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Saturday, August 1, 2009

How To Secure Your Wireless Network Connection

how to secure a wireless network I was watching some program the other day and was surprised to find out that many people never secure their wireless networks. Some don’t know about it, others just ignore it… If you have a wireless network set up at home make sure it’s secured. When you have an unsecured wireless network even people with a basic computer knowledge can connect to your network, use your connection for downloading illegal material and easily see every single things you do on the internet.

Video below is a perefect example of why you should always secure your wireless network connection.

If you’re a regular MakeUseOf reader I am pretty sure you are already aware of it. So my only suggestion to you would be to set your wireless to use WPA instead of WEP encryption. As for the folks who are not really sure if their wireless is secured, read on for a quick how to guide.

Securing Your Router and Wireless Network Connection

Go to ‘Network Connections’ and search for Wireless Networks in range. This should get you all available wireless networks in the area.

how to secure wireless router

Now you should be able to see whether the wireless network you’re “Connected” to is secure or not. If it’s secure, the only thing you need to do is check if it is using WPA or WEP encryption method. Right click on the network, select ‘Properties’ and then Look for ‘Encryption Type’

Secure Your Wireless Network

(Please note simply changing the encryption type from properties won’t work. You will need to access your router and change security settings for the wireless access. So just read on.)

On the other hand if your wireless network is unsecured then here is what you need to do to secure it.

    1. Access your wireless router: In most cases you should be able to access your router by simply typing 192.168.0.1 IP address into your browser’s address bar. In case it doesn’t work for you then go to this website. Here you can get both the default IP and default username and password details for your router. You only need to know it’s model.

    secure wireless network setup

    2. Secure your wireless network setup: Once you’re logged in to your router, go to the wireless tab and from there to security. Next, set the Authentication Type to WPA and enter the KEY (the new password for your wireless access).

    Secure Your Wireless Network

    3. Save: Look for the ‘Save’ (or ‘Apply’) option to save the changes.

    4. Check: To check if you have done everything correctly, go to the Network Connections and scan for wireless networks. Your wireless network should appear as “security-enabled wireless network (WPA)”.

    5. Connect: Double-click on your network and entere the details from step 3 to get connected.

    6. (Optional): As an additional level of security for your router I’d recommend to change the default faactory preset acess details to your own. All of this can be easily done in router configurations page.

That’s about it. Got anything to add? Something isn’t clear? Ask questions and share your thoughts and tips in comments.

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