Looking the best wireless security settings for home networks? Wireless security is important for protecting your home network from unauthorized access. There are a few different ways to secure your wireless network, and the best way to do so depends on your specific needs. Read on for more information!
- 1 Before You Change The Router Settings
- 2 Router’s Settings
- 2.1 Security
- 2.2 You Should Not Have Weak Security Settings on Your Router
- 2.3 Network Name (SSID).
- 2.4 Hidden Network
- 2.5 Access Control, Authentication and Filtering of MAC Addresses
- 2.6 Software Updates Automatically
- 2.7 Radio Mode
- 2.8 Bands
- 2.9 Channel
- 2.10 Channel width
- 2.11 DHCP
- 2.12 DHCP Lease Time
- 2.13 NAT
- 2.14 WMM
- 3 Types of Wi-Fi security
- 4 Wi-Fi Connection Issues Can be Caused by Device Features
- 5 When Used With Wi-Fi Wireless Carriers, Auto-Join is Enabled
- 6 Tips to Secure Your Wireless Home Network
- 6.1 1. Modify the default administrator passwords
- 6.2 2. Encrypt your wireless network with encryption
- 6.3 03. Modify the Default SSID
- 6.4 04. Enable MAC Address Filtering
- 6.5 5. Disable SSID Broadcast
- 6.6 6. Stop Auto-Connecting To Open Wi-Fi Networks
- 6.7 7. Position the Access Point or Router Strategically
- 6.8 8. Security Software and Firewalls
- 6.9 9. Assign static IP addresses to devices
- 6.10 10. Switch off the network during extended periods of non-use
- 6.11 11. Closing router backdoors
- 7 FAQs
- 8 Conclusion
Before You Change The Router Settings
- In case you have to restore the settings of your router, make sure you back them up.
- Make sure to update your router software. This is essential to ensure your devices are up-to-date with security updates and that they work well together.
- Install the most recent router’s firmware updates on your router first.
- Next, update your software on all your devices (Mac and iPhone)
3. You might need to reset the network settings on any device that has previously joined the network. This will ensure that the device is using the new settings for joining the network.
Apply these settings regularly to each Wi-Fi router and access point, as well as to each band of a dual-band, tri-band, or another multiband router, to guarantee that your devices can connect safely and reliably to your network.
- For enhance security, set WPA3 Personal
- For compatibility with older devices, set WPA2/WPA3 transitional
Your router’s security settings determine the type of network encryption and authentication used, as well as the privacy protection of data sent over the network. No matter what setting you use, make sure that your wi-fi password is strong for joining the network.
- WPA3 Personal, the most secure and up-to-date protocol for Wi-Fi devices, is now available. It is compatible with all Wi-Fi 6 (802.1ax) devices, as well as some older devices.
- WPA2/WPA3 transitional is a mixed-mode. It uses WPA3 Personal on devices that support it, but allows older devices to use WPA2 Personal instead (AES).
- WPA2 Personal (AES), is suitable when you cannot use the more secure modes. If you have the option, choose AES as your network encryption or cipher type.
You Should Not Have Weak Security Settings on Your Router
Do not join or create networks using outdated security protocols. They are not secure and reduce network reliability and performance. Your device will also show a security warning.
- Mixed modes WPA/WPA2
- WPA (Wi-fi Protected Access)Personal
- WEP Open, WEP shared WEP Transitional Security Network or Dynamic WEP (WEP 802.1X).
- TKIP, which includes any security setting with TKIP within the name
Setting security settings such as None, Open or Unsecured are strongly discouraged. Security settings that disable authentication and encryption allow anyone to join your network, use its shared resources (including printers and smart devices), and monitor what websites you visit.
Even if security has been temporarily disabled or for guests, this is still a risk.
Network Name (SSID).
- You can set it to one unique name (case sensitive).
Your Wi-Fi network’s name or SSID (service sets identifier) is what you use to announce your presence to other devices. It is also what nearby users see in their list of available wi-fi networks.
Make sure you have a unique name for your network and that every wi-fi router on the network uses the same name for each band. You should avoid common or default names like Linksys, Netgear or D-Link. Also, make sure you don’t give different names to your 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands.
This guideline is important to ensure that devices can connect to your network and all routers in your network. Devices that join your network will more often encounter networks with the same name and will attempt to connect to them.
- You can disable them
You can configure a router to hide its network identity (SSID). You might mistakenly interpret “closed” as meaning is hidden and “broadcast” to mean not hidden.
The network name cannot be hidden. It can only protect the network against unauthorized access. Because devices use Wi-Fi networks to search for them, hidden networks can expose information that could be used to identify you or the hidden networks that you use.
