Your router is what allows you to transmit and receive different data to and from the internet. These data include everything you feed to the internet— your embarrassing search history, social networking passwords, and even confidential banking information.
If that scared you, worry not because there are lots of things that you could do to strengthen your router’s security and data privacy. Changing your router’s password, configuring its features, and updating its firmware could go a long way in making sure that your router is airtight and your personal information is protected.
Change your router’s login credentials
First, you need to log in to your router using its default IP address. If you do not know its default IP address, you can access it by simply searching “(your router model) default IP.” Once you are in, log in using the default admin credentials which is usually the same for most routers:
These default credentials are so easy to guess that it will probably just take a single try to get them right. With that being said, you should change both the username and password and make sure that they are unique and secure, making your network inaccessible to outside parties.
You can call your internet provider to assist you on how to change your login details if you don’t know how to change it. The Hughesnet internet has great customer service, assisting their subscribers.
Protect your Wi-Fi network
By default, your Wi-Fi network name or SSID is usually something like RouterName0485. You can change this to whatever you want it to be like, “Benjamin FrankLAN'' and “Martin Router King.” Changing the name of your Wi-Fi network does not just make it easier to remember and more distinct from other networks, but it also makes sure that no information is given away to potential hackers except that you eat puns for breakfast.
A secure Wi-Fi network name needs an equally secure password. Of course, you can also change it to whatever you want it to be, but the pro tip is to make it longer and unique by combining alphanumeric characters.
Keep your router’s firmware up to date
Your router’s firmware is responsible for fixing vulnerabilities and bugs in the system software, so keeping it updated can enhance both your router’s performance and security.
Checking for any software or firmware updates can be done by opening your router’s settings. If your router allows it, you can set up automatic updates to save you from the hassle of checking and logging in every time there is an update.
Configure your router features
Some router features make you choose between convenience and security. We will be introducing three of these features, but it is your call to figure out if you are willing to risk your security over some convenience.
● Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)
WPS allows you to automatically connect to your network without having to input your password. Enabling this feature is convenient especially if you have a complicated password, but it surely falls short on security.
● Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)
UPnP allows you to use smart assistants, connect to gaming services, and view your security camera feed remotely. This feature is helpful, but it also increases your network’s vulnerability.
● Remote access protocols
Remote access is made especially for business networks, allowing them to access the router’s setting without connecting to the main network. This feature is not really necessary for home networks, so it is advisable to disable it to increase security.
Setup guest networks
Setting up guest networks allows you to control your network usage by blocking certain contents, managing activity schedules, and limiting bandwidth usage.
It keeps your primary network free from potential malware brought by the dangerous downloads of random people. Although, setting up a guest network is not just for random people. You should also set up a guest network for your smart home devices since these are more vulnerable to security breaches than your phone or computer.