How to Have a Secure Wireless Network in Your Home

by Barbara J. Feldman on December 29, 2007

Introduction

Most of the hardware that you can purchase for securing the wireless network in your home is easy enough to install. You simply plug it or upload it into your computer. However, configuring the security features of your wireless router or point of access is also an important step to remember.

Instructions

If you really want to have a protected wireless network there are some things that you will need to do during set up and at regular intervals to make sure that your security has not become compromised over time. Here are just a few of the things that you can do in order to have a secure wireless network in your home.

How to have a secure wireless network in your home

1.Secure the wireless router or point of access — As soon as you set up your wireless router you need to go into the settings and change the default password. Most routers come with an administrator assigned password that is assigned to all the routers (thus it is highly predictable). By making sure to reset the factory default setting you can ensure that your password is in fact protecting your security

2.Turn off your SSID broadcast — Your Service Set Identifier is constantly sending out a broadcast of the network’s name which makes it easy for anyone within the signal range of the SSID to see your wireless network without having to figure out what the name of the network is.

3.Enable WPA encryption — Instead of using a WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy) encryption which can easily be cracked by a determined hacker, a better way to protect your wireless network is with a WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access). The WPA has a stronger encryption because the password characters are not as limited as they are with a WEP and a WPA encryption is actually easier to use. However, if you do not have the option of a WPA encryption, a WEP encryption is certainly an acceptable second choice and definitely better than nothing at all.

4.Disable remote access to administrative data — Most wireless network providers offer the option of being able to remotely administer your program via the Internet. While this option is definitely convenient, it allows access to a motivated hacker to be able to access your router and therefore your personal account information. Most remote administration features are defaulted to be turned off but you should always double check to make sure that this is the case with your computer.

5.Reduce the power and transmitting distance of your wireless network — Not all wireless routers will provide this option to you but if you are able, you can reduce the range of your wireless signal so that you make it much more difficult for outsiders to access your network. Although it may take some time to figure out just how much you should change your signal you can theoretically limit exactly how far outside of your home your wireless network reaches.

Other tips and warnings

The suggestions for how to have a secure wireless network in your home are only part of the equation of what you need to do to ensure that your personal information remains private. There are online scams, hackers, viruses, and countless other ways that the security of your computer can become compromised that may have nothing to do with the fact that you belong to a wireless network. So remember that you must ensure security in other aspects of your online and networking activities in order to ensure that your wireless home network remains as secure as possible.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "How to Have a Secure Wireless Network in Your Home." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 29 Dec. 2007. Web. 18 Jul. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1260/how-to-have-a-secure-wireless-network-in-your-home/ >.