Your device may display a privacy warning if it is connected to a hidden network.
Use the right security settings to secure your network.
Access Control, Authentication and Filtering of MAC Addresses
- You can disable them
This feature allows your router to be configured to allow devices with specified MAC addresses to join the network. This feature is not intended to block unauthorized access to your network.
- It does not prevent network observers from monitoring and intercepting traffic on the network.
- It is easy to copy, spoof (impersonate), or change MAC addresses.
- Apple devices may use a different Mac address for each Wi-Fi network to protect users’ privacy.
Use the right security settings to secure your network.
Software Updates Automatically
- Get Enabled
Set your router to automatically download and install firmware updates when they become available. Router’s Firmware updates may affect your security settings, but they also provide important improvements to stability, performance and security of the router.
- Set to All (preferred), Wi-Fi 2 through 6 (802.11a/g/n/ac/ax).
These settings are available separately for both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. They control which Wi-Fi standards the router uses to communicate wirelessly. The latest versions are more efficient and can support multiple devices simultaneously.
It is better to enable all modes offered by your router than a select few. The fastest radio mode that your router supports will allow all devices to connect, even older ones. This helps to reduce interference from legacy networks and other devices nearby.
- All bands that your router supports should be enabled
A Wi-Fi band can be described as a street where data can flow. Your network will benefit from more bands and better data performance.
- Set to Auto
Your router’s band is split into several independent communication channels. It works like a street with lane lanes. Your router will automatically select the best Wi-Fi channel if channel selection is set as automatic.
If your router does not support automatic channel selection, you can choose the channel that performs best within your network environment. This will depend on Wi-Fi interference, which could include interference from other routers or devices using the same channel.
You should configure multiple routers to use different channels, especially if they’re close together.
- For the 2.4GHz band, set to 20MHz
- For the 5GHz band, set to Auto or all widths (20MHz – 40MHz – 80MHz)
The channel width is the size of the “pipe” that can be used to transmit data. Broader channels can transfer data faster but are more vulnerable to interference and more likely be interfering with other devices.
20MHz in the 2.4GHz band is a good choice to avoid reliability and performance issues, particularly near other Wi-Fi networks, 2.4GHz devices and Bluetooth devices.
The 5GHz band offers the best compatibility and performance with all devices, whether you choose to use the auto channel or all channels. In the 5GHz band, wireless interference is less common.
- If your router is the only DHCP server on the network, set Enabled
DHCP (dynamic hosts configuration protocol) assigns IP addresses for devices in your network. Each router’s IP address uniquely identifies a device in the network, allowing it to communicate with other devices via the internet and the network.
An IP address is the same thing that a network device requires as a number for a phone.
One DHCP server should be used for your network. If DHCP is enabled by more than one device (e.g., cable modem, router), addressing conflicts could prevent certain devices from connecting to the wireless internet and using network resources.
DHCP Lease Time
- For home and office networks, allow 8 hours; for hotspots and guest networks, allow 1 hour
DHCP lease duration is the time that an IP address that is assigned to a device has been reserved for that device.
Wi-Fi routers typically have a limit on the number of IP addresses they can assign to devices in their network. The router cannot assign IP addresses to new devices if this number is low.
These devices also can’t connect with other devices on the internet or network. The router can reassign IP addresses that are not being used faster by reducing DHCP lease times.
- If your router is the only one providing NAT, set it to Enabled
NAT (network addresses translation) is a security method of translating addresses from the internet to addresses on your network. NAT can be understood by visualizing a company’s mail service, which routes deliveries to employees located at the street address of the company to their offices in the building.
Enable NAT on only your router. If NAT is enabled by more than one device (e.g. cable modem, router), the result can cause certain devices to lose access the internet or network resources.
- Get Enabled
WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) prioritizes network traffic in order to improve performance for a variety of applications such as voice and video. WMM should be enabled on all routers that support Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) or later. WMM disabling can impact the reliability and performance of the network devices.
Types of Wi-Fi security
There are many types of Wi-Fi. There are three types of Wi-Fi: N, G and ac. G is the slowest and ac the fastest. All three are treated the same way in terms of security.
Two key aspects of Wi-Fi security are encryption used to transmit data over air and password for the Wi-Fi network.
Over-the-air encryption was weak at first, but it was later improved and improved again. Over the years, the current iteration, which is the third, has been proven to be very useful.
It was known as WEP and should be avoided. WPA2, which was the second version, was a significant improvement. However, it should still be avoided in 2017. WPA2 (WPA version 2) is the only acceptable encryption.
If your router allows you to choose, you should also be aware of AES, TKIP and CCMP.
