How do I securely set up my new router? Any household that has a number of wireless devices will benefit from having a WiFi router to allow them to connect to the internet easily from wherever they are in the home. This brings a huge level of convenience to the people who are using the digital devices, but is not without its risks. What steps do you need to take in order to set it up securely, and how do you do this?
The first step is to unbox the router and connect the cables. There will be a power cable, and a second cable that connects to the modem, in order to connect your router to the modem. Once your router is powered on and connected to the modem then you can instantly connect to the internet through it, but the connection will be insecure.
There are two areas of security that must be considered. First is the fact that with an unsecured connection, anyone could connect to your internet connection and run their own computer through it. This is especially bad if you have a capped connection that only allows you to download a certain amount of data over the course of a month, because if your uninvited neighbor were to use up your allowance then you may have to start paying very expensive overages.
Secondly, the majority of routers use the same one or two IP addresses to access the administration panel (most commonly http://192.168.1.1 with a variation in the last digits). This means that anyone can access your router if they simply log onto your network, and then access this IP address. By doing so they can now alter your router settings, even password protecting your wireless connection and locking you out if they wish to.
The router itself may offer you other tools, such as a firewall, and even a way to block certain websites. This is another reason to password protector the router, and to keep that password to yourself because this way only you control what is blocked, and what is permitted to be accessed through your router.
As with any password that you use, your password should be secure. It should not include yours, your family’s, or your pet’s names and should not otherwise be easy to guess. A default password will be set, and this will be the same for all of the routers of the same model. It can be found in the instruction manual, or sometimes online.
The final setting that you should change is the network name. The default is often the router make and model, and once broadcast this gives would be hackers all that they need to know to find the default settings for your router along with potential tricks to help them get around your password. Be creative with the new name, and don’t use your family’s names. By taking a few minutes to securely set up your router when you first install it, you ensure that you are going to be the only people who are using your connection. Perhaps more importantly, you also ensure that the devices that you have connected to the network remain secure. This allows you to use the network to share files and folders on the drives on computers, without the risk of outside people snooping through or stealing your files.