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ArticlesHow to Setup Encryption on Wireless Router
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Wireless Router and Getting Connected
Wireless routers operate by getting rid of the need to have every computer on the network hardwired to an Ethernet cable. This is a common choice today, especially in most households where running wires everyplace could end up being a nightmare. While wireless routers are common today because of their convenience, it does have a flaw. Often times, wireless routers can be slower than when you have an Ethernet connection.

Here are the steps to setup encryption on a wireless router:
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1. The first step is to log onto the router. To do this, you need to open a browser window and type in the address of your wireless router. You will then need to log in with the admin name and password. If you do not have this information, you can find a manual for your router on the manufacturer's website to help you with this process.

2. Some encryptions are more secure than others. Here are the different types of encryptions:
  • WEP, or Wired Equivalent Privacy, is a security algorithm that was created for the purpose of offering data confidentiality that was comparable to the traditional wired network. WEP is an encryption that is very easy to get into, making it one of the least secure encryptions.
  • WPA, or Wi-Fi Protected Access, was created by Wi-Fi Alliance as one of 2 security protocols and security certifications. It was created with the intention of securing wireless networks for computers after realizing the WEP had so many weaknesses. This is available through firmware updates.
  • WPA2 is the second protocol that was created by Wi-Fi Alliance. It is intended to be used instead of WPA, as a result of weaknesses they discovered in WPA. It mandates support for CCMP, which is an AES-based encryption that has a strong security.
  • AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and is often referred to as Rijndael. It is the specification for the encryption of electronic data that was established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It was adopted by the United States government and is used globally.
  • TKIP, or Temporal Key Integrity Protocol, was a security protocol that was used in IEEE 802.11 wireless standard. It was originally a temporary solution to replace WEP so there was no need to replace legacy hardware. This encryption is no longer thought of as secure and was deprecated in 2012.
3. You will need to find the "Wireless Security" or "Wireless Network" on the settings page.

4. Next you will need to find the "Wireless Encryption Type" setting and change it to WPA2-PSK. If this option does not exist, you will need to update the firmware to get this capability. You can find firmware updates on the manufacturer's website. If you cannot find a firmware update, your hardware may be too old for WPA2 and you will need to replace the wireless router with a newer model.

5. It is important to create a strong network name (often known as SSID), and you will definitely want to create a strong password. Be sure to write this information down and put it in a safe location.

6. You can now save and apply settings. You may need to reboot the router to apply the settings.

7. Now you will need to reconnect all of your wireless devices by selecting the name and password on each device.

8. You should regularly check up on firmware updates to help protect from security vulnerabilities that your router may be susceptible to. The new updates may also have new security features to help keep your network secure.

Encryption offers a level of security to prevent hackers or other outsiders from accessing your wireless network without your permission. Some use this for less nefarious needs like simply to get online when they do not have access otherwise. Some use this to get into your computer and steal your information. However, even with these encryption in place, it is still possible for intelligent hackers to still get into networks through vulnerabilities. They will exploit these vulnerabilities through a variety of different methods; the most common way is by cracking the password. There are also DDOS attacks and viruses that can break into these systems.

In conclusion, It is better to protect your wireless network than to just leave it unsecured. In a few short steps, anyone can be capable of securing their own wireless network. If you do run into problems securing your network, you can contact the manufacturer for assistance or go to a local computer professional for assistance.