WPA is technically a certificate, not a security standard. However, it only contains one security protocol, TKIP. This makes them often confusing.
WPA2 technically includes two security standards: TKIP (or CCMP). TKIP is bad and CCMP is good for our purposes. CCMP is referred to only by computer technicians as CCMP. It is commonly referred to as AES.
WPA2-AES is the best security option when configuring routers. WPA, WEP and TKIP are all better than WEP. WPA2-AES gives you greater resistance to a KRACK attack.
Older routers would ask you if you want AES or TKIP after you had selected WPA2. The next-generation routers didn’t ask. They used AES whenever you chose WPA2. The latest routers are automatically secure; they use WPA2-AES by default and don’t ask for anything.
Another Wi-Fi security option that is being lost is the number of passwords. Routers used to ask users if they wanted to use Enterprise mode (Pre-Shared Key), or PSK (Previous Shared Key).
PSK mode is what everyone uses. This mode allows you to share a single password with another wireless network.
Enterprise mode gives each user their own password and user ID. Enterprise mode is safer but more complicated. The device at your home won’t be able to handle it.
It must be pointed to a server computer, which keeps track of all the passwords and user IDs. It’s likely that your router has an Enterprise mode or PSK option.
Wi-Fi Connection Issues Can be Caused by Device Features
These features may affect the way you set up your router and any devices connected to it.
Private Wi-Fi Location
Learn how to use private Wi-Fi addresses for your Apple Watch, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or iPod touch when connecting to Wi-Fi networks.
Services in the Location
Location Services must be turned on in order to use Wi-Fi networking. Each country has its own regulations about the Wi-Fi channels that are allowed and how strong they can be.
Location Services ensures that your device is able to reliably connect to nearby devices and performs well when using Wi-Fi or features that depend on Wi-Fi, such as AirPlay and AirDrop.
For your Mac:
- Select Apple menu > System preferences, then click Security & Privacy.
- The lock is located in the corner of your window. Enter your administrator password.
- Select Location Services from the Privacy tab. Next, click Enable Location Services.
- Scroll down to the end of the list and click on the Details button next System Services.
- Click Next to select Networking & Wireless or Wi-Fi Networking.
On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:
- Go to Settings > Privacy > Locator Services.
- Turn on Location Services.
- Scroll down to the end of the list and then tap System Services.
- Turn on Networking & Wireless or Wi-Fi Networking.
When Used With Wi-Fi Wireless Carriers, Auto-Join is Enabled
Your wireless carrier Wi-Fi network is a public network that has been set up by the partner wireless carriers. These networks are recognized by your iPhone and other Apple cellular devices, and you automatically connect to them.
Your cellular identity may be compromised if you are able to see the “Privacy Warning” under your carrier’s Wi-Fi settings name. You can disable your iPhone/iPad from joining your carrier’s Wi-Fi network automatically to avoid this possibility.
- Go to Settings > Wi-Fi.
- Tap the next wireless carrier’s network.
- Do not turn off Auto-Join
Tips to Secure Your Wireless Home Network
1. Modify the default administrator passwords
If you’re looking to secure your home network, there are a few router security settings you should consider. Changing the default password is a good first step.
A broadband router, or another wireless access point, is the heart of Wi-Fi home networks. These devices have an embedded web server that allows owners to enter network addresses and account information.
These web tools are protected by login screens that prompt for username and password to ensure only authorized users can make network administration changes. Hackers on the internet are well aware of router manufacturer default logins. These settings should be changed immediately.
2. Encrypt your wireless network with encryption
All Wi-Fi equipment supports encryption. Encryption technology makes it impossible for humans to read messages sent over wireless networks. There are several encryption technologies available for Wi-Fi, including WPA and WPA2.
Select the most compatible encryption for your wireless network. These technologies require that all Wi-Fi devices connected to a network share the same encryption settings.
Note: If you’re looking to gain access to a home network, the best wireless security settings are WPA2-AES or WPA2-TKIP. Both of these options will provide you with the highest level of security and protection against outside attacks.
03. Modify the Default SSID
Access points and routers use an internet name known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Manufacturers typically ship their products with a default SSID. “Linksys”, for example, is the network name used by Linksys devices.
Although it won’t allow your neighbors to hack into your network, knowing the SSID is a good start.
Moreover, if someone sees a default SSID, they will view it as a network that is vulnerable to attack. Set up wireless security for your network by changing the default SSID as soon as possible.
04. Enable MAC Address Filtering
Wi-Fi equipment has a unique identifier called the Media Access Control address. Access points and routers keep track of MAC addresses for all devices connected to them.
