How to Secure your WI-FI Router

How to Secure Wi-Fi Router

Wi-Fi routers are commonplace in every place with an internet connection. Whether you are a home user just trying to stream your favorite movie on Netflix, a restaurant providing internet to customers, or a business giving Wi-Fi connectivity to employees at work, get helpful tips on how to secure Wi-Fi router.

Best Tips to Secure Wi-Fi Router

A Wi-Fi router provides wireless functionality on top of the routing capabilities via an access point. An access point simply connects users to the router,

A weak Wi-Fi network can expose you to certain threats. You must protect your Wi-Fi by following some basic security practices. The following are some of the best tips to secure Wi-Fi router that will significantly improve security and privacy as a user.

  • Don’t Use Weak Passwords

A strong password can sometimes be everything between you and a hacker trying to penetrate the network. Weak passwords are easy to guess or easy to brute force computationally.

It is advised that you change the default password on your router as soon as you set it up.

Take a look at our blog that discusses how to create a strong and secure password. To put things concisely, keep the password length at 13 at a minimum and use a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters to increase the password’s entropy. The longer it takes to guess the password,

You must also change the default administrator password, usually just admin/admin. Prevent any unauthorized attempt to change settings from the router.

  • Change the Wi-Fi SSID

SSID (Service Set Identifier) is the name that shows up when you look up available Wi-Fi connections.

Routers have default SSID that can give away their model number. By knowing the make and model of the router, a malicious actor can look up the specific model number and its known vulnerabilities to exploit.

Pick an SSID suitable to your Wi-Fi network, but don’t keep the default name.

  • Use WPA2/WPA3 Encryption

Wireless Protected Access (WPA) is a connection and encryption protocol introduced as a successor to Wireless Equivalent Protocol (WEP). WPA3 is the latest protocol version that brings many new features, mainly stronger security.

Since it is a newer protocol, it is mostly supported on high-end routers, whereas home users are likely to rely on entry-level routers. WPA2 is common now and should be used for all Wi-Fi networks.

Your router will have the option to choose between WPA2-PSK (TKIP) and WPA2-PSK (AES). TKIP has known vulnerabilities that can be exploited. Switch to AES for better security.

  • Install a VPN

Did you know that you can set up VPN on router? It’s not straightforward but doesn’t require extensive knowledge to get working.

iProVPN can be downloaded as an app on a supported device or configured in the router directly. Installing a VPN on router allows any device to use VPN functionality. Simply connect a device to the VPN-enabled router and gain VPN protection.

One of the fundamental advantages of having a VPN is encryption. Once you are connected to the router with VPN, any malicious actor cannot sniff your data packets for information. Internet communication between the user and router.

  • Update Router’s Firmware

Software is not bulletproof. There can always be a vulnerability that gets exploited for malicious purposes. Hackers are always on the lookout for such vulnerabilities. Similarly, device manufacturers push out updates that patch these vulnerabilities to prevent damage to users.

A device like a router is shipped with firmware that may get old over time. New firmware is released through the manufacturer’s website, introducing new features or fixing vulnerabilities in older firmware.

Always keep your device and applications secure by downloading the latest updates. Refer to your router’s manual on how to update the router.

  • Don’t Disable UPnP

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is a useful but very risky feature to enable. Applications on your device use virtual ports to send and receive data. The router monitors these ports for unsolicited traffic from external networks.

UPnP is enabled to automatically forward all ports to pass through the firewall easily. But, a malicious app on your device will gain the ability to send and receive malicious data over the internet.

Alternatively, you can see how to manually do port forwarding so that only specific ports are whitelisted.

  • Disable Remote Access

The remote access feature in the router allows a user to access the router’s administrative settings over the internet. As you might have already guessed, this is a vulnerability that a hacker can exploit by gaining access to the router.

How to Improve Wi-Fi Speed

Wi-Fi router’s speed is dependent on several factors. It’s not as easy as upgrading to a better internet connection and expecting it to fix your Wi-Fi speed issues.

Wireless technology is susceptible to packet loss over long distances. Wi-Fi works best when you are within an ideal range and not obstructed by objects like walls. Ensure that you are sitting at an optimal distance from the access point for the best connectivity.

If your router supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, switch to 2.4GHz for a better range. The 5GHz frequency provides higher bandwidth, ideal for 4K streaming and online gaming but falls short on range.

Conclusion

Wi-Fi security is important for privacy on the internet. Features like UPnP exist for convenience but are also incredibly risky to enable. Connect to iProVPN by installing the VPN on router to improve security between clients and the Wi-Fi router.


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