9 steps to improve your home network security

Since nowadays many of us use consumer grade wireless routers in our homes, I decided to write a short post on how you can improve your home network security.

Network security
Network security

Change the default username and password on your wireless router

The first step you need to consider is to change the default username and password that you use to sign in on your device. A lot of default credentials can be found on the Internet. By changing them you will reduce the chances of a malicious person breaking into your device and taking control of it.

Use WPA3 or WPA2 for wireless security

In today’s times, it is not recommended to leave your wireless network open or use weak protocols like WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) or WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access). These are old protocols and, as such, they are susceptible to attacks. To be protected and make sure that your traffic is safe, you need to use WPA3. If your device does not support the latest security protocol, you can go with WPA2.

Wireless router
Wireless router

Disable the broadcasting of your SSID (Wi-Fi name) on your wireless router

This is not a security measure per se because an attacker can still capture the traffic and discover your SSID. Nevertheless, it is a good step to take into account because it will make it harder for malicious people to find your wireless network.

SSID stands for Service Set Identifier. In plain language, it is the name of your wireless network to which you connect your devices.

Disable the router Ethernet ports on your wireless router

If all of your devices are connecting via wireless to the access point (wireless router), it is a good idea to disable the Ethernet ports. This, of course, if your device supports the feature.

Configure MAC filtering on your wireless router

To make your wireless network more secure you can configure MAC filtering. This way you will specify which devices are allowed to connect to your network. All other devices with a different MAC address will not be allowed on your network. Still, you need to know that an attacker can spoof its MAC address and can circumvent this protection method.

Set up a Guest wireless network for your guests on your wireless router

If your router is capable of having multiple wireless networks, consider setting up a Guest wireless network for your guests. This way they will not be part of your network and will not have access to your data.

Monitor the network for unknown devices connected to your wireless network

On some wireless routers, you have the possibility to monitor the clients which are connected to your network. This way you have the possibility to discover when unknown devices are connected to your network and you can take further steps to protect yourself.

Disable the WPS function if you do not use it

Most wireless routers have a button which allows you to pair your device with the wireless network without entering the password to connect to the network. If you do not use this feature you need to disable it. This way you will reduce your attack vector and will not need to monitor all the visitors.

grey and black macbook pro showing vpn

Use a VPN for web browsing

By using VPN when surfing on the Internet all your traffic will be encrypted. Even if someone captures the traffic, they will not be able to read it.

I hope this post will help you improve your home network security.

What other methods do you use for protecting your home wireless network?

Please let me know in the comments section.

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