Many of these products allow the owner to enter the MAC addresses of their home equipment, which prevents the network from accepting internet connection from such devices.
This adds an additional layer of protection to your home network. However, it isn’t as powerful as you might think. Hackers and their programs can easily create MAC addresses.
5. Disable SSID Broadcast
The wi-fi router (or access point in Wi-Fi networking) broadcasts the network name (SSID) on the air at regular intervals. This feature is for businesses and mobile hotspots in which Wi-Fi clients can roam in and out.
This broadcast feature is not necessary inside a home and increases the chance that someone will log in to your home network. Most Wi-Fi routers have the ability to disable the SSID broadcasting feature.
6. Stop Auto-Connecting To Open Wi-Fi Networks
Your computer is at risk of being connected to an open Wi-Fi network, such as a wireless hotspot from your neighbor or to a Wi-Fi hotspot.
These wifi connections can be made automatically by most computers, even though they are not normally enabled. This setting should only be enabled in emergency situations.
7. Position the Access Point or Router Strategically
Wi-Fi signals reach the exteriors of homes in most cases. Although signal leakage outside isn’t a problem, it can make it difficult for others to find and exploit the signal. Wi-Fi signals can often be detected in neighboring houses and streets.
The location and orientation of the router or access point will determine the reachability of the wireless home network. To minimize leakage, place these devices in the middle of your home and not near windows.
8. Security Software and Firewalls
Modern network routers have built-in network firewalls. However, you can also disable them. Make sure your router’s firewall has been turned on. You can also install and run additional security software on any device connected to your router for extra protection.
Overusing security software layers is a waste of time. Even worse is having a device that is not protected, especially if it’s a mobile one, with sensitive data.
9. Assign static IP addresses to devices
To assign IP addresses to devices, most home network administrators use Dynamic Hosting Configuration Protocol (DHCP). It is simple to set up DHCP technology. Its simplicity is also a benefit to network attackers who can quickly get a valid IP address from a network’s DHCP pool.
The router or access point should be turned off DHCP. Instead, create a fixed IP address range and configure each device to use that address.
10. Switch off the network during extended periods of non-use
Your network can be shut down to prevent hackers from gaining access. It is not practical to turn off the devices often, but it might be possible to do so while traveling or for extended periods of time offline.
Power cycle wear can cause computer disk drives to become brittle, but this is not a problem for broadband modems or routers.
If you possess a wireless router but only use it for wired connections, you may occasionally switch off Wi-Fi on a broadband router without turning down the whole network.
11. Closing router backdoors
For the best security, two backdoors must be closed in routers.
Not only is it necessary to provide a wi-fi password, but this isn’t the only way to gain access to a wireless network. WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) is a standard feature on most routers.
The label of routers that support WPS contains an 8-digit WPS code. Wireless devices can connect to the network using this pin code instead of the wi-fi password.
Anybody who can reach your router can take a photo of the label, turn it over and gain access to your network forever, even after you reset your Wi-Fi passwords. The pin code was also poorly designed, so it takes an average of 5,500 guesses. Computers can do this easily.
Turn off WPS if your router supports it.
The Linksys Velop and Netgear Orbi mesh routers still support WPS. Eero and Google Wifi have been dropped, as well as Luma, Plume, Luma, and Plume.
The last security concern is UPnP. This protocol allows devices to connect to routers to poke holes in router firewalls. UPnP has the upside of simplifying the configuration of various IoT devices. These same devices are still vulnerable to hackers and exposed to the Internet.
1. How can I improve my home wireless network security?
- Change your default password and name for your home network
- Restricted access to your wireless network
- Set up a home guest network
- Encrypt your WiFi network
- Your router firewall should be turned on
- When you are away from home, turn off your WiFi network
- Upgrading the firmware of your router
- Switch to a WPA3 router
- Remote access disabled
- Your router should be placed in the middle of your home
2. Is my WiFi at home not secured?
A notification might appear telling you that your Wi-Fi connection is not secure due to the network’s older security standard. This can happen if you connect via Wi-Fi networks that use WEP or TKIP security. These security standards have flaws and are old.
3. How can I tell if my home network security is good?
This is how you can check if your network security is good so that you have peace of mind.
- Check your firewall for weaknesses. Firewall is the first place to check your internet security.
- Check Your Antivirus Strength.
- Ensure You Know Your Protocol When Browsing.
- Hackers can’t access your router.
- For leaks, check your VPN connection.
Now that you have read this in-depth article on the best wireless security settings for your home networks, it is time to implement them in your home network. Lacoon would appreciate it if you can comment below and let us know how it works out for you!