Today, almost every apartment or house has access to the Internet. Most often it is a fiber optic, stretched from the provider to the building, and then wired to offices or apartments to routers. A router distributes Internet over a wireless Wi-Fi network or Ethernet cable. Most users choose a wireless connection over Wi-Fi.
This communication channel needs to be protected from Internet criminals. If someone other than you connect to it, they will have access to the data transmitted over the network.
What is the danger of unauthorized access to your Wi-Fi and router
You can not be responsible for the actions of an unauthorized user on your network. Once connected, he may download content that is banned in the country (extremism, porn, pirated movies, etc.). But, since the connection goes through your network, it will look to the ISP as if you are the one who downloaded the content. And proving, for example, to law enforcement authorities that your network has been hacked will be extremely difficult.
Your data will be available to outsiders. An experienced intruder, having hacked a Wi-Fi network, will be able to intercept logins and passwords from social networks, messengers, online banking, etc.
Overloading the channel with data and reducing its bandwidth. If suddenly an intruder using your network starts downloading large amounts of data, such as movies, your Internet connection speed will drop.
The intruder will be able to change the router connection password, so you can lose control of your equipment.
How to protect home Wi-Fi networks
Let’s look at several methods to protect wi-fi from other users. You can use them individually or together to increase your wireless security.
Create a strong password for access to your router
A strong router password is essential to guard against cyber bullies using the simplest of attack methods. Very often routers come with a default password/login combination.
Default access data from different manufacturers, e.g. zyxel, xiaomi, are known to attackers. But if you change the username and password to a more secure one, it will be harder to break the protection.
Password and login can be changed either with the help of an ISP or by yourself.
WPS is a simplified way to connect your device to a wireless network. This technology is extremely vulnerable to hacking and is best disabled. You can do this in the router’s settings. Your device manual usually tells you how to disable WPS.
Reduce Wi-Fi signal range
Modern routers allow you to change the range, that is – the distance at which the radio signal is transmitted. Most devices have a range greater than the size of a standard apartment or office. To make your signal inaccessible from the street, for example, reduce the range by limiting it to the room.
Update your router firmware
Router firmware is a specialized operating system that makes the device work. Manufacturers release updates to their routers, correcting flaws. It’s worth keeping an eye out for new firmware and installing it when it’s released.
Turn on the firewall
Advanced devices have a firewall built into the firmware by the manufacturer. This is the name of the software method of protection against network attacks. If your router has this feature, it will be called “Firewall”, “Firewall” or “Firewall”. If this feature is disabled, it is better to enable it to protect your wireless network.
Connect a VPN
This is a special communication channel laid as if on top of the Internet. All data transmitted through this channel is encrypted, a third-party user cannot steal information.
We advise you to use only proven services with a lot of positive feedback from users.
To work with VPN there are mobile applications, OS tools, Windows, Linux and others, as well as web services.
SSID is the name of the wireless network. Any router has a feature to hide the SSID. If you take advantage of this feature, your wireless network will no longer be visible to outsiders and can only be detected by specialized software.
Most modern routers have encryption enabled by default. The most reliable encryption is WPA2, which leaves practically no chance for intruders.
Configure the MAC-address filter
MAC address is a unique identifier of your device. Every gadget that connects to the network – local or global – has one. If you know the list of MAC addresses of your personal or corporate devices, you can use your router to set up a connection only to approved gadgets. All devices whose MAC addresses have been added to the “white” list will be considered allowed.
Enable guest access
Some router models are equipped with a guest access feature. It allows you to deploy a wireless network for guests. Any outsider who knows the password and login to this network will be able to connect, but all other devices connected to the same network will be isolated.
Disable remote administration
To prevent anyone from changing router settings without you, disable remote administration. Then no one from the outside can connect to the router without your permission.
Check the list of devices in the list of connected devices
If you suspect that unauthorized people have connected to your network at work or at home, it’s worth reviewing the list of gadgets connected to a particular router. If you were able to recognize all of the devices on the list you received, then all is well. If there is something unknown, someone may have found a way to connect to your network.
Don’t share your router’s admin password
Attackers successfully pass themselves off as employees of the ISP, who need the router admin password to solve some technical important tasks. They may call and say that the password is needed to update the router firmware, check the quality of connection, etc.
Also, if you’ve previously given your WiFi password to someone else, it’s best to change the password. There is always the possibility that his device has been hacked. And if it is, the attacker will have the identifiers and passwords of all the networks that are stored in the computer of the person who used your wi-fi.
There are no absolutely reliable methods of protection, there is always a specialist who can bypass the protection. Nevertheless, cyber hacking professionals only come into play when they have information that the network is valuable to them. Unless you are a big corporation, a celebrity, or a millionaire, you can rule out the possibility of famous hackers trying to hack your network.