly. Now type one of following IP address in the web browser http://192.168.2.1 or http://192.168.1.1 and press Enter. This will display the router Login page on your screen.
Change the default password
Manufacturer deals with a blank password that is assigned by default and hackers are well familiar with this fact. If you want to secure your wireless router against intelligent hacker then don’t forget to change the default password of the router.
Change the name of the network
By default network name starts with router name or model number. This information gives a hint to the hacker to crack the network name. It would be better to change the network name as soon as you configure the wireless router. It would be better to use some intelligent network name that would be difficult to crack by the hacker. It should not be your name, surname or any other personal information. Password Experts suggest using special characters along with the alphabets when you are assigning a password to some secure network.
Turn off SSID broadcasting
By default SSID broadcasting of your wireless router is switched on that makes your router visible to the hackers. For making your wireless connection virtually invisible, it is recommendable to turn off SSID broadcasting. This step also makes your network secure from the attack of unwanted users.
By default encryption is disabled and some users do not enable encryption and leaves themselves open for the unwanted users. If you are an intelligent wireless user then secure your network through best encryption schemes. WEP (Wired equivalent privacy), WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and WPA 2 are the possible encryption standards used for securing a wireless router.
If you are a home user or running a small business then WEP and WPA security mechanism is also good for you. It is always recommendable to use most advance security mechanism WPA 2 for an Enterprise user. WEP standard is using a single shared key concept that is quite easy to break. On the other hand, keys are dynamically changing in WPA and WPA 2 security standard that is quite safe and very difficult to hack by the unwanted users.
Old router supports only WEP standard. If you want to use WPA or WPA 2 then you have to change your router and even you have to use some new hardware and software for supporting them. Before purchasing any new router does not forget to check either it is compatible with WEP or WPA.
MAC address control
All hardware has a MAC id associated with it and all MAC is can be entered to the access control list of your wireless router. In this way, only registered MAC id can access your network and all other MAC id have to take your permission before accessing your network. This step tells us that don’t forget to prepare an access control list before connection your computer over the wireless network.
Router firmware downloading
It is recommendable to download only latest router firmware that not only secures your wireless network but also addresses the flaws of the router itself.
Back up the router setting
Don’t forget to take a backup of the router setting. In case, you want to reset or reconfigure your wireless router then you don’t have to cram all settings. In this situation, you can use backup setting of the router.
Limit the number of IP addresses
It is interesting to figure out that if you know how to use DHCP server then you can limit the number of IP addresses generated by the DHCP server. This is a very intelligent concept and limited number of IP addresses also secures your network from unwanted attacks. AS we know, there is a different IP address issued for each device connected to your computer and these IP addresses also distributed over the network when you are exchanging information over a wireless network. Large number of IP addresses makes the hacking task easy for the unwanted users.
Some important Facts
Most of the users have a common question in their mind that what is the necessity of encryption standard when firewall is already installed for preventing unwanted users? Firewall only prevents unwanted users from accessing your Internet connection but it cannot prevent them to enter your network during Wi-Fi signal transmission. In case, you are not using any encryption standard then anyone can access your data during Wi-Fi transmission.
You can also use VPN (virtual private network) for safe data transmission over wireless network. The main task of VPN is to create tunnel that protects data from unwanted attacks. In various applications, VPN is implemented by default for user advantage.
How to Password protect a Wireless router
For this purpose, you should know your IP address. If you are not aware of it, then use command prompt for confirming your IP address. You have to type ipconfig there for IP result.
Once you have your IP address, type this in the address bar of the web browser. This will display the login page where you have to fill username and password. The next task is to open the administrative settings and click on the change password option. Type some intelligent password that should be difficult to hack by the unwanted user and click on save button at the last. In this way, you can change password of your network.
Also disable the administrative functions for other users. This will make your network more secure from unwanted attacks. Once you have changed the password, store it in some file for future reference. As we all know, it is very difficult to cram passwords.