Many people don’t think about security when installing a Wi-Fi router at home and setting up a wireless network. Having bought a laptop or a new smartphone, they use wireless network as it is, and if a person who installed the router or your friend hasn’t taken care of the security, then you may get a free access point with admin/admin as user/password. What’s wrong about that? Well, your neighbors may get access to your network and consume about 90% of your traffic which will make even regular Internet surfing difficult for you. And if your neighbors are clumsy, they may disable you from using your own access point!
In this article I’d like to mention some simple but effective means of protection of your Wi-Fi spot from uninvited guests.
Step 1: Change name and password of the administrator account
Well, the most stupid thing that may happen is when you have a free access point with standard username/password. In such a case anyone can connect to your network, go to the settings and then… It depends on the sense of humor of a person connected. In order not to find yourself in such situation you should go to the Admin panel of your router. Usually, by default user/password is admin/admin. If not, check the application instructions for your router. Then go to Maintenance tab and there create a reliable password (which you surely should remember yourself) and confirm it. If you want you may change the username as well. Don’t forget to save the settings.
Step 2: Protect the access point with a password and hide the name of the access point
These simple steps will be required for those who would like to connect to an access point. In order to do that they’ll need to mention the name of the point and a password. Thus, double protection is provided.
You need to find Wireless settings (often in Setup tab) and choose Manual Wireless Connection Setup. Then in Wireless Network Settings you specify the name for your network. In order to make this name hidden you should tick the Enable Hidden Wireless section. Then in Wireless Security Mode section, choose WPA/WPA2 and in the Network Key field specify our new password. After that we save the settings.
Step 3: Allow/disallow access for devices with certain MAC addresses
This step is an additional security measure. It may not really convenient if you need to connect from new devices pretty often.
We need to find Advanced tab and choose Network Filter section. Here we see a field for all MAC addresses. Now click on the list below the Configure MAC Filtering below: and choose the Turn MAC Filtering On and ALLOW computers listed to access the network variant. Then choose in the DHCP Client List the devices you’d like to add to the list.
Now the devices you added to the list may connect to your network. By choosing Turn MAC Filtering On and DENY computers listed to access the network you may disallow certain devices to connect to a network.
Author’s bio: Eugene Rudenko is a tech writer for IT company Intellectsoft. Their main directions are http://www.intellectsoft.co.uk/android_application_development.html and http://www.intellectsoft.co.uk/blackberry_application_development.html services.
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