Networking myths disspelled
Save energy by turning off your router
A modem-router is designed to be left on 24/7. Switching yours off may save a small amount of power, but when you switch it back on it will take time to renegotiate your download and upload speeds. Leave it on for fast, stable performance.
Hide your network’s SSID
It’s said disabling the broadcast of the SSID (the network’s name) can help to secure your network, but network traffic can still be revealed with software that detects it.
Enable MAC address filtering
It also seems a good idea to restrict access to your network to known devices, identified by their MAC addresses. But hackers can easily scan for and ‘spoof’ them.
Free Wi-Fi hotspots are dangerous
Not true. The key thing is whether the hotspot has encryption applied and that it’s WPA2-PSK. If it is, it’s reasonably safe to use. However…
Encrypted Wi-Fi hotspots are safe
Not quite, given the KRACKS vulnerability (see the next page). When on public Wi-Fi, disable all services in System Prefs’ Sharing pane before connecting, and use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) such as hide.me or TunnelBear to add an extra layer of encryption.
Avoid using any wireless hotspot that doesn’t have a padlock at the right end of its row — it’s too risky.