These days a home without a network feels incomplete. While some homes may have a wired connection, the restrictions it imposes hinder the whole networked experience greatly. Go ahead, grab yourself a wireless router and extend the range of your network, but more importantly secure it enough to avoid freeloaders. It might look like a daunting task, setting up a new router and going through the settings, but it certainly isn’t, provided you understand the most common ways routers are operated. Once you have gotten to the web interface of the router the rest is a piece of cake. Please note that this article contains some very basic steps and it is being assumed that you have already set up the router and you are getting Internet connection through it. Let’s take a look at the steps required to set up a home router’s security and other configurations.
Encrypting the network
Access the admin panel of the router. Many of the admin panels can be accessed by typing 192.1682.1.1 in the address bar in a browser while others can be reached by 192.168.0.1. If it isn’t either of these consult with the documentation of the router which is most likely to have the address. Once you see the login page input the credentials (you can find these in the documentation too) and you’ll be taken to the control panel. Here you open up the security tab and set a password for your network. It will help you steer clear of freeloaders and provide network only to trusted personnel.
Update the default settings
As many of the default settings are public knowledge, make sure to change them as soon as you get the chance to. Many attackers will try to intrude your network by first trying with the default settings. Two of the most important and commonly attacked things are the router login credentials and the IP address settings. Most of the routers commonly come with the credentials “admin” and “admin” change them as soon as possible to avoid unauthorized access. Secondly change the access IP of the router. As discussed most routers are commonly accessed by 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1 you can change it to anything, for instance 126.96.36.199 or 188.8.131.52. This is done in order to safeguard from a variety of attacks.
Update the firmware
Every once in a while every manufacturer rolls out new firmware updates for their routers. Now what updating does is that it improves the security and performance of the router. While some routers can be upgraded in just some clicks others require rather intricate and elaborate processes. You need to be very careful for you might render it non-functional.
Disable remote access and all related features
While most of the routers are accessible over the Internet, it renders them susceptible to attacks. Even though the intended use is to provide the users with the ability to access their routers over the Internet using FTP, this capability has proven to be a good tool for most attackers. So turn off all these features and turn off UPnP features. It will prevent any UPnP device to alter the device settings.