How To Increase Your Wi-Fi Protection From Hackers
Wi-Fi connections are some of the most popular ways to connect to the Internet, since they allow us to communicate without wires and cables. In fact, Wi-Fi has become part our our daily lives. For some, it is difficult to imagine their working or personal lives without this technology. Without Wi-Fi, there would be no 'hotspots', and mobile devices would be far less mobile. Wi-Fi has changed the way we work, how are entertained, how we learn, and even how we raise our children. It would be difficult to argue that Wi-Fi has not made our lives easier, however, sometimes these advantages come with a cost.
Wi-Fi not only makes it easier for us to communicate, but unfortunately, it also allows unscrupulous parties to have access to our lives: hackers. Technically, nothing is hacker-proof, and there is always a possibility that your Wi-Fi might be hacked. Wi-Fi is a natural target for hackers simply because wireless connections are more open. Therefore, they require good protection and there are ways to improve your network security. Hackers can simply use Wi-Fi bandwidth or might even try to hack into your system. In any case, this is not what you want to experience. One of the most common symptoms of a hacked Wi-Fi router is a slower Internet connection - the more people connected to your network, the slower it will become.
Setting a password is not the only way to enhance network security. In the guide below, we describe methods to keep your Wi-Fi connection protected from unwanted (unauthorised) visitors.
Table of Contents:
- Use WPA 2
- Change SSID Name
- Change The Default Password
- Use VPN
- Turn On Router's Firewall
- Use A Different DNS Server
Use WPA 2
Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA 2) is a security protocol that provides stronger network access control and data protection. It is far more secure than WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). Therefore, if you are using WEP rather than WPA 2, consider changing the encryption protocol to WPA 2 immediately. WEP is an outdated security protocol that can easily be hacked in seconds. If you are using an older Wi-Fi router, you might need to upgrade it to use WPA 2. To enable WPA 2, check your router manual or visit the manufacturer's website.
Change SSID Name
Also consider changing the SSID (Service Set Identifier) name. If you are using a default network name such as DLINK, Linksys etc., we recommend that you change it to a stronger one. Hackers have various tools that enable them to crack your network by simply knowing your default SSID name, which makes it easier to hack your network. Hackers usually choose a Wi-Fi network that is easy to identify. Therefore, change your SSID name to something that is not easy to identify and is not your company name, house number, etc. Preferably, give the network a random name, even if it makes it harder to remember.
If you are a Windows user, read this article and find out how to change your network name by using Registry Editor or Local Group Policy Editor.
Change The Default Password
If you are using the default password that came with your router, we recommend that you change it immediately. There are various websites that allow you to search for default login credentials by router model, and that is clearly a risk. You should use default login credentials only when you get a new router and only in the setup phase. After that, change the password to something long and complex. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Each additional number or letter reduces the possibility to hack the password by a factor of hundreds. Once you connect with your new password, the operating system should remember it and connect automatically - so you do not need to enter it each time you connect to the Wi-Fi network.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is used to protect private web traffic. It also allows users to increase their anonymity online, avoid various forms of censorship, download torrents safely, etc. Using a VPN client is a good way to protect your network from hackers. It keeps your location on the server anonymous and creates its own firewall to protect network traffic. VPNs hide the IP address and makes online actions unidentifiable, establishes secure and encrypted connections, and provides even better privacy than secured Wi-Fi hotspots. Although most VPN clients are not free, the monthly cost is small. Before using a VPN client, check if your router is capable of supporting a VPN service.
Turn on the router's Firewall
The purpose of a firewall is to provide protection against attacks over the Internet or local network, but it does not prevent you from accessing the web. A firewall can also stop various malicious software from attacking your computer via the Internet. It filters both incoming and outgoing connections and blocks any that are unsafe. Most routers come with a built-in firewall and we recommend that you keep it enabled. Most built-in router firewalls have a 'stealth mode', which makes the network even less visible. If your router has a stealth mode, keep it enabled.
Use A Different DNS Server
If possible, use an alternative DNS server to the ISP's (Internet Service Provider) default DNS. This is a useful precaution, especially if your ISP servers are attacked by hackers. A common alternative DNS server is the Google DNS server. Google's Public DNS is a free alternative Domain Name System (DNS) service offered to Internet users around the world. The public DNS service and servers are maintained and owned by Google. The server functions as a recursive name server providing domain name resolution for any host on the Internet. We recommend that you use Google DNS for a faster and more secure connection. If you are Windows 10 user, click this link to find out how to change your DNS to the Google DNS manually.
We hope this article was useful and you are now able increase your Wi-Fi security. If there are any other methods you know of to increase Wi-Fi security and they are not mentioned in this guide, please share them with us by leaving a comment in the section below.