Internet, Networking, & Security Home Networking 5 Tips for Securing Your Wireless Network It's time for a wireless tune-up Share Pin Email Print The Wireless Connection The Wireless Connection Introduction All About Wireless What Does Wireless Really Mean? 802.11 Standards Explained The Range Of A Wireless Network Dual-Band Wireless Networking Explained How Bluetooth Works With Wireless Measure It: Wi-Fi Signal Strength What Is A Wi-Fi Hotspot? The Best Wi-Fi Channels For Your Network Access Your Router As An Administrator 5 Tips for Securing A Wireless Network How Many Devices Can Connect To One Wireless Router? 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Try This What to Do When There's No Internet Connection The Future of Wireless 5G Changes Everything How 4G And 5G Are Different Why 5G Really Is Faster All About 5G Cell Towers 5G Challenges: Why It Isn't Rolling Out Faster Is 5G The High-Speed Replacement for Cable? When 5G Is Coming to the US The 12 Best 5G Phones Coming in 2019 Yagi Studio/Digital Vision/Getty Images By Andy O'Donnell Writer Andy O'Donnell, MA, is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire and a senior security engineer who is active in internet and network security. our editorial process Andy O'Donnell Updated June 24, 2019 129 129 people found this article helpful How secure is your wireless network? Is it tough enough to handle a hacker attack, or is it wide-open with no encryption or password, allowing anyone and everyone to get a free ride while you pay the bill? Wireless security is important to everyone because no one wants hackers in their network stealing data or stealing previous bandwidth that they pay good money for. Let's look at some steps you can take to lock down your wireless network: Turn on WPA2 Encryption on Your Wireless Router If you set up your Wi-Fi network several years ago and haven’t changed any settings since then, chances are, you might be using the outdated Wireless Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption which is easily hackable by even the most novice hacker. Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) is the current standard and is much more hacker-resistant. Depending on how old your wireless router is, you may need to upgrade its firmware to add WPA2 support. If you can't upgrade your router's firmware to add support for WPA2 then you should consider investing in a new wireless router that supports WPA2 encryption. Don't Use a Common Wireless Network Name (SSID) There's a list that hackers like to refer to that contains the Top 1000 most common SSIDs (wireless network names). If your SSID is on this list, hackers have likely already created a custom Rainbow Table (password hash table) that can be used to crack your network's password (unless you're using a really long network password). Even some implementations of WPA2 may be vulnerable to this type of attack. Check to make sure your network’s name is not on the list. Make your network name as random as possible and avoid using dictionary words. Create a Really Long Wireless Network Password (Pre-Shared Key) In conjunction with creating a strong network name that isn't on the list of the most common SSIDs, you should choose a strong password for your pre-shared key. A shorter length password is more likely to be cracked than a longer one. Longer passwords are better because the Rainbow Tables that are used to crack passwords aren't practical after you exceed a certain length of password due to storage limitations. Consider setting your wireless network's password to a length of 16 or more characters. You have plenty of room to get creative with your pre-shared Key as the maximum password length for WPA2-PSK is 64 characters. It may seem like a royal pain to type in a super long password, but since most Wi-Fi devices cache this password, you’ll only have to endure this annoyance once per device, which is a small price to pay for the added security it provides. Enable and Test Your Wireless Router's Firewall Most wireless routers have a built-in firewall that can be used to help keep hackers out of your network. You should consider enabling and configuring the built-in firewall (see your router manufacturer's support site for details). You may also want to enable the firewall's "Stealth Mode" feature to help reduce your network's visibility as a potential target. Once you've enabled your firewall you should periodically test it to ensure that it is doing its job. Turn Off The "Admin Via Wireless" Feature on Your Wireless Router You can help prevent hackers from taking control of the administrative features of your wireless router by turning off the "admin via wireless" configuration setting. Disabling “Admin Via Wireless” ensures that only someone who is connected to your router via an Ethernet cable can access the administrative functions of your wireless router. This helps prevent them from trying to turn off other security features such as wireless encryption and your firewall.