A wireless Network (Wi-Fi) connection has in recent times gained great popularity and is no longer confined to offices or commercial establishments alone, but has also managed to create a place for itself in homes as well. A wireless “router” is now a common sight in modern homes. The “router” is a kind of modem which receives broadband internet connection from the service provider and disperses internet signals through the air in your home or office. The devices like your Laptop, Tablet PC, and your Smart Phone receive these signals and get connected to the internet. Over time, it has become the more preferred kind of network connection to a conventional wired network.
The reasons for its preference are obvious. The absence of wires makes it hassle free and convenient to use. The hassles and costs involved in installing wires are another dampener responsible for the diminishing popularity of a wired network. Moreover, maintaining wires is another problem. Rodents and pests keep nibbling on them, leading to poor or distorted signals. On the other hand a wireless network looks clutter free and neat with the absence of wires. A wireless “router” has an added benefit that it can be moved in case of poor signal strength.
The “routers” come in a lot of variants and features. It is now possible to connect up to 5 devices with one wireless “router” at the same time, which means that your Laptop and a few Smartphones can share the same “router” simultaneously.
Along with wide usability and functionality, an area of concern associated with wireless networks that arise is that how do you keep your wireless network secure? Security in this context does not mean merely protecting the network from viruses, but also from possible misuse. Let us look at a few precautions that must be taken to make sure that your wireless network remains protected all the time.
Password protection: Possibly the most important measure to ensure the safety and integrity of a wireless network. It is the first layer of security you have. Your “Router” comes with a built-in default password, after installing your “router” reset the default password to any unique password of your choice. Make sure that you do not disclose or share your password with anyone. Keep changing the password after a gap of a few days or months. Having a password protects your network against data leakage. Who knows your next door neighbor might be nibbling away on your bandwidth and swelling up your internet bill. Without knowing the password, he simply cannot log on to your network. Slow internet speeds are another issue associated with this problem.
- Firewall: Desperate needs; require desperate measures. Always make sure that your windows firewall settings are switched on. A Microsoft Windows user will know how to do it. It is a simple procedure where you have to go to the system and security settings in the control panel, and there you will come across the option to turn windows firewall setting to on or off. This firewall protects your network from viruses and worms, which enable hackers to take control over your network.
- Turn on Encryption: Encryption is another feature available in your modem for protection. If you have installed a new “router” then make sure that its encryption is turned on. There are different types of encryptions, but the best choice is “WPA2” as opposed to “WEP”, which offers the only basic level of security. Encryption is a sure shot remedy against hackers and data thieves.
- Change the Network name: When providing a new connection, your ISP (Internet service provider) assigns a default network name. It is ideal to change it as soon as possible. It is best suited to give it a unique new name of your choice.
- Switch off: A general procedure which is seldom followed is that your “router” should always be switched off after you finish your work for the day. Why keep it on and give a window of opportunity for others to use your network?
- Anti-Virus: Install good anti-virus software and make sure that it is always up to date and performing at the optimum level. Regular system scans are a must to ensure that your system remains clean off all kinds of Virus, Malware, and firmware, as they are the potential weapons for hackers.
Following these few simple procedures religiously will go a long way in keeping your wireless network protected and ensuring a trouble-free browsing experience.
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