Cornell University

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Securing Your Wireless Home Network

Your wireless Access Point or Router may have been easy to set up, but is it secured? If you haven’t taken steps to secure it, the answer is a definite "No." If your wireless network is not secured, not only does it give anyone in range access to your computer but it also allows them to connect to the Internet disguised as you.

Due to the differences between various brands and models of routers, this page cannot provide explicit instructions on how to secure your wireless home network. Read the manual and learn the specifics of how to secure your wireless network – it is not that hard and it is very important that you do so. Here are the basics:

  • Change the SSID – This is your network's wireless ID. Change it from the default and if the device allows you to, prevent the SSID from being broadcast.
  • Control Access – Every network card has an identification number built into it. You can configure your wireless access point so that it will not talk to a network card unless you identify the card as a 'legitimate user'.
  • Encryption – Turn it on and set it to the highest level you can. This encrypts your data as it travels through the air making it useless to someone who may be intercepting the signal.
And that's pretty much all there is to securing a wireless network at home!