Do you know the number of Wi-Fi networks around the world? According to the current stats, there are more than 325 million Wi-Fi networks in the universe. To put things in perspective, this number was only 20 million in 2010. At this rate, Wi-Fi networks are only going to grow further exponentially. Hence the need for a secure wifi and proper wireless network security is of extreme importance for internet users.
Of course, once we get out of the shock of above-mentioned stats, it urges us to think about the wireless network security. The opportunities to exploit Wi-Fi networks are more than ever as suggested by the numbers. However, securing Wi-Fi is not an impossible task. You can accomplish this goal by following our recommended tips and tricks.
Our team has gathered 15 ways to maximize wireless network security. The following pointers will reveal solutions as to how to protect W-Fi from neighbors or how to secure Wi-Fi router with a password. Here we go;
Immediate Actions: Secure Your Wi-Fi
In case, your Wi-Fi has been compromised and you suspect a breach of security, we have prepared a list of immediate actions that you can take to claim your Wi-Fi back. Without further ado, let’s get to them;
1- Change The Wi-Fi Name (SSID) – First Step To Securing Your WiFi
First things first, change the name of your Wi-Fi, aka SSID (Service Set Identifier). You can name it anything. However, we do have certain tips in this regard;
- Don’t mention your name: – You shouldn’t mention your name in the SSID. Anything that helps to identify you is strictly prohibited to be used as Wi-Fi’s name.
- Don’t challenge the hackers: – Names like not your Wi-Fi, not free Wi-Fi or any other provocative names may challenge hackers to break into your network.
2- Change The Wi-Fi Password – Protect WiFi From Pesky Neighbours
We know it is not the most covert tips out there but it works wonders. You are supposed to change your Wi-Fi’s password immediately. Generally, people don’t put much thought into Wi-Fi’s password. In fact, let’s just say people don’t make as much effort as they do in case of an email address.
Selecting a strong and smart password is a matter of common sense and logic only. Remember the golden rules of password selection are applicable here as well;
- Use mix and match of letters, numbers, and characters.
- Make a habit of changing your password once in a while.
- Long passwords are better than short passwords.
- Never tell your Wi-Fi password to anyone. If anyone asks, enter the password on the device yourself.
- Don’t write down the Wi-Fi password anywhere in the house.
3- Check MAC Addresses To Know Who Is Connected To Your Wi-Fi
The feeling you have when you suspect someone is using your Wi-Fi illegally is horrendous. You really want to teach a lesson to the culprit. Well, thank goodness, there is a way you can find out about all the devices connected to your Wi-Fi.
Every device has a unique ID when it connects to a network known as media access control (MAC). In the settings area, you get a list of MAC addresses, type of device and a bunch of other details. You can block the unwanted or unknown devices. The following picture will give you some idea about MAC addresses and how to block a device;
4- You Must Enable Wi-Fi Encryption
There are multiple Wi-Fi encryption settings like WEP, WPA, and WPA2. The encryption settings come with a layer of other additions such as TKIP, AES etc. We recommend using WPA2 AES as your Wi-Fi encryption setting. It is enough to protect you from malicious attacks.
Most routers come with WPA2 AES setting. In case, you are not sure about the router. You can check and amend the Wi-Fi encryption setting here. The link mentioned here is for TP-LINK routers only.
5- Disallow Remote Access To Router’s Settings
Routers are very funny and trusting devices. That’s why they have remote access option. In simple words, hackers or criminals can access your router’s private settings even if they are not connected to your Wi-Fi. “Remote access” or “Remote Administration” should be disabled on your router in order to avoid unnecessary intervention.
6- Keep Your Router’s Firmware Updated
It may come as surprise to many people but your router has software that needs to be updated regularly. Unfortunately, most routers don’t have an auto-update option. You have to do it manually. We understand it is an extra tedious task. However, after reading the story of this ill-fated family, you won’t mind keeping your router’s firmware updated or any other action for that matter.
7- Make Your Wi-Fi Private – The Ultimate & Sane Step To Secure Your WiFi
You don’t have to make your Wi-Fi public. You can keep it private and still allow people to connect to your network. It is similar as to how we keep our Bluetooth settings. You can make your Wi-Fi invisible. Your family and friends can find the Wi-Fi by searching its name. Making your Wi-Fi private reduces the chances of unnecessary snooping.
The Wi-Fi setting page for this particular task will look like this;
8- Avoid Default IP Address
Most IP addresses are 192.168.1.1 or 188.8.131.52, which are easily detected. It is advised to change default IP addresses into something like 10.8.9.7 as it will help keep your Wi-Fi network undetected by the evil forces. You can change the IP address of your router by following this link.
9- Change Default Admin Username And Password – An Essential First Step To Secure Your WiFi
Your router comes with a default admin username and password. It is public knowledge and anyone can access your settings easily. It is important to change the default admin username and password of your router’s settings. You can change the default admin username and password like this.
10- Switch Off The Router When Not At Home
When you are going for a vacation or even a weekend away from home, it is crucial that you switch off your router. Hackers can exploit your network and worst part is you wouldn’t know until you are back. This can do serious damage to your personal information and data. So we strictly advise you to switch off your router when leaving your house for extended period of time.
11- Placing The Router Strategically In Your House
Your router must be placed in a place where it can transmit signals to all corners of your house but not so much outside the house. Avoid placing your router near windows or doors. The ideal place is the room in the middle of your house so that you can receive the signals in the entire house.
12- Limit Router’s Signal Range
If you live in a small apartment where it is impossible to control your Wi-Fi’s signals, it is suggested to replace your router with the one that has a small area of the signal range. There is another way to work around the problem. Place your router under a chair or bed to limit its signal range. This is a simple way to ensure no one is using your Wi-Fi outside the house as there are no signals.
13- Use Anti-Virus and VPN For Personal Protection
So far we are just talking about protecting your Wi-Fi from potential threats. However, let’s assume for a second that a hacker has successfully entered your network. He/She can potentially harm your computer or smartphone. We will strongly recommend using an anti-virus program on your personal devices. It will help you tackle such ugly situations. Also, a VPN is a great tool to keep yourself protected online from spyware, malware etc. A little investment on your part in an anti-virus and VPN can save you completely on one unlucky day.
14- Be Sure To Log Out From Your Router’s Setting Page
Many tips and tricks mentioned here require you to edit your router’s settings. However, you have to log out properly for effective results. Otherwise, someone can use your computer and mess with the settings again. It can be your friend or sibling. They may do it for fun but it will cost you some serious digital damage.
15- Install Additional Firewall Hardware
Firewalls are part of every computer. We are not talking about those. We are more interested in firewall hardware that can be installed on your router for an extra layer of protection. It is definitely going way ahead to protect your Wi-Fi network but firewall hardware is the most effective tool for sure.
Precautionary Measures For Ensuring Maximum Wireless Network Security
In addition to taking above mentioned high-priority actions, we advise you also spend time on precautionary measures. The blend of immediate actions plus precautionary measures creates a perfect shield for your wireless network. Following are the precautionary measures to secure Wi-Fi at any cost.
Verdict: Your Wi-Fi Is As Secure As You Want It Be
In the end, wireless network security comes to one situation only. How aware are you about Wi-Fi security and how much are you willing to do for wireless network security? If you can take out few minutes from your busy schedule and complete the check list given by team ReviewsDir, you are 99.99% protected from the Wi-Fi theft or exploitation.
What other actions can be taken to ensure wireless network security? Can you add more doable actions to our list? Pour your heart out in the comments section below.