It is difficult for someone to steal wired network, but individuals with Wi-Fi or Wireless signals often have the same problem with others accessing their broadband connection. This piggybacking could possibly increase your monthly bill, but also decreasing the Internet access speed, because you share your connection with unauthorized people. Look at the following steps in ensuring your wireless home network is secure.
Step one is to open up the settings of your router, which you would find in your router’s user manual and entering your username and password. If you do not have a manual or lost it, you would find your manual by a simple Google search for a direct link to you router’s manufacturer website.
Step two would be to create a password that others would not be able to hack by changing your router’s default password.
Step three is to change your network’s SSID or wireless network name. The name is usually the brand name of the router or set as default name. This change is not enough to make your Wi-Fi home network secure, but an important step, as others will not know which network they should connect to. This setting is in the settings page of the router.
Step four is enabling network encryption by one of several methods described here. You could use WEP, WPA, or WPA2. WEP is the least secure and the most basic encryption and used in older hardware and compatible with most routers. WPA 2 on the other hand is compatible with router that was manufactured after 2006 and the better of the two. Enabling encryption requires you to open security settings on the router’s configuration page. When you open that page, it will ask you which secure method you want to access and if possible with newer routers, choose WPA2. You will need to enter the password you installed earlier in order to make this change.
Step five is filtering MAC addresses and it does not matter whether it is a Wi-Fi enabled phone or laptop as each wireless device has a MAC address. Do not disregard this by thinking it has something to do only with a MAC as in Apple device. Any wireless device has a MAC address in the same way that your device has a unique IP address. This is an added protection as you have the ability to add all your device’s MAC addresses to the wireless router’s settings. This makes sure that only those specified devices will be able to connect to your wireless home network. You simply make a list of all the devices you want to connect to your wireless home network and add them to the router’s administration settings. Finding your devices MAC addresses is found by opening “Command” and inserting “ipconfig/all” the address will appear next to the name “physical address”.
Step six is to reduce your wireless signal’s range especially when it has a wide range. The signal is decreased by using 802.11g range instead of 802.11n or 802.11b. Others also suggest putting the router inside a shoebox, under the bed or wrapped in foil, which would effectively hamper your neighbors from accessing your wireless network.