Securing Your Home Wi-Fi Network: Step 1 - Router
Understanding SSID and Its Importance
An SSID, also known as a network name or Wi-Fi name, stands for Service Set IDentifier. It is the name you look for when connecting to a Wi-Fi network.
By default, commercial routers come with preconfigured SSIDs that often reveal the brand of the router. Take, for example, the GL.iNet router in the photo above, with the default SSID "GL-MT1300-xxx." Unfortunately, this default information can be easily exploited by potential adversaries who could discover crucial details such as the admin password and known hardware vulnerabilities. Armed with this information, even someone with limited knowledge can infiltrate and compromise a network.
It's important to note that default passwords for routers of the same make and model may also be the same. To reduce your network's vulnerability, it is recommended to change both the default SSID and password, which brings us to the next step...
To modify any settings on your router, you will need to access the admin portal, which requires separate login credentials. Unfortunately, these credentials are often factory defaults, just like the previous example. Since the admin portal controls all aspects of your router, changing the admin login information becomes essential. We recommend using a password generator to create highly secure passwords.
The general steps to access the admin portal of a router are as follows, although they may vary depending on the brand and model:
1. Connect to your router using the default login information.
2. Refer to the user manual for instructions on accessing the admin portal. If you don't have the manual, the router's IP address and password are usually located on the bottom of the device.
3. Open your internet browser and enter the IP address of your router.
Once logged in, you should find options to change the following settings:
- Admin Password
- Wi-Fi Password
If the router's admin password is not available, you can perform a web search using the make and model to find it. Alternatively, you can restore the factory settings by using the router's factory reset button.
By implementing these simple changes, your network will be more secure than many of your neighbors', making you a less appealing target. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the available settings in the admin portal, as you can make several helpful changes from there, such as:
- Disabling SSID Broadcasting
- Limiting signal strength
- Creating guest and other networks
- Enabling firewall protections
Stay tuned for more tips on securing your home Wi-Fi network from your router.
In this blog post, we have been using our GL.iNet SLATE travel router as an example. This user-friendly router offers excellent security features and comes highly recommended if you are in the market for a travel router. As you learn more about Wi-Fi vulnerabilities, you'll understand why having your own reliable travel router is both convenient and prudent. #thisisdifferent
Disclosure: Some links on this blog are affiliate links, we may earn a small commission from purchases made through them, which helps support the site. Thank you for your support. 🙏🏽