Nowadays, almost everyone has a Wi-Fi router at home. Whether you own a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone (or all of them), chances are your using a Wi-Fi router to connect to the internet.
The downside when owning a Wi-Fi router is that there is a high possibility you are already sharing the connection with a neighbor and not aware of it. This would be a good case scenario, as a worst case scenario someone could be connected do your Wi-Fi allowing them to steal your personal information .
Securing your Wi-Fi router is very important unfortunately, there are a lot of unsecured Wi-Fi routers all over the world.
What is a Wi-Fi router/network?
The Wi-Fi router is the device with which you will connect to the internet. To do this, you will need to plug-in the DSL or cable from your internet provider. You will need to put it in the “WAN” port. Usually, this port has a blue colored light and is fairly easy to spot. The Wi-Fi router then connects to the internet via the cable in the WAN port and provides internet access to all devices that connects via Wi-Fi or LAN cable.
As soon as you connect to the Wi-Fi router, you will notice that your laptop/smartphone/tablet will receive a LOCAL IP (such as 192.168.x.x or something similar). This is your local IP and it is not the one that will be on the internet. Instead, you will be using the IP that was assigned to the router, in order to check what IP you actually have, just search “what’s my ip address” on Google and you will find some websites that automatically detect your IP address.
Setting up a secure Wi-Fi network
Is your wireless network a bit slow or does it disconnect from the internet for no reason (while being connected to the Wi-Fi router)? Well, don’t worry, because there is a high chance that nobody is messing with your Wi-Fi router (yet). There are a lot of reasons why an internet connection is slow and one of them could be that your ISP has had some problems at that particular time. At the same time, your Wi-Fi router could also experience interferences from other electronic devices or the signal may be very low due to something blocking it such as a thick wall or similar object.
One of the first things that you should do when setting up a Wi-Fi router is to set a password for the Wi-Fi network. After setting up the password for connecting to the Wi-Fi network, you should also change the default admin password (we suggest you use a password that nobody will guess). This way, if someone guesses the password that you’ve set on your Wi-Fi network, (s)he will not be able to mess with your Wi-Fi router.
HINT: When setting the Wi-Fi Network password, we also suggest you to choose an encryption protocol such as WPA2, WPA or WEP.
Detecting if someone is messing with your Wi-Fi network
If you use the WPA2 encryption there is a high chance that nobody will ever be able to connect to your Wi-Fi network (as long as the password isn’t “123456” or something similar). You will be able to see all connected devices that are connected to your Wi-Fi network. If you see a MAC that you don’t know then you should start worrying.
If you are not sure what MAC address your devices have, you can simply connect all devices that you have at your home such as: smartphones, tablets, laptops etc. and see if there are more connected devices than you actually own. If that’s the case, then we suggest you change the password of your Wi-Fi network and restart your router.
You can also set a MAC filter and add the MAC addresses of your devices. This way, only the devices that have those MAC addresses will be able to connect to your Wi-Fi network. However, we think that this may not be the best option as we all have friends who stop by our houses and will want to use our Wi-Fi network in order to check something online.
So, instead of setting a MAC filter, we suggest you set a more complicated Wi-Fi network password and share it only with the persons you trust. As long as you have a hard Wi-Fi network password, there is a very low chance that a hacker can connect to the Wi-Fi router.
We’re pretty sure there are a lot of people who don’t know how to setup a Wi-Fi network. However, this is not a very hard thing to do, as long as you read about it for a few minutes. Always use a hard password with a WPA2 encryption on your Wi-Fi network to keep it secure. If you don’t do this, there is a high chance that a hacker will connect to your Wi-Fi network and will not only mess with your router, but he will also mess with the devices connected to it!