12 ways to secure your Home Wi-Fi network from hackers and freeloaders

Home network hacking is a very common occurrence. People in the US lost more than $6.9 billion in 2021 as a result of internet crime, including phishing, scams, and personal data breaches. Secure your Home Wi-Fi network before its too late.

More than one devices are typically linked to a household’s Wi-Fi network in the United States. Things pile up quickly, from laptops and tablets to smartphones, wearables, and streaming devices. Since you’ve got so much sensitive data on those devices — such as credit card numbers, bank account information, login credentials, and more — you want to make sure you’re safe from hackers if your network is ever breached.

Having a safe network at home might help keep your private information safe from unauthorized access. In addition, it prevents your internet connection from being slowed down by unauthorized or undesired users or devices.

Creating and maintaining a secure Wi-Fi network at home is quite straightforward. Twelve suggestions for safeguarding your network are provided below. Keeping hackers and freeloaders at bay can be difficult, and some methods are better than others. If you’re concerned about hacking attempts, keep in mind that following recommendations will make it more difficult for anyone to access your network and data.

What Role Does Wi-Fi Play in My Home Network?

For your home’s wireless internet connection, use your Wi-Fi network. A wireless router is commonly used to transmit a signal over long distances. Connecting to the internet is possible with the help of this signal. Without password protection, any device within range can pick up your internet signal and connect to it.

Why is Wi-Fi a good thing? You can use wireless technology to access the internet. What could be considered a drawback? It’s possible that anyone within earshot of your unencrypted network could see everything you do online, including your personal data. Because of this, if a criminal or spammer accesses your network, the behavior can be traced back to you.

How to secure your Home Wi-Fi network

Here are the fundamentals for securing your Wi-Fi network at home. To learn more about any of these topics, continue reading.

  1. Locate your router in the heart of your home or office.
  2. Use a secure router device
  3. Keep your Wi-Fi password strong and change it frequently.
  4. Log out of your administrator account.
  5. Login credentials for the router should be changed.
  6. Enable the firewall and secure Wi-Fi.
  7. The fifth step is to set up an online guest network.
  8. Make use of a VPN.
  9. Maintaining the most recent versions of your router and other devices is essential.
  10. Disable access to your router from afar.
  11. Verify the devices that are connected.
  12. Upgrade your router to WPA3.

1. Keep your router in a prominent place.

Smart configuration is the first step in creating a secure your home Wi-Fi network. Make sure your router is in the middle of your house if you can. Due to the fact that routers broadcast wireless signals in all directions, locating it in the center of your house will help you maintain a secure connection. Additionally, the best connection quality may be achieved.

Putting your router next to a shared wall in an apartment where your neighbors are directly to your left and right could generate a powerful and appealing signal. Even if you don’t live in an apartment, a high-quality router can reach across the street or next door. Reducing the distance your router’s signals go outside your house is made easier by placing it in a central place.

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2. Use a secure router device.

The finest secure router can keep your network and data safe. We’re seeing a rising number of smart devices in our homes and workplaces that are connected to the internet, and these devices can pose a security concern because of this. These routers, on the other hand, can prevent any data loss.

Preventative measures are a smart notion when it comes to security. Fortunately, high-quality, secure routers are at hand. A wide range of options are available, including specialized VPN routers for secure internet access for your workstation, as well as network switches that give you more control over your network. Due to Wi-Fi 6’s improved security procedures, even the greatest Wi-Fi 6 routers are more safe.

3. Keep your Wi-Fi password strong and change it frequently.

Although it should go without saying, I’ll say it nonetheless to drive home the point. Your Wi-Fi network should have a unique password so that no one else may access it. Do not use passwords or phrases that can be easily guessed, such as someone’s name or birthdays or phone numbers. To make it easier for anybody else to find out your Wi-Fi password, use simple passwords. (To change your Wi-Fi password, follow these steps.)

Change your password at least once every six months or whenever you have reason to believe your network’s security has been breached.

4. Log out of your administrator account.

Don’t forget to log out as administrator when you’ve finished configuring your router. Administrators can change passwords and other network security settings while logged in as an administrator. Hackers might easily gain access to your network and devices if they gained access to your administrator account.

