If you live in an apartment or in a crowded area you might notice there are tons of Wi-Fi signals around you! And when you give to your guests the access to your Wi-Fi they can’t find it in the long list of Wi-Fi list. Beside this, it could also slow down your own Wi-Fi speed.
The other more threatening problem is that broadcasting your Wi-Fi SSID might put your network and data at risk especially if you have a weak encryption for you Wi-Fi password… please don’t tell me you don’t have a Wi-Fi password… please…
Here are some ways to secure your Wi-Fi and if you’re leaving in France don’t be accused by the HADOPI for lack of security and get your ISP connection closed because someone downloaded the last “Fast and Furious” movie thanks to your internet access via your Wi-Fi!
The first things to do is to check if someone you don’t want to or don’t know is already connected to you router. Log in to your router by typing its IP address into your web browser. Depending on your router it could be 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.1.254. Most of the time its IP address is printed on the router itself on a sticker with your default Wi-Fi SSID and Wi-Fi password. If not check the documentation or call your ISP.
Once connected look for a menu called Attached Devices or Device List. And check the sub-menu Wireless. You should fin all the Wireless device connected to your router. If someone you don’t know is in the list just click remove, delete or block the device. Be careful to don’t block one of your devices sometimes the name of the device is not very user-friendly.
Change the Admin Password of your router
On the sticker where the IP address is printed there might be also the default administrator logins. Often the default logins are “admin” for login and password or “1234” or the 4 last digits of your wifi password. It’s easy to change them just go to the settings menu and search for admin credential I recommend you to memorize them unless you want to factory reset your router if you forget them.
WPA2 as password encryption
You must use WPA2 encryption password for your Wi-Fi. Don’t listen to people who are saying it will slow down your Wi-Fi speed it’s just Bull Sh*t. Why WPA2 and not WEP? Because WEP can be broken in a matter of minutes with the right software and the right hardware and it’s so easy that the kid across the street can do it!
Choose the right password
Now you set WPA2 as the new password encryption you need to change your default Wi-Fi password to something hard to guess and easy to remember at the same time… me I just choose something very hard to guess and very hard to remember since I don’t connect new device often!
A happy life is a discreet one
The first thing I do when it comes to set up a Wi-Fi connection is to hide its name from being display. I hide its SSID.
Ok, you won’t be able to play with your neighbors by interposed SSID or broadcast funny SSID but at least the kid across the street won’t see your Wi-Fi and won’t try to hack it unless he’s a pro-hacker using Backtrack!
This setting is available in the Wireless menu your router under “Hide SSID”, often it’s a checkbox but sometimes it can be a slider.
Turn Off WPS and “Easy Connect” and enable MAC Address Filtering
Next things to do in the wireless menu is to disable WPS. WPS stands for Wi-Fi Protected Setup. It’s something that can be useful to people who don’t want to remember the long WPA2 password and only a 4 digits pin code. Easy to break with a brute-force attack.
Als, disable the “Easy Connect” feature this thing allows you to connect to your Wi-Fi just by pushing a button on your router and open your router for 30sec to 1min and any devices can connect to your Wi-Fi.
The last thing to do is to enable the MAC Address Filtering. The MAC address is a unique identification that no other device can have. It’s like the serial number of the wireless network chip of your device to make it easy to understand. By enabling that only the allowed MAC Address in the list of your router will be able to connect to your Wi-Fi. That means if you want to connect your new MacBookPro or your new iPhone you will need to first add its MAC address in this list before being able to connect to your Wi-Fi.
Now you did all these things your Wi-Fi network is secure it is not impenetrable by the CIA or NSA or a pro-hacker but it will keep the geeks in the street to hack it and use it. But still, keep an eye on the list of connected devices you never know.
Also, just like Apple and IBM do, I recommend you to use the 5GHz Wi-Fi band. Why? Because this frequency band is less used and less saturated than the traditional 2.4GHz so there are less cross-talking between all other Wi-Fi signals and then because if your devices are compatible with, it gives you a more reliable and faster Wi-Fi connection.
If you want to learn more about WiFi, WiFi security, and MAC address here a playlist I made. It based on the series Techquickie created by the guys from Linus Tech Tips.