A Wi-Fi router is a gadget you can probably find at almost every home. It enables all outgoing and incoming traffic and controls which device can access your Wi-Fi network (PCs, laptops, phones, tablets, etc.).
As it is such a widely used gadget, it is vital to keep it safe and secure so that all traffic flowing through it doesn’t get disrupted or intercepted. For this particular reason, it is important to know how you can protect your network from interruptions. Be it in the form of an attack or Wi-Fi piggybacking; such factors can greatly compromise your experience.
Thus, let’s discuss some beginner-friendly solutions for protecting your network. The recommendations will include encryption, hiding your IP address, and other essential tips.
Why do people encrypt internet traffic?
The two main reasons why people encrypt internet traffic:
1. To hide their activity from Internet Service Providers (ISPs). There might be no laws or restrictions stopping ISPs from monetizing your internet activities. For instance, information about your browsing habits could be sent to unknown third-party companies. Knowing that you might pay hefty sums already, it seems like overkill for ISPs to profit off your habits.
2. To stop ads from popping up. You might constantly notice ads that have been tailored to suit you. It is all thanks to web tracking, meaning that your every move contributes to your digital profile.
Now we know the two fundamental reasons why people attempt to encrypt information about their activities. It could be done on routers or individual apps. The optimal solution for many is to use a personal VPN for encrypting all internet traffic. A Virtual Private Network is a tool that has assisted millions of people, and it is incredible at safeguarding your digital identity.
Other ways for protecting your home network
The top five other ways to secure your home network are the following.
Make sure your firmware is up to date
Firmware is low-level software that your router runs on. Make sure you get all the latest security patches and fix all bugs on the spot. You should easily find the options for updating router’s firmware in the router’s control panel.
Make a unique and strong password
Every router has a default password it comes along with. You should enter the settings on your router and change it, making sure it is a strong one and would be hard to hack. Also, you should carry out this procedure regularly – for example, every couple of months.
Disable WPS, UPnP, and Remote Access
You can disable these features in the settings panel of your router. Keeping them on won’t necessarily expose you to a hacker, but we want to be on the safe side. If some apps can’t work without them, enable them again.
Try to use a guest network
If your router has a guest network, encourage visitors to use it. It means that anyone accessing your Wi-Fi connection will use it without entering any other part of your network. It doesn’t mean that your friends intend to hack you, but you’re better off with them not having access to your main network.
Security comes first
Most routers in these modern times are secure. If this is already so, you want to make sure that no device compromises it. Therefore, keep all your devices equipped with up-to-date software, and watch out which apps and programs you install.
There are many threats that could compromise your network. For instance, wardriving refers to perpetrators driving around in a car looking for vulnerable ones. While it is not as prominent nowadays, it is still a threat.
However, your privacy should be of the utmost importance. Many ISPs might not deal with your traffic with respect it deserves. By encrypting your internet traffic, you gain more privacy and anonymity, two factors essential in the modern digital space.
For the last tips, we also recommend that you change the name of your default home network. You can also take a step further and hide your network from being displayed as an option for connection. Such change will help fend off against neighbors attempting to connect to your network.
We hope you better understand why keeping your Wi-Fi router, network, and IP address safe is essential for a secure flow of traffic coming in and out of your home. It’s completely normal and even encouraged to armor yourself with safety gadgets to avoid inconveniences.
With our list of ways to hide your IP and secure your Wi-Fi router, you are fully equipped to go on your online browsing spree, not worrying that your data will get stolen or hacked.