With the introduction of wireless networks, or WiFi, the way in which we use the internet has changed dramatically. Nowadays, everyone in a home can connect their devices including laptops, mobiles and tablets to the internet without having to deal with annoying cables. Before that, we had to rely on cables that were necessary to get a connection to the internet and getting to the source personal computer to establish a connection. In those days, it was practically impossible to steal or to interfere with the internet connection. While Wireless Internet Network offers great speed and convenience, the downside is that it can be easily compromised. The devices connected to it are vulnerable to hacking and bandwidth can be stolen.
When the WiFi network is not secured, anyone who is in the wireless signal range is capable of using it just by clicking on it. Network encryption allows you to prevent many issues. If you don’t secure your network, your internet bill may increase in case you pay per byte used. In addition, your connection speed can be affected when many people are connected to your WiFi network. Unsecured networks are more vulnerable to hacking and the data on the devices connected can be accessed and misused by malicious attackers. The good news is that it is possible to secure your wireless internet network following the below steps to apply network encryption.
How to secure your wireless home network
It is possible to reduce the dangers of being hacked or becoming the target of spammers and cyber criminals, by simply securing your wireless home network. Adding encryption and ensuring that it can’t be accessed by third parties.
The first step is to go to the WiFi router setting page
In order to encrypt the network, the first step is to know how to change the WiFi router’s setting. You need to use a laptop or computer system, open the web browser, ven if you are offline and type: 192. 168.1.1 in the address bar. Then just enter the username and password for the router. If you don’t know this information, check the router’s manual or search for it online.
Make sure that you set a strong password for your WiFi connection
The router comes with a default password that is generally an eight digit numerical password that is very simple. Once you logged into the router, you need to create a strong password that can’t be guessed easily by others who may try to get access to the wireless network. It is necessary to change it for network encryption and this can be done by clicking the “Administration” tab on your router’s setting page.
Change the SSID name of the network
Once you have set up a strong password, you can change the wireless network name (the SSID name of your WiFi), which by default is what represents the brand name of your modem manufacturer. This allows others to know what connection is being used. If they attempt to steal the WiFi, they can easily guess the password since the majority of brands have a default password. This is why you need to change this by going to the “Wireless” tab of your router’s setting page. Then you can change the SSID name and save the settings for a network encryption.
How to activate network encryption
Encrypting your network will help you to stop people from stealing your WiFi connection. There are different ways for WiFi network encryption to be implemented. You can use WEP, WPA, WPA (WPA-Personal) and WPA2, which stands for WiFi Protected Access version 2. They are compatible with multiple hardware options and WEP is the least secure solution. While it is compatible with the older hardware devices available, the level of network encryption that it offers is not too strong, which means that it can be easily compromised. WPA2 is the most secure option available, but it only works with new hardware manufactured after 2006.
MAC filter setup
Each wireless device has its own MAC (Media Access Control) address, just like all the computers connected to the Internet have their own, unique IP address. To improve and boost your wireless connection security and network encryption you have the option to specify and add the MAC address of every device connected to the WiFi network. This ensures that only the authorized devices are able to access the wireless connection. Prior to doing this, you have to do some research to create a list of all the MAC addresses of the devices that you want to add as authorized devices in the router’s setting page. Once you have all the MAC addresses, you need to add them and this is possible by clicking “Wireless” tab of the router’s setting page. Then click again and go to “Wireless network access” tab to add all the addresses and finally, save the settings.
How to restrict the WiFi signal range
It is not necessary to have a wireless router with a high range if you live in a small space. To reduce the signal range of your WiFi router, you can go to the Wireless tab and then click on “Advanced Wireless Settings”. You can decrease the range as needed.
How to update the router’s firmware
You need to keep an eye on your router’s firmware and if it is out of date, you need to update it as soon as possible to ensure that the performance is boosted and that you enjoy all the latest updates that offer a strong level of encryption for your network.
Connect to the secured network
Once you are done with all the security settings to protect your wireless network, you have to activate the settings to all the devices connected. Each device has to be connected to the WiFi network and saved with “automatically connect” to this WiFi option. This will ensure that you don’t need to ensure all the username and password whenever you log in to the network. Once you have secured your Home (wireless) Network and it is not possible to crack the security settings, your WiFi connection will be protected and you can enjoy it without worrying about possible threats.
See who is connected to your WiFi
The above security settings will enhance the security of your network, but if someone manages to steal your WiFi, you can rely on software and apps that let you check who is using your WiFi network.