Sunday, March 23, 2008

Make your wireless router more secure

With wireless routers becoming a common household item it is good to learn how to lock them down to ensure security of your network and avoid leachers of your wireless.

  1. Add a security key to it - The first and most common way to lockdown your wireless is to require a key to access the wireless. This is typically one of the first things that a wireless router takes you through during install.
  2. Restrict access to your router to approved computers - A lot of routers will allow you to do MAC address filtering. What this does is identifies a specific computer as being allowed to access the internet through the router if the computer's MAC address is on the list. A MAC address is a series of number and letters that identifies your computer. You can find your MAC address by going to the command line and typing ipconfig in windows and ifconfig in Linux.
  3. SID broadcasting - Typically wireless routers will broadcast their name so that laptops and other devices that are able to receive a wireless signal can see it in the list of available wireless networks. A lot of routers will allow you to disable this broadcasting, making it harder to find the wireless network.
  4. Lock down your wirless router - You may not be aware of this but if someone does connect to your network they can access your wireless router by going to an ip address with a suffix of 1. Ex: Make sure that you apply a password to your router so if someone does get to your router config screen, they will have to enter another password in order to make any changes to your router.

Make sure you look at the options that are available with the router too. A lot of wireless routers have a web interface available at the access IP listed above. Once you hit this interface, get familiar with the options available and read what the router recommends.

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