Secure your wireless network, there is no good reason not too. Why share your expensive internet connection with someone you don't know, and more importantly you have no control over what they do. If a wireless router is left at the default settings using any one of the common username and password combinations someone could lock you out of your own wireless router. This can easily be fixed by reseting the router but it is easier to prevent it by changing the default password. Not securing your wireless network is asking for trouble, so take a moment and secure your router today. Most new routers firmware is pretty smart and your system can be quite secure. Always be sure your security is on and active.
For home and business users you can control the internet accessed by you network by filtering it with services like openDNS. When properly configured network users are forced to route all traffic trough openDNS servers. OpenDNS is easy to setup and can be quite effective. The service has a number of real world benefits and can provide easy and quick filters for any number of categories. The downside is they know ever request they blocked and all traffic flows trough them. Some routers are coming preconfigured for openDNS.
One of the easiest ways to secure your router is to simply follow the built in configuration tools found on most routers. An alternative for older or less expensive routers would be to use the configuration disk that comes with the wireless router. The best security choice at this time is WPA2 personal using a strong password. Before securing your network be sure all your hardware supports WPA2. If not you may select WPA and TKIP encryption. This allow older and newer devices to connect to your network.
In general any encryption is better than an open network. However, cracking encrytion really is a matter of money, if a person has access to password cracking tools and a powerful computer it can be very hard to prevent being hacked by them.
Wireless networks broadcast a name that is used to identify them, called an service set identifier or SSID. This can be any name, so it is best when setting up your home network to select a name that is easy for you to remember and be sure to only connect to your wireless network. It is best not to pick an SSID that could identify you in anyway. This offers no real security, it is just a means to make it harder for an attacker to know whom he is attacking. There is also an option to hide or not broadcast an SSID, this is not worth setting, since there are simple tools one can download to find and locate hidden networks and find out the SSID and the general direction of the wireless network.
There are other settings that can help secure your router and some are brand specific. In general you would want to turn off UPNP or universal plug in play. Universal plug in play should only be turned on if you know you need it , otherwise be sure it is off. Any remote access settings should be disabled as well. There really is no reason for a home user to need to configure a router remotely so it is best to turn off remote access.
When setting up a guest account select the option to keep the network seperate. The verbage varies between devices so look for something like network isolation, wireless isolation, AP isolation, or leave enable routing between zones unchecked. For basic wireless security a few simple steps is all that is needed to secure your wireless network.
Even though it sounds easy this will be to hard for some and if you are one of those people you need not worry call PCMD and we can get your wireless router secured for you. PCMD service area includes Santa Maria, Orcutt, Solvang, Santa Ynez, Buellton, Santa Barbara, Goleta, Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Oceano, Shell Beach, Lompoc, Los Alamos, and surrounding areas.
PCMD works on all brands of Wireless routers. We can configure your Asus, Arris, Atheros, Belkin, Comcast Xfinity, D-Link, Linksys, Tenda, TP-Link, and all others. We can install and configure after market open source firmware DD-WRT, or TomatoUSB on supported routers as well. For a step by step sample wireless configuration vist our how to Secure Your Wireless.