Most users might not realize it but their router is one of the most important devices in their households. Nowadays, everything depends on the Internet and if your internet network is not secure enough then hackers can easily get into your network and access all the information that is being shared across your network on different devices.
Your router links all of the devices in your household together, that is why you should keep it secure against hackers. Here are 6 Steps to Secure Your Wi-Fi Router Against Hackers.
1. Change the Admin Password
The first and foremost thing is to change the admin password. The admin password is as important as the Wi-Fi password and you need to make sure that no one accesses the admin gateway of your router, otherwise, it will be a big trouble for you.
The admin gateway of a router holds all the important settings of both the router and the Wi-Fi network. If someone were to access the admin gateway without your consent then he would be able to access all the settings of both the router & Wi-Fi network along with the data being shared across the network. The reason why the admin gateway is vulnerable is that most users don’t consider changing the default admin password which is easy to guess for anyone.
If you wanna protect your router then make sure that you change the admin password at the soonest to avoid any mishap to your router. Most of the routers have the default gateway address as either 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.10. You can access the admin gateway of your router and change the admin password from there.
2. Choose a strong security protocol and Wi-Fi Password
The security protocol of choice should be either WPA2 or the latest, WPA3. The older security protocols such as WPA or WEP are less secure and susceptible to brute-force attacks. Always make sure that you’re using WPA2, which is available in all the routers that come out in the last decade, or if you have a modern-day router then WPA3.
Also, make sure that when you are setting up the Wi-Fi Password then it is a complex one, a combination of upper-case, lower-case letters along with numbers and special characters. Such passwords are complex and hard to be brute-forced or guessed by anyone.
3. Disable WPS
WPS or Wi-Fi Protected Setup is a technology that lets you connect to the network by simply pressing a button or entering a PIN code. While the Push Button feature is secure, the PIN code feature is not and it is what makes WPS broken.
Most people would argue that why should they disable WPS if it lets you connect to the network so easily in the first place but in reality, the PIN code feature of WPS is broken. It consists of an eight dight PIN code, out of which the eighth digit is a check digit so, the PIN code is reduced to seven digits, and to make things easier for the hackers, most routers don’t have a cooling period or limit for PIN code tries, meaning that you can enter PIN Code as many times as possible. So, disabling the WPS feature is better for the security of your router.
4. Keep the firmware updated all the times
Most people once they buy a Wi-Fi router, don’t do anything regarding its security. One of the things that keep your router secure is your router’s firmware. If you are not familiar with firmware then consider it the operating system on which the router runs, just like your mobile phones and PCs.
When you buy a router then it comes with the firmware pre-installed but the manufacturer releases firmware updates every once in a while to fix & patch the bugs that were available in the previous version. When you update your firmware then it is guaranteed to boost the security of your Wi-Fi network while at the same time, not costing any money at all.
5. Use different DNS Servers
By default, all the routers send the DNS requests to the ISP and it depends on your ISP what kind of DNS server it chooses. DNS can be considered as an Internet Phone Book that contains the IP addresses of the websites that you want to visit and hackers usually target potentially weak DNS servers. There are public DNS servers available from companies Google, Cloudflare, OpenDNS that focus on security and even have encrypted versions to ensure that the privacy of the users is not disturbed.
6. Use MAC Filtering Feature
Most routers nowadays have a feature called MAC Address filtering that lets you filter and restrict the devices’ access to your Wi-Fi network based on their MAC Address or their physical address (network card address). You can either blacklist or whitelist the devices by entering their MAC Addresses. The blacklisted devices won’t be able to connect to your network while when you whitelist several devices then only the whitelisted devices will be able to join the network, other devices will be restricted from doing so.