5. Modify the default login credentials for your router.

Your router’s settings should also be password-protected in the same way that your Wi-Fi network is protected.. Change your router’s admin username and password now. You can access your router’s settings by entering its IP address into the URL bar, but most routers and service providers have an app that provides the same functionality.

The username and password for your Wi-Fi network are not the same as the username and password for your router. On the bottom of the router, you should be able to discover the default setting. Here’s how to access your router’s settings to alter the username and password if it’s been changed from the default.

6. Add Wi-Fi encryption and a firewall to your network.

Most routers come equipped with a firewall and Wi-Fi encryption to guard against unauthorized access to the data being transferred back and forth between the router and the devices it is connected to. In most cases, both of these features are turned on by default, but you should double-check to make sure.

Now that you’ve learned how to access your router’s settings, ensure sure the firewall and Wi-Fi encryption are activated. If they’re turned off for any reason, just switch them back on. You’ll be glad you did this for your network security.

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7. A Wi-Fi network for guests can be set up.

Every host has heard the question, “Can I obtain the Wi-Fi password?” Consider setting up a separate guest network for guests instead of allowing them to use your primary home network. If your guests connect their devices or anything they download while on the network could be infected with malware or viruses that target your network without their knowing it. I’m not saying your guests will do anything bad with your main Wi-Fi connection.

IoT devices, such Wi-Fi cameras, thermostats, and smart speakers, can also benefit from a guest network because they don’t retain a lot of critical information and are less secure than a sophisticated device like a computer or smartphone.

8. Make use of a virtual private network (VPN).

There are many reasons to use a good virtual private network, and network security is certainly one of them. A virtual private network, among other things, hides your IP address and Wi-Fi activity, including browsing data.

If you’re using a VPN at home, it’s probably best to do so through a public network rather than your own. Like most things, you get what you pay for when it comes to virtual private networks. Although there are free VPN services accessible, paying a small monthly fee will provide you a much better and more secure VPN service.

9. Update your router and other devices regularly.

When you need to be online the most, automatic software updates appear out of nowhere. Despite the fact that they can be a nuisance, they serve a purpose and often contain security updates. Companies release updates and patches to limit or remove risk when they become aware of possible or exposed security vulnerabilities. To get those, go here.

Make sure that your router and all of your networked devices have the most recent software updates to keep them safe from known viruses and hacking attempts. If at all possible, have your router update itself automatically in the admin settings, and perform a regular check to make sure it’s up to date.

10. Disabling remote access to the router.

Your Wi-Fi network’s router settings can be seen by anyone who isn’t directly connected to your Wi-Fi network. No need to enable remote access unless you want to examine or alter the setup of a linked child’s device while away from home, for example.

Remote access can be disabled in the router’s administrative settings. It’s possible that disabling remote router access isn’t set as the default, unlike other security measures.

11. Connected gadgets should be checked.

Ensure that you are familiar with all of the devices that are connected to your network at all times by performing regular checks. Make a note of anything odd and change your wireless password immediately. All previously connected devices must be reconnected once you change your password, however unauthorized users and devices will be removed from your network.

Some IoT devices, particularly obscure ones, may have unusual default names consisting of arbitrary numbers and letters. Go ahead and disconnect it if you find something like that while checking your linked gadgets. This will become clear later on, when you can no longer start the robot vacuum cleaner from your phone.

12. Wi-Fi Protected Setup 3 (WPA3).

WPA3 is the newest router security protocol. WPA3 should be standard on all new routers, therefore purchasing a new router shouldn’t be a cause for concern. The most up-to-date equipment may not be included in routers rented directly from the provider, which is common.

Your router may be a WPA2 device, which doesn’t have the same level of security measures as WPA3 devices, if it was created before 2018. Any special functionality, such as WPA2 or WPA3, can be found by performing a simple search for your device’s model number. If you have a WPA2 router, contact your service provider and ask for a newer model.

The safety of a network cannot be guaranteed.

Even if you use the most up-to-date and effective security measures for your home network, you may never be completely sure of its safety. Hackers and cybercriminals will continue to find new ways to take advantage of the internet as long as it exists. However, by following the aforementioned pointers, you should be able to better protect your network and data against unauthorized access.

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Darren Trumbler

Darrent is a digital marketer, tech enthusiast & blogger.

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