3 Basic Ways To Secure Your WiFi Router


WiFi Security

The first thing you should do when you purchase and install a wireless router in your home is to secure it. Most people neglect to do so because they are either too lazy and they think that sharing their Internet connection is a noble thing or they are technically challenged and do not know what to do.

Why is it so important and why do you need to keep your router or WiFi connection secure? An open/unsecure wireless router or connection means that anyone can share your Internet connection and use it to browse raunchy, racist or other offensive websites using your IP address. Aside from that, it can also slow down the performance of your Internet connection.

Having an open/unsecured wireless connection will also leave you exposed to other serious threats which could lead to serious problems like online fraud and identity theft which are very common these days.

Here are 3 basic ways to keep your WiFi router or connection secure:

1. Change the router’s Default Username and Password.

Choose an uncommon username, something only you can know. Then choose a strong password – keep it at least 8 characters long, using a combination of letters, numbers and characters. Keep it secure and don’t share it with others.

2. Turn on Encryption.

Right now, the best encryption technology is WPA2. Select that one if your router supports it. If you’re still in the process of purchasing one, avoid routers that only support WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and WEP (Wired Equivalency Privacy) and purchase one that supports WPA2. There are available tools on the Internet that can easily crack WPA and WEP encryption.

3. Change the Default SSID and Disable Broadcasting.

The SSID is your network name. By default, routers use a generic manufacturer SSID like “netgear”, “linksys” or “default”. Change it to something else, something uncommon. You can use the same principle as choosing/creating a strong password. A network using a default SSID can be perceived by the attacker as a weak and poorly configured network and will most likely attack it first. Another thing you can do with your SSID is to shut off or disable broadcasting. Keeping it “out of sight” will lessen the chances of it being attacked. Don’t worry about shutting this feature off because you can still connect to it manually.

I hope that this short tutorial on 3 ways to secure your WiFi router will help you keep your wireless router/connection safe. This is just a basic tutorial and I plan of coming up with a more detailed tutorial that includes more ways (some advanced ways) to keep your wireless connection/router secure so stay tuned for that. You can subscribe to receive FREE updates via email so you’ll be sure you won’t miss it.

Have you or someone you know had issues with online fraud, identity theft and other problems because of an open or unsecured wireless Internet connection? What measures are you taking to keep your WiFi connection safe and secure? Remember, its better to be safe than sorry.

Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

14 Comments

  1. jan geronimo

    November 30, 2013 at 6:43 AM

    I needed to change the password to our wifi at home. I suspect one of the neighbors has access to it. Okay, I meant two households. The first one I gave the password to I think passed the password to another kumare. Apparently,it wasn’t enough that I made them swear on their life not to share our wifi. It’s just suspicion at the moment, but I’m very uneasy at the current state of affairs.

    The problem is that the desktop on which the router was initially set up had already collapsed due to old age. I think it’s passed away already, bless its soul. lol

    So how do I change now the name, passwords, and other settings? This is my problem. Do I set it up anew on my Old Goat? OG is my pet name by the way for an old laptop I inherited from a nephew who loves tinkering with dead, obsolescent toys.

    Is it how I feared it should be? Start anew with the laptop? Oh boy, it’s going to be bloody and messy. My nephew is abroad. I just hope I somehow measure up to the task. :)

  2. Richard

    February 17, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    Jaypee, this post is so important for everyone to read. Not many people take enough steps to secure their wifi and this leaves them vulnerable. Thx for the reminders.–Richard

  3. JP Habaradas

    August 27, 2010 at 4:50 AM

    @Paul – Thank you for taking the time to share these additional info. I’m sure my readers would appreciate. :)

  4. Paul

    August 27, 2010 at 4:48 AM

    A few additional points to your 3 points:

    1. When choosing a passphrase – longer is better. The best is a long, and complex passphrase.

    2. While disabling the broadcasting can stop people who aren’t hackers from seeing your network, chances are WPA2 alone is enough to prevent them from accessing your network. For hackers, disabling broadcasting does absolutely nothing as the software hackers use can detect networks that don’t broadcast.

    The first two points are crucial to securing your network, and peforming those steps, along with a long passphrase, can keep your network protected without worries.

  5. JP Habaradas

    December 21, 2009 at 9:10 PM

    @Lito – Yeah, most users think that the WPA2 encryption is enough but it isn’t. You’re welcome! Glad I could share some useful information and tips to you guys.

  6. Lito | TheFilipinoEntrepreneur.Com

    December 21, 2009 at 5:06 PM

    I thought just enabling the encryption to WPA2 is secure enough and never thought of changing the SSID and turning off broadcasting is also necessary. Thanks for this info, it’s very useful.

  7. JP Habaradas

    September 19, 2009 at 6:15 PM

    @Jhay – Are you 100% sure no one from your neighbors have a WiFi capable device? Well it doesn’t matter anyways since you already secured your home network. :)

  8. Jhay

    September 19, 2009 at 6:11 AM

    I have nothing to fear from my neighbors hitching on my WiFi. None of them has a laptop nor a desktop with a WiFi capability. ;)

    Still, I’ve long secured my home network years ago and I change the password every month for added security.

  9. JP Habaradas

    September 17, 2009 at 6:00 AM

    @Michael – How do you know that nobody knows that you have WiFi in your house? Did you disable SSID broadcasting?

  10. Michael

    September 17, 2009 at 5:57 AM

    our wifi is not secured. it’s open for everybody, but nobody knows that our house is a wifi area haha.

  11. JP Habaradas

    September 17, 2009 at 12:45 AM

    @puzzle – It’s good to have someone do it for you and you’re fortunate that your brother to take care of the WiFi security and other techy stuff. Yeah, using a MAC address filter is one of the ways to keep your WiFi secured. :D

  12. puzzle

    September 17, 2009 at 12:40 AM

    I am really not into hardware. It is my brother who set up our router. And he uses MAC Address to disable unauthorized WiFi users. :)

  13. JP Habaradas

    September 16, 2009 at 12:30 AM

    @aldrin – LMAO..your comment made me laugh so hard. :D

  14. a.cantos

    September 16, 2009 at 12:28 AM

    I hope my neighbor is not reading this post. :D

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