May 22, 2011

Networking: Lock a Wireless Router

Lock a Wireless Router

Todays wireless routers come from the factory unsecured. Many times they are hooked up never securing the wireless network.
This allows anyone in range to use your internet and possibly search through your home network at their discretion. In this article I will go through the steps of securing your wireless router.

1) All wireless routers are different. In this article I will try and cover the most common ways to set up your wireless security. Most manufacturers provide instructions on how this is done with there specific router. If the original manual is lost, information can usually be downloaded from the manufactures web site. This article assumes that the router is installed and providing internet to you. The first step in setting up your wireless security is to access your routers settings page.

This can be done from your computers browser. Note that often times it is best to not be connected through your wireless connection but rather through a direst cable connection with your router. To do this simply take a cat5 cable (usually supplied with your router) and connect it directly from your computer to an open port on your router. You can see from the image that there are several ports labeled with yellow and one labeled with blue.

The blue denotes the port where the internet feed (from your cable modem or DSL modem) plugs in. The yellow ports indicate where directly connected computers are to be connected. There may be now color or labels on your router but generally it is set up the same. Hook your computer to the yellow ports.

2) Be sure that your computer is connected and has internet. The next step is to enter your routers set-up page. You can get to your routers set up page through your internet browser by entering its address in the address bar. So what my router address? Your routers address depends on the manufacture. But typically with be like this . Depending on your manufacturer the last two digits will change.

This is where your manual will be helpful. If you do not have your manual, Google the brand and model of your router and you should find the address with your manufactures info. You may also find the address by going into your network connection in windows. Simply right click your internet connection in your network connection window and click status. Then click the support tab. The address for your router will be the numbers after default gateway.

3) When you have entered your routers address in the address bar hit enter. Your browser will either take you to the main setup page for your router or ask you for a login and password. If you are asked for a login and password again refer to your manufacturers manual or web site. Generally its some combination of "admin" for login and password or "admin" for login and no password. Sometimes even "password" for the password.

4) Now your at your routers setup screen it should look somewhat like this.
5) Now find your wireless security tab. Every router is different, it may take some clicking around to find it.
6) Once you found your wireless security settings you will notice that they are disabled. You should have several options when it comes to the type of security that you can choose. I prefer WPA, it allows you to simply enter a password to access your wireless network. This password can of course be saved in your wireless settings so there is no need to enter it but one time.

7) Simply enter your password in the password box and hit save. Your wireless network is now secure. Distribute the password to anyone that is allowed access to your wireless network.


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