Home Router Configuration

Question: How should I configure my home Internet router so it is secure and my neighbors cannot get on my network wirelessly to surf the Web?

The IT Guy says:
The instruction manual that came with your router should include instructions, but there are a lot of choices for router configurations and the acronyms can be confusing as well as intimidating.

Generally, you can get a router or wireless router to work right out of the box by turning things on in the following order: first turn on / plug in your cable or DSL modem, next turn on the router, last turn on your computer. Depending on the high speed Internet service you have purchased, you may need to install software to verify your identity and use or obtain a user-id and password from the ISP. Many do not require this, however.

Especially if your router has wireless functionality, you DO NOT want to leave it running in its default configuration. The reason is that the default name of your wireless network is being “broadcast†out to everyone within a 300’ radius of your house, most likely, and without any security measures in place anyone with a wireless computer can hop on your network. Every security technique for a home router can be defeated by a knowledgable hacker, but some security is certainly better than none and should deter most would-be wireless internet borrowers.

Generally you will log in to your router using the default IP address that is specified in the manual: Just type this IP address into your Web browser when you are connected to the router (either with a wired computer or wireless computer.) The first step you must do is to change the default password, which is likely something very standard like “admin.†This will prevent someone who does gain access to your wireless network from easily gaining administrative control of your router, and possibly messing up the settings.

Next Tip: Limiting access to home wireless networks