Your wifi network, probably has many devices located behind router such as smartphones desktop computers, laptops, tablets … you name it. To prevent your hacker from infiltrating your network, you must follow some simple rules.

In a default configuration, the medium network is not secure because the routers come with a default password that any can easily find out with a simple web search. However, even if your close neighbor has set up your network, there are a few things he may have missed, potentially opening your network to intruders.

Making a secure Wi-Fi network is very easy. Follow these tips and adopt some, if not all, for your own network.

Change default settings

Most of what we talk about below will be devoted to this problem, because the default settings on the router are simply not enough to build a secure network.

What’s really important to understand is that routers come with a default password set, and depending on whether the router has been used, you may even have older security protocols enabled and open random network ports .

Start with password changes on default to something really safe. There are many examples of strong passwords, which you can use to create your own router password.

If your router requires a username, change it too. Usually this administrator or administrator default so you want to change it to something really unique. If it helps, treat the username as another password; hacker will need both, to connect to your router, so changing them both will make your router more secure.

While you are in these settings, you can also change address gateway on default . Some common standard private IP addresses, used for routers include 192.168.1.1 , 192.168.0.1 and 10.0.0.1 . Make yours completely different so that an attacker has no chance to enter your network.

If your router isn’t new, but has instead been used by someone else before you, don’t make any changes just yet. Start with a clean slate resetting the entire router to factory defaults . This will remove all customizations made by the previous owner, including any unfortunate security choices they may have made.

Make a unique Wi-Fi password

Believe it or not, most routers allow you to create a Wi-Fi network without a password. This means that literally anyone close enough to your home can steal your wifi and access files on your computer.

Change WiFi password pretty easy. To do this, you just need to get access admin settings on your router which you already know how to do if you followed the router password hint above.

Your Wi-Fi password, like your router password, should be very hard to guess. It’s definitely tempting to keep it super simple so that when you share it with your friends you don’t have to flip through papers to find the 40 character password you gave them, but really… it is important .

If someone has access to your Wi-Fi password, they will have the same access as you, which means they can also share and view files on the network. For an attacker, this could mean spreading viruses and stealing important documents from public folders.

Try to make your Wi-Fi password really long. Specifically, 25 characters or more. As painful as it is for you to enter a 30, 40, or 50 character password on every wireless device, you only have to do it once per device so that the password stays indefinitely.

The reason for this is simple: the software that hackers use to attack wireless networks has limitations, namely limitations in length and complexity. In other words, if you can make your password very long and complex, there is almost no chance that someone can use automatic cracking tools (or guessing methods) to figure out your Wi-Fi password.

Use proper Wi-Fi encryption

Encrypted symbols on a blue background
MECHAU KULIK / Science Photo Library / Getty Images

Encryption can be confusing, but here you need to enable the strongest encryption supported by your router. For most people this means WPA2 . If your router only supports WEP Now is the time buy a new router .

You can enable WPA2 or any other form of encryption by going into your router’s admin settings, just as you did when changing your password above.

Stop showing SSID

SSID is the name of the Wi-Fi network. When it shows up, it’s easy to connect to because anyone with a wireless device can find it — be it you, your friends, family, etc.

When you stop broadcasting SSID it will be harder for your friends to connect, but it will be just as hard for hackers to find it, because they can’t just walk in and notice that your network is working.

A hidden SSID is useful, but not a sure way to stop an intruder. They can use data collection programs to sniff out packets coming from your network to find the SSID. However, the average Joe, who may not be as passionate about security software, will definitely have a harder time getting into it.

If you are not interested in disabling SSID broadcast from your router, at least change the default SSID . Hackers can use readily available lists of the most common SSIDs and generate rainbow tables for password cracking, to make hacking easier. Change the SSID and you will immediately thwart hacking attempts.

Block devices by their hardware

If an attacker does get access to your secure Wi-Fi password, strong encryption, and hidden SSID, you’ll probably stump them here. To block devices by their hardware, configure MAC address filtering .

When you turn on filtration MAC addresses you create a list of allowed devices, and everything that is not on this list is denied access to your network. You can think of it as another password that only authenticates the user if they network adapter matches the list of devices that you have explicitly specified can receive on your Wi-Fi.

Is it bulletproof? Of course not; actually there is nothing. However, it is very effective in preventing most people from accessing your network. To get around this, they need to know what MAC addresses you allow and then spoof their hardware address to impersonate an approved device.

Limit the number of IP addresses you can use

It’s hard enough to connect to your network while keeping all of the above methods, but for added security, consider limiting the number of devices that can receive IP addresses on your network. No IP = no network access.

The best way to do this is to limit the scope pool DHCP which is the number of addresses the router can give out to devices requesting one. If you only have three devices that ever need internet access on your network, set this limit to three.

The moment anyone else tries to connect, there will be no room left for DHCP to offer an address.

The DHCP scope limit is something you can access in your router settings. There is probably no «limit» option here, so instead just make the DHCP pool number very small, preferably the same as the number of devices (but no less!).

For example, if you ever have a game console, a laptop, and a phone, make it three.

If you enable this Wi-Fi security tip, make sure you understand exactly what it does. For example, if you set the limit to four, and two computers, a tablet and a phone are always connected, then the moment a friend tries to use Wi-Fi, it will automatically turn off.

Use a VPN through a router

VPN VPNs are essentially encrypted tunnels through which all router traffic can pass before reaching the Internet. It will be quite difficult for Wi-Fi hackers to understand what you are doing if they cannot read the data.

Exists many VPN service providers, of which you can choose, but not all of them allow you to use VPN at the router level — most of them work from the end user device, such as your computer or phone.

The goal here is to find either a VPN service that allows you to enter server information in the router settings, or a device that supports VPN out of the box . Here are some examples of products that can do this: Private Internet Access (PIA) , VyprVPN , ExpressVPN and NordVPN .

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