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Protect your Wi-Fi network

Many more households are using high speed internet connections and sharing that connection. One of the ways of easily sharing that connection is with a wireless router. By setting up a wireless network, other PC’s in your house are able to share the internet connection as well as files and printers. Unfortunately, most consumer wireless routers come pre-set for easy set-up, not for security. Here are some tips to help secure your wireless network and keep prying eyes out of your files and internet connection. All routers are different, so you may need to refer to the documentation for your specific router.

  1. Many routers set the default name of the wireless network to something general such as “linksys” or “nethome”. Change the name to something not easily guessed.
  2. Turn off “SSID Broadcast”. This broadcasting sends out the name of your wireless network to any device within range. Its harder for someone to connect to your network if they can’t see it.
  3. Enable a password on your wireless network. Depending on your router type, this could be called WEP, WPA, or other encryption type. Turning this on forces any device trying to connect to enter the password. This means you will have to enter it on each one of your PC’s that connect to the wireless router. One side effect to this is that it may slow down your internet connection. For most, this trade-off is worth the extra security.
  4. Enable MAC filtering. Every Wired or Wireless Network adapter has a MAC address(similar to a serial number). You can input these MAC addresses into your router. This will allow only those devices with matching MAC addresses to connect to your network.