How to Protect your Wireless Network
Having a home wireless network means that you can say goodbye to ethernet cables forever and turn every room into your office. But if you don’t have the right security half of your neighbors could end up poaching your broadband.
Protecting your network is essential if you want to keep your broadband fast, private, and hacker-free.
There are a few ways to protect yourself and there are also different levels of security, from basic to the more advanced. But once these settings have been saved you will be safe and secure and ready to log on wherever you are.
To protect yourself from hackers you need to set up a WEP or WPA Personal (WPA-PSK) key.
- WEP is a simple 64 or 128Bit encryption but offers limited security and is relatively easy to break
- WPA-PSK, in the forms of WPA-TKIP which offers better security and is backward compatible with older routers and USB keys, and WPA2-AES which offers the best security and better wireless performance but which is not compatible with all older hardware
You can set up your encryption key when setting up your wireless router, and there should be an explanation of how to do so in your instruction manual.
In addition to having an encryption key, you also need to install a few other things:
- A firewall
- Anti-virus software
- Anti-spyware software
- Anti-phishing software
You also need to ensure that any software that you have installed is always up-to-date. Hackers are continually updating their methods and developing new viruses so make sure that you regularly run live updates on the internet to make sure that your version of windows and your anti-virus software is also up-to-date.
Giving your wireless signal a name, or a service set identifier (SSID), is an easy way of identifying it and can be set at the time of installation. Doing this will also allow you to enhance your security settings using wireless isolation.
This is a way of hiding your wireless network so that other people cannot “see you”, making your network more private. Once you have set your SSID then you can change the settings on your router to isolate your wireless, making you “invisible”.
Access lists give an added level of security to your network. As well as having to have the password for your network, any user’s computers would also have to be on the access list. They would be identified by the computer’s MAC code (like a fixed address) via the router.
Now that you have set your security, you can rest assured that no one else is using your broadband or hacking into your files.