The thought of setting up a secure home network can be terrifying for some people. They’ve heard the horror stories about being connected with a technician in Bangladesh. How are you supposed to connect a technical device you barely understand, when the instructions are being delivered in broken English, over a bad long distance line?
For many people, it’s their worst nightmare.
Well, good news — it’s no longer that difficult to set up a secure home network. In fact, it may even be easier than programming the clock on your microwave.
3 Steps to a Secure Home Network
The best part of it is that you don’t need to make a long distance call to some distant part of the world. We lay it out in three simple steps.
Step 1. Plug in your Router
Your home network needs a router to function. A router is a piece of hardware that connects to your modem (and an electrical outlet) and allows the Internet signal to be transmitted through the network, via Wi-Fi and Ethernet cables (also known as hard wire or Cat 5), to the rest of the devices in your house.
You will need to connect your router to your modem, turn it on, and follow the instructions provided with it to make sure that it is receiving and transmitting a signal correctly. Then, ensure Ethernet cables are connected for every device that does not receive a Wi-Fi signal.
Step 2. Configure your Router
Once you’ve connected the router and it’s up and running, you will need to use a computer that can access the router. This will allow you to enable security and configure your network. This has to be a computer physically connected to the router, a laptop with a short ethernet cable works great.
Open a browser window in the computer. Stick with the standard Internet browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Explorer, as some of the others may not be compatible with the router’s software. Enter the IP address indicated in your user manual into your address bar. Then enter the username and password when prompted. We have listed a few of the more common manufacturers with their address, password, and usernames to make it a little easier.
Next you will change the SSID, or name of your network. Most routers and home networks will default to the name ‘home.’ Do yourself a favor and create something original, otherwise, when you log on, you may find that your neighbor is also using ‘home,’ then you have to go through the hassle of figuring out which network is yours.
Under the heading of ‘Security’ ensure that your router is using WPA or WPA2, this ensures that a password is needed to log into your network. Choose a strong password that you will remember. Write your network name and password down in a secure location so you can remember them when it comes time to connect other units to the network.
Now you can tell the router to save the setting and close the browser down.
Please note that not all routers will use the same heading names, either consult your user manual or browse through the tabs until you find the correct areas.
Step 3. Connect your Devices
Ensure your devices are receiving a signal, either through WiFi or Ethernet and then follow the manufacturer’s instructions to connect to the network. For this step, you will need your network name and password, so you can enter them when prompted. Any device that accesses the Internet will need to be configured, this could include your Blu-Ray player, Roku, TV, Wii, Xbox, or even your security system. If you use the Wi-Fi on your phone, or the kids access it through their handheld gaming devices, then those will also need to be connected to your home network.
You now have a secure home network and while it is not impossible to hack, it is a lot more difficult. A secure network is a lot less tempting and odds are the random hacker is moving on to something a lot easier.
Photo Credit: Tal ETouch