Traditional wired networks are hard to break in, but in WiFi networks, it is not that difficult. The reason behind this vulnerability of WiFi signals is that they’re wireless. Anyone can use your WiFi bandwidth or steal your data, even if they’re in your neighborhood. If you have a secured WiFi network, your overall WiFi experience also increases. Below is an infographic by List Enthusiast about how to improve WiFi signals range and WiFi security. Make sure to scroll down the infographic to read points in more detail.
Here are some of the important WiFi security takeaways from this infographic.
1. Change Your Default SSID
Default SSID, or wireless network name, is a pre-defined name of your WiFi router. While changing your SSID won’t necessarily make your network secure, it’s is a good to do so. The idea behind it is that you shouldn’t make it easy for a hacker to know which type/company’s WiFi router you’re using. Another good reason behind it is that there may be a case of multiple routers, apart from yours, from the same vendor in your area. If none of you has changed their default SSID then it’s going to be a tedious task for you, when you’re connecting to your network, to identify which one is yours. While changing the SSID, make sure to not use sensitive information like your name or email in your new SSID.
Create a strong and unique password
You might have already set up a password for your WiFi network. But ask yourself, Is your WiFi password strong enough to keep other person guessing forever? I don’t think so. According to this article, “123456” is still the most common passwords for WiFi networks. Now you might ask yourself “How I can have a strong password and make sure not to forget it”. The first part is to have a strong password – the one with lower/upper-case letters, numbers as well as special characters. There are many online tools for this. Just google “Random Password Generator” and you’ll find a lot of tools creating a strong and unique password for you. Now the second part is how to memorize that password. But let me tell you one thing: You don’t need to. There are many password managers like the last pass that’ll do the job for you. If you want to go old school, then you can create google doc file and save all of your important passwords in that file.
Reduce the range of your WiFi router
Most people complain about their router not covering their whole house, but there are some people who have the opposite problem. Their house is small and their router has a long range that broadcasts signals over their house and well beyond it. In that case, it’s better to reduce the range of your WiFi router. Many wireless routers come with “radio power” settings. Reducing these setting can reduce your WiFi range. If these settings are not available on your router, don’t worry. There are some other techniques that can help you to reduce your wifi router’s range.
Have the latest WiFi Encryption
Most of us think that having a new router can only boost your speed/range etc. But that’s not completely true because we know that WiFi encryption is very important. But there are a lot of encryption methods available and all of these methods are not same. WPA2-AES is the most recommended option nowadays but it’s not available on old routers. That’s why you’ll probably need to update your router. There are many guides about how to choose routers such as this recommended guide by list enthusiast.
Activate a firewall
A firewall mechanism prevents your network from the outside attacks. Many people don’t know that our routers have an internal firewall by default. And you know what’s worse? They unintentionally turn it off. This article will help you a configure a router firewall.
Install a VPN
A VPN acts like a tunnel between your device and any other website on the internet. If you access any other website after enabling a VPN, all the data transfer between you and that website will be done through a server of that VPN service. VPNs help us to stay anonymous on public WiFi hotspots. They can slow down your internet speed but make your network secure too.
Update Router Firmware
Just like having the latest OS update is essential for your PC, having the latest firmware update is necessary for a router. An old firmware version can have many security vulnerabilities left and some hackers can exploit them. That’s why it’s better to check your router manufacturer’s site and check for any router update. To view the current version number of your firmware, you can go to your router’s admin panel.
Disable Remote Access
This feature is disabled by default in some routers but people enable it for the sake of ease. Enabling this feature means that you can access your router’s admin panel, using the internet, even if you’re not currently connected to your network. While this seems like a utility at first, there is a risk that any person can potentially access to your router’s admin panel.
Over to you
So that were some of the best techniques to secure your wifi network. If you have any other suggestion, feel free to comment.
Author BIO: Lisa is tech blogger who specializes in writing networking related guides on her tech blog.