You may have never considered its significance but your router is the most important gadget at your home. Its absence would mean no Wi-Fi for your devices. Your router is like a checkpoint station and the internet packets are the cars that are checking through the station, it keeps an eye on the visitors and keep unwanted visitors at bay.
But the checkpoint sometimes faces problems and may allow an intruder to pass through. Uh Oh! That is a bad news. This decade has observed so many vulnerabilities in the router –KRACK vulnerability took nights of all the router manufacturers, a malware took away all the ZyXEL routers, 10 vulnerabilities were found in D-Link’s routers and much more.
Keeping your Wi-Fi safe from unwanted intrusion is not that tough of a job. We should start with basic security.
Basic Router Security
As a first measure your router presents a single IP address to the world for all the connected devices rather than showing individual IP address of each device.That is not much effective but makes it quite hard to attack. This serves basic firewall is there in your router known as NAT (Network Address Translation) which does routing and port filtering. It filters data packets that don’t have a valid address by not letting them reach any device.
What happens after forwarding and security problems?
Post Forwarding is a protection system by the router which is there to make our life easier when dealing with apps in need of special privileges. Genuine requests which are sent in a different port get automatically rerouted to the right place. This means less hassle connecting when you want to remotely control your laptop from office.
One tool used to manage port forwarding id UPnP –Universal Plug and Play. The key idea is to ease the process for game consoles and smart TVs to manage and open ports, and most experts think it’s better to turn off UPnP unless you have a specific need.
Securing the LAN
Above was the protection from outside but what about protection of devices. The only thing in between them is your Wi-Fi password –you should change it in a while. You may need to re-enter password in all of the devices but this is the best way.
Your password uses a protocol that must be WPA2 Wireless Protected Access 2 and in case your router yet uses WEP or WAP then upgrade your router ASAP. WPA2 is an encryption and it scrambles the data being sent that way even if someone gets the data, the data is unreadable without the key. Your neighbor is unlikely to do a brute force attack to check all the combinations.
Protection of Router
The WPS might be a very convenient way to connect to the Wi-Fi but we suggest you to keep it off as it increases the risk of penetration.
You should also change the username and password used to configure your router’s setting and shift from the stock router provided by the ISP for better security. If there are remotely controlled options in your router then switch them off when you are not using them. Your Wi-Fi’s security is very much in your hand, adapt these methods to stay safe.