How to Secure Your Home Wi-Fi Network
6 useful Tips for better home network security with ASUS Routers.
One of the biggest concerns for anyone with a home wireless network is ensuring that your network – and any data sent across it – is secure from would be hackers and data thieves. Of course, no network is ever 100 per cent secure, but there are plenty of ways to toughen up your security and make it harder for people to access through a few basic router settings.
1. USE WPA2 SECURITY (AND CHANGE THE DEFAULT PASSWORDS)
WPA2 (Wireless Protected Access 2) is a security technology for Wi-Fi networks based on the IEEE 802.11i technology standard for data encryption. It is a newer, more secure replacement for WPA and WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol) and should be used whenever possible.
Two different forms of WPA2 security exist: Personal and Enterprise. WPA2 Pre-Shared Key (PSK), more commonly known as WPA2 Personal, utilizes 64 hexadecimal digit keys to encrypt your password and is generally the best choice for home users. WPA2 Enterprise is more commonly used by businesses and requires setting up a RADIUS authentication server.
As well as frequently changing the password to your wireless network, you’ll also want to change the admin account password, which gives access to your router’s management software. Most routers come preconfigured with a standard admin/admin username/ password, which as you can imagine, is not very secure. It varies from router to router, but changing the admin password can usually be done from the System or Administration settings of the router interface.
2. CHANGE THE DEFAULT SSID NAME, OR BETTER YET HIDE IT
Don’t make yourself an easy target for Wi-Fi hijacking. There’s nothing that looks more tempting to a would be hacker than a default SSID network name, such as “ASUS_5G”. These preconfigured SSIDs give away the make, and often the model, of the router. If you haven’t changed the admin password, it’s easy for a hijacker to simply Google the default admin credentials to that router’s software and access your network. Change your SSID name to something that doesn’t reveal the make or model of your router.
Better yet, choose to not broadcast your SSID at all. The only downside to this is that you’ll have to manually type in the SSID name on any devices you want to connect to your network.
MONITOR YOUR CLIENT LIST
Most routers have a client list that shows the wired and wireless devices currently connected to your network. Monitor your client list and look for any unfamiliar devices. Most routers will display a connected device’s IP address, MAC address, hostname, and sometimes an icon to display the type of client connected, e.g. a computer, NAS, smartphone etc. If you do spot any foreign devices on your network, you can opt to ban their IPs, which will prevent them from connecting again in future.
ENABLE MAC ADDRESS FILTERING
A MAC or media access control address is a permanent, unique serial number used by a device’s Wi-Fi hardware to identify itself on wireless networks. Creating a filter by MAC address allows you to grant or deny access to your wireless network based on the specific device being connected. For the highest level of Wi-Fi security, you should set up your network to only grant access to the MAC addresses of your own devices. You can do this by setting MAC filtering to ‘accept’ or ‘grant’ and manually entering the MAC address of each of your devices in the router software page. The easiest way to find your device’s MAC address is to identify your device in your router’s device list. Alternatively, most smartphone and tablet MACs can be found by going to the device’s Settings or About menu. Sometimes the MAC address is listed as the ‘Wi-Fi address’.
KEEP YOUR FIRMWARE UP TO DATE
Even the most advanced routers can sometimes have security loopholes. Recently, some ASUS routers were found to have a security flaw that made it possible for hackers to access drives connected to the router by using the routers’ AiCloud feature. Fortunately, a firmware update was quickly released by ASUS, which completely fixed the problem. Some routers offer auto-updating of firmware, but if yours doesn’t, be sure to regularly check the manufacturer page for updates.
USE FIREWALL SETTINGS
Most routers have some sort of firewall or WAN protection to guard the device from Internet threats. For example, most ASUS routers have settings that allow you to enable firewall protection for both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic, as well as filter potential Internet threats and DoS attacks.