Top 10 Home Network Security Improvements

Protecting your home network is more important than ever.

Below are my top 10 things to check when trying to improve my network security.

1. Passwords

Use complex passwords, do not use easy to guess passwords.

Change the default admin password to your router. This is the administrative account used to log into your router’s web interface for configuration.

Set complex password(s) for your Wi-Fi connections. You can have more than one.

2. Update Firmware or Custom

Firmware updates fix issues, patch vulnerabilities, and improve performance.

Always update to the latest version for your router.

If your router’s firmware is outdated and the manufacturer is not providing updates, consider installing custom firmware. Check out firmware from DD-WRT, Fresh Tomato, AdvancedTomato, or Gargoyle.

3. Wi-Fi Security Options (WPA2 or WPA3)

When configuring your Wi-Fi, use WPA2 or WPA3 security.

You will want to use the highest security type that your router supports.

You also should consider what is support by your devices that will connect to Wi-Fi as well. If your devices do not support WPA3, then you’ll have to fall back to WPA2.

4. Guest Wi-Fi Network

Routers for the past several years have had an option to enable a guest network. Enable this option.

This will create a Wi-Fi network that can access the internet but cannot access your internal network.

This is great for when friends or family come over and want to use your Wi-Fi.

5. Turn off UPnP

Find the setting for Universal Plug n Play and turn it off.

This protocol was a means to make it easy to connect devices but is not secure.

6. Turn off Remote Administration

Routers have options to allow you to remotely log in to make configuration changes.

This is usually not turn on by default, but I would check and make sure it is turned off.

7. Isolated Network for IoTs

In more advanced routers, you can setup Virtual LANs or VLANs.

This can be used to create a separate internal network to be used for IoT devices.

This allows you to isolate smart devices like Thermostats, Garage Door Openers, Vacuums, etc…

8. Adjust Signal Strength

If your Wi-Fi coverage is more than you need.

For example, if your Wi-Fi signal reaches beyond your property lines, you may consider reducing your transmit power.

Reducing the power would shrink your coverage and would make it more difficult for unwanted persons to access your Wi-Fi.

9. IP Reservations and Labels

Typically you will get assigned an IP address from your DHCP server/router.

You can set IP reservations so that each time your phone or laptop connects to your network, it gets assigned the same internal IP.

This can make it easier for you to identify when an unknown device is on your network.

10. Backup Configuration

With all of these configuration changes that you’ve made on your router, you are going to want to export/save these settings.

Save your configuration each time you make changes to your router.

Also, store these backup files somewhere that will be convenient for you to retrieve in case you need to restore them.

Technology changes at a fast pace, but by following these tips, you’ll be on your way to improving your home network security.

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