Wireless security is important to everyone because no one wants hackers in their network stealing data. Your wireless router is a prime target for hackers wanting to infiltrate your network or freeload off your Wi-Fi connection. Here are some things you can do to make your wireless router harder to hack.
Turn on WPA2 Encryption on Your Wireless Router
If you set up your Wi-Fi network a while ago and haven’t changed any settings since then, you might be using the outdated Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption which is easily hackable by even the most novice hacker. Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) is the current standard and is much more hacker-resistant. Depending on how old your wireless router is, you may need to upgrade its firmware to add WPA2 support.
Don’t Use a Common Wireless Network Name (SSID)
- You will also need to make a strong SSID (wireless network name). If you are using your router’s default network name (i.e. Linksys, Netgear, DLINK, etc) then you are making it easier for hackers to hack your network. Using a default SSID or one that is on the Top 1000 Most Common SSID names helps hackers in their quest to crack your wireless encryption.
- Create a lengthy and random SSID name even though it might be hard to remember.
- You should also use a strong password for your pre-shared key to further discourage hacking attempts.
Turn on Your Wireless Router’s Firewall
- You should enable your wireless router’s built-in firewall. Enabling the firewall can help to make your network less visible to hackers looking for targets on the Internet.
- Many router-based firewalls have a “stealth mode” that you can enable to help reduce your network’s visibility.
- You will also want to test your firewall to ensure that you have configured it correctly.
Use an encrypted personal VPN service at the router level
A personal VPN has the capability to anonymize your true location with a proxied IP address and can also put up a wall of strong encryption to protect your network traffic. Using the personal VPN service at the router level also takes the encryption process burden off of your client PCs and other devices.
Disable the “Admin Via Wireless” feature on your router
Another way to help prevent hackers from messing with your wireless router is to disable the “admin via wireless” setting. When you disable the “admin via wireless” feature on your router it makes it so that only someone who is physically connected to your router via an Ethernet cable can access the admin features of your wireless router.
Create a Really Long Wireless Network Password (Pre Shared Key)
You should choose a strong password for your pre-shared key. A shorter length password is more likely to be cracked than a longer one. Longer passwords are better because the Rainbow Tables that are used to crack passwords aren’t practical after you exceed a certain length of password due to storage limitations.
Enable wireless MAC filter
The Wireless MAC filter feature only allows a wireless device to connect to your router if the MAC Address has been entered into the filter list. Doing MAC filtering can make connecting new devices to your network more difficult, but improves the overall security of your wireless network.