In the multimedia world we live in, it’s easy to see the benefits of having a home network. It’s impossible to list all the ways it can prove useful. From streaming movies directly on your TV, easy file-sharing, syncing and creating backups between users, providing effortless remote access and playing LAN video games – the possibilities are endless. A home network can make your life easier and improve your user experience immeasurably. However, it does require some expertise to set it up. The main concern is staying safe. However, there’s no need to worry – we’ve got you covered. Here are a few simple tips on how to keep your network safe from impostors.
Protect Your WiFi
Protecting your WiFi with a password might sound like it without saying, but you’d be surprised to know how many people skip it. When generating a password use something that will be easy for you to remember, but hard for other people to guess. That means, don’t use a generic password like 1234, or your nickname. When choosing the encryption standard – or authentication type, make sure you choose WPA2. Why does it matter? Well, the other options – WEP and WPA are vulnerable to intrusions and easily breached. The possibilities of an intrusion are very low with WPA2, as it requires so much effort it is unlikely anyone would go to the trouble for a humble home network.
Having a safe and secure network doesn’t only mean protecting it from outside breaches. It also means setting up a reliable Internet connection that won’t get interrupted all the time and can support the possible future increases in speed. Basing your entire home network on reliable cables gives you that kind of safety. While the demand for the increased Internet speed rises, not all buildings are equipped with the necessary infrastructure to support this. That’s why companies like Boscom.net.au do an excellent job at setting up home networks.
Create a Guest Network
A serious security breach that people rarely think about, surprisingly, doesn’t come from a bad set-up or faulty technology. It happens when you give out your password to your friends, family and other visitors. Whenever someone comes to visit, one of the first questions they ask is your WiFi password. Of course, it’s rude not to give it. So, how do you go around this problem? Easy – by creating a guest network! One of the many benefits of buying quality hardware for secure home networking is that some routers and modems support guest networks. How does that work? Instead of allowing guests to log onto your private network, they bypass it entirely by creating a separate guest access point. That way, the guests are not connecting to the network at all. Of course, all this work won’t be much good if the passwords for the guest network and your own are the same, so keep in mind you have to come up with different ones!
Keep Your Systems Updated
Whatever your operating system, don’t ignore regular updates. Believe it or not, updates and new versions serve a purpose other than annoying you. Developers use them to remove bugs and vulnerabilities that have emerged in the previous versions. Plenty of times, updated versions are used to solve security problems. It’s important to update the software on all your computers, as well as the firmware on the router. Beware that firmware updates will probably reset all your settings to the manufacturer default, though.
Use a Firewall
There’s just one little thing left to do so you can be sure in the knowledge that your network is properly protected. A firewall is software that serves as a boundary between your network and the rest of the world. It is basically what stands between you and potential attackers. Don’t rely on default software; once you’ve installed and properly configured a reputable firewall on all of your computers, you can rest easy knowing you are safe.
While it may seem complicated at first, don’t give up. Setting up a home network is not rocket science, after all. With a bit of effort, you can create a great setup and enjoy the benefits for years to come.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with ten years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and regular contributor to Technivorz.