Nowadays everyone has a Wi-Fi connection in their home. Wi-Fi has become the main source of connection to the internet in homes and other public places. What many don’t realize is that their Wireless network is not secure! Today you will learn how to secure your home Wi-Fi (Wireless network) from Hackers. After following the below guide about home wireless network security, you will have a more secure and safer home network.
What most of us do after getting a Wi-Fi router is just leave everything to default, and just set up a normal password. This is wrong, there are many changes that you must do to enhance security. Routers use different security protocols including WEP, WPA, and WPA2 (Wireless Protected Access). Wireless networks are not secure and are highly vulnerable. A hacker or criminal can launch multiple attacks such as Packet sniffing, brute force and Man-in-the-middle-attacks (MITM attacks) on a vulnerable Wi-Fi network.
Let’s start securing your Wireless network. Follow the step-by-step guide below and your Wireless network will be much more secure than what it was before.
How to secure your Home Wi-Fi Network from Hackers (Network Security Guide)
1) Turn off Remote Administration on Router
Some routers have a built-in feature that allows you to access the router from anywhere in the world. Remote access has its own advantages and disadvantages but can also be not secure if not configured properly. The advantage of turning remote administration off is that anyone from outside of your network will not be able to get into your network.
All wireless routers have a different interface. To turn off remote access just search for it in the main web interface, or in advanced settings and disable it.
2) Change the Wi-Fi Router’s Default Admin Password
This step will increase your W-Fi security significantly. Many people tend to leave their network administrator passwords by default which are (Username: Admin) and (Password: Admin). These are very easy to guess as every attack knows that these are the default credentials to the WiFi router’s login page.
Go to your admin interface and change both the username and the password. Make sure it is something that is very hard to guess, and the password is long.
3) Increase Wireless Network (Wi-Fi) Security by Enabling Encryption
Wireless networks come with different security protocols that we listed above at the start of this guide. All those encryption methods have their own pros and cons. The best one to use is WPA2 because it is the most secure one from all of them. Wireless Protected Access 2 is also the standard in the industry now. It was developed so that it can replace the previous less-secure versions such as WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)
As it is a standard now all the wireless networks should have WPA2 AES encryption. It supports much stronger encryption then all other security protocols available now.
The Wi-Fi Alliance has now announced WPA3 which is the latest security protocol for wireless networks. It brings the following improvements over the previous generation:
- Provides much better privacy for users by encrypting data for users individually.
- Protects networks from Brute force attacks, blocking multiple login attempts for guessing passwords.
- IoT devices are also getting a security boost with the release of WPA3.
- WPA3 supports 192-bit security that takes security for protecting Wi-Fi users to a whole new level. It is also good for governments, defence sector, and industrial sectors as well.
You can learn more about WPA3 and what improvements and enhancements it has here.
4) Disable DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) on your router
So, what is DHCP? This is a feature in almost all routers and switches that allow you to automatically assign an IP address to devices on a network. By turning off the DHCP server in your router it will no longer assign IP addresses automatically to devices. You will have to manually enter the details and use static IP addresses.
The benefit of turning DHCP off is that when a hacker or attacker gets on your network they will not be assigned an IP address, thus they will have no access to the internet or other parts of the network.
5) Keep the Router Firmware up-to-date
Software plays a major role in cybersecurity. Patching is also vital for online security. Wireless routers also have vulnerabilities that need fixing and being patched. Vulnerabilities get exploited by hackers to gain access to the router and cause further damage. To be secure from such attacks update your Router firmware or operating system to the latest version.
Many of the routers including popular TP-link, Linksys, Asus and Netgear routers do not have auto-update option. The newer models have the auto-update feature, but it can also be turned off by default. You will have to manually do the update in some routers by downloading the firmware and uploading it to the router from your PC.
6) Change Routers Default IP Address for Increasing Wireless Security
This step is also useful and will increase your home’s wireless networking security. By changing the default IP address of the router, it will make it harder for the Hacker to find it. The most common and default network address of a router is 192.168.1.1 which is known by everyone. There are multiple ways you can do this; the following method below works for most of the wireless home routers:
- Type (https://192.168.1.1) in the browser and enter your login credentials.
- After that go to the Network and Lan area of your router.
- Change the IP address to what you prefer and save.
That’s it, now you will have an extra layer of security at the router level.
7) Turn on Wireless Routers Firewall
Some routers come with a built-in firewall. Some routers have it on by default, but others might not. Firewalls are great for network security as they allow or deny traffic from the internet and see what is going in and out of the network. They can stop malicious packets and various hacking attempts on your network and other dangers like Trojans, Viruses, and Malware. You can read our Guide on How to protect your PC from virus infections.
A firewall in your home network will make it much more secure because it can allow and deny traffic. You can set different rules and restriction levels.
Update: Secure your WiFi routers from new PMKID Attack for WPA and WPA2
No security measures are hack-proof! A new vulnerability has been discovered in the WPA/WPA2 standard that allows a hacker to hack your wireless networks. This allows the attacker to get a PMKID packet which can be easily converted so that hashcat can work on it and do its magic. Below are the steps that you need to follow to stay safe from falling a victim to the attack:
- Update your wireless router’s firmware to the latest version.
- Change your default passwords to something very strong.
- Update your OS on all of the connected devices.
You can also learn how to hack WiFi Password with PMKID Attacks. This tutorial will guide you step-by-step to get login credentials of a wireless network.
Update: A new vulnerability called “Kr00k” is in the wild. It is mostly affecting all routers using specific chips. It is capable of decrypting WiFi traffic packets and retrieve passwords.
Wireless network security is important just like any other network needs protection, it needs to be secure! The number of Wi-Fi devices and wireless access points has increased dramatically in the past years. Most of the devices including smartphones, laptops, computers, IoT devices and smart home appliances all connect over WiFi. If the wireless is compromised so are the devices and their network addresses including MAC addresses and IP addresses.
The above article should clear your mind and answer your question about how to secure wifi router and How to Secure your Home Wi-Fi Network from Hackers. You should never ignore basic cybersecurity in any network. Attacks and people with malicious intent are always on the look for vulnerable networks, don’t let yours be one.