How to Password Protect a Wireless Router

Many households have unsecured wireless networks, which can lead to hackers as well as leaks in confidential information. However, you can password-protect your wireless network by taking some basic steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Comprehension
  • Basic Understanding of Computers and Networks
  • Print out of this article

Instructions

    • 1

      Determine your network IP address by navigating to the "Start" menu and selecting "Run." In the Run dialog, type "cmd" (without quotes) and click "OK." The Command Prompt dialog opens. Type "ipconfig/all" (without quotes) and press "Enter." The command prompt will display a list of data for you network, including your IP address.

    • 2

      Launch a Web browser and input your IP address in the address box. The control page of your router is displayed. Refer to the manual that came with your specific router on the manufacturer password/user name to login to your network. Usually the User Name is "admin" or "password" and the password is either "admin" or "password." Sometimes these fields are left blank. After logging into the router you can access the administrative functions.

    • 3

      Within the administrative functions, navigate to the security settings. Within the security settings, you can change the username and password to log in to the router.

    • 4

      Disable the router's remote administrative functions. Remote administrative functions allow anyone using the Internet to access your router. To be more secure, disable these options. The only reason to enable them is if a network administrator isn't always on location.

    • 5

      Change the network's name. Your router comes with a default network name like WLAN or Linksys. These names are referred to as SSIDs. You want to change the name to something that you will recognize, but others won't associate with you. If your name is John, don't call your network "John's Network."

    • 6

      Enable encryption and enter a password in the appropriate field. Wireless routers use several types of encryption, including WPA2, WPA and WEP.
      At the time of publication, WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protect Access 2) is the most secure encryption format available on some routers. But you can't use this encryption type if your router doesn't support it.

      WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is recommended if WPA2 isn't available on your specific model.

      WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy is the least secure of all the encryption formats and is relatively easy to hack. If you have no other choice, use at least WEP encryption. Some protection is better than no protection..

    • 7

      Record your password and settings for future reference. If you lose your password, you can reset your wireless router to the manufacturer's default settings by pressing the router's "Reset" button, usually found on the back of the unit. Remember to re-secure your network after a reset.

Tips & Warnings

  • Print out these instructions and follow them when setting up your own network or securing your wireless router.
  • Ask for help if you get lost, places like best buy will secure your network for about $50. It will be money well spent, TRUST ME!
  • Not securing your wireless network is like leaving your front door of your home open to invaders.
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  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

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