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Tech Tip Tuesday: Secure Your Wireless Router (Part 3)

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This series provides tips ranging from the very basic to just slightly less basic and will be broken down into the following:

Let's get on with the final part in our three part chapter.More...

Question: How can I secure my wireless signal to ensure no one can snoop or listen in on my digital information?

Answer: Follow these simple steps and you'll be another step closer to locking down your router.

  1. Open your router's configuration web page. The URL for this varies across router vendors, so if the first one doesn't work, try the others or look up this information in your router's manual (if none of these work, feel free to post a comment and I will try to help as best I can).
  2. Enter your router's username and password in the login screen as seen below. Again, the username and password varies by router, so either look this up in your router manual or try one of the options below:
    • Usernames: admin, root, or leave blank
    • Passwords: admin or leave blank
    • router login.gif
  3. After you're logged in to your router's configuration web page, it's time to turn on encryption.
  4. Navigate to the Wireless section
  5. Navigate to the Wireless Security sub-section
  6. Choose WPA Personal (or WPA Pre-shared key) in the Security Mode dropdown encryption.gif
  7. Choose AES in the WPA Algorithms dropdown
  8. In the Shared Key box, enter a password that you can easily remember.
  9. Click Save Changes
  10. To ensure you can still connect to your network, go to your wireless network settings on your PC, click Connect, and enter the same password you entered on the router setup screen.
  11. That's it. Hopefully this helps you in your quest to secure your router.

DISCLAIMER: The author in no way takes responsibility for damage done to your router. If for some reason your router ceases to stop working, find the Reset button on the router and push it in with a pin for 10 seconds. That should reset your router to its factory settings.

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  • sallysitwell

    I have been trying to figure out a relatively simple way to secure the wireless Internet we got about two months ago. Everything on the Internet was confusing and somehow overly-detailed and vague at the same time. Or else it wants me to pay for something, which didn’t seem right. But I just found your instructions and set the whole thing up in minutes with no hassles. So thank you thank you thank you for this. Now I’ll have to search through your site and see if there’s a “Protecting Your Computer: Lessons for Stupid People” since I just spent the past three days fixing a nasty virus that tore up my parents’ computer.

  • simon

    I COMPLETELY agree with the above comment.
    I have been trying to secure my wireless router for a long time now. Other sites seem to be way too detailed with information that isn’t even needed. This was super simple and took a couple of minutes to setup.
    Thanks alot!!!!!

  • Sarah

    Thanks for this, have now secured my network though my laptop no longer wants to connect to the wireless router, it does not ask for a password and when I try to change the properties it will not let me, perhaps this is because I am using Vista but any help would be appreciated.

  • kegbert

    okay, I have done all three of the tips posted in this three part series and all was well until this third one. It kicked me off of my wireless and for the life of me I was not able to reconnect to it. I have reset my linksys router by holding the button in for 30 seconds and unplugging it then plugging it back in, but I still can’t see it on my list of available networks….somebody please help!!! I think I’ve made it so secure that now I can’t even connect to it.

  • Wendy

    I too have tried the above and have Vista. If I choose anything on the security mode besides disable, it says that that the settings saved on the computer for the network do not match the requirements of the network. How do I fix this so that I will be able to password protect my wireless?

  • George

    thanks this really helped!i got to put a password

  • Jackied

    It asks me for my password I dont think I have one with my lisnky? where to now..please help

  • Fish

    This worked!! Thank you!!!!!