Home Network Router Security Secrets

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 8, 2006
Updated • May 3, 2013

Today's world is becoming a wireless one. If you sign up at a new Internet provider you have most of the time the choice of a modem that uses cables, and of one that is wireless. Now, most people tend to chose the wireless one because they may not like cables at all or believe that it is easier to handle. Cables not only require you to often crawl under your desk to connect them to the computer, but may also be no solution at all depending on the distance between the modem and the computer.

Wireless also provides accessibility more or less everywhere, while a wired connection limits the accessibility somewhat. While you could get a very long cable, you'd probably soon find out that it is a nuisance to use regularly. So, you can hop in the garden and may have wireless connectivity, but it is likely that you won't do the same if you only use cabled connections.

What most computer users forget to include in the equation are the security risks associated with wireless routers. Most routers come with insecure security settings - or none at all - that attackers can exploit easily. If the router is not thoroughly secured either by default or by the user, others may use it to browse the web and sometimes do things worse than just stealing some of your bandwidth. They more or less have access to a free Internet connection that they can use for anything they desire.

The Informit article Home Network Router Security Secrets gives advice on how to reduce that security risk. Its 11 chapters address security risk and give tips on how to avoid or reduce the risk. For example chapter one "Turn off UPnP" advises you to turn of the universal plug and play service.

A Trojan horse or virus on a computer inside your network could use UPnP to open a hole in your router’s firewall to let outsiders in.

Here are all available suggestions:

  • Turn of UPnP
  • Change your admin password
  • Deactivate SSID broadcast
  • Turn on the DMZ
  • Filter MAC addresses
  • Customize the SSID
  • Update your firmware
  • Reset the factory default
  • Engage WEP
  • Activate WPA

If you are using a wireless router make sure you read the article, it's worth the time.

Please note that some of the suggestions should not be followed anymore. This includes activating WPA, as it is not secure anymore (use WPA2-SPK instead) or deactivating SSID broadcasting. I also suggest you click on print to see all 11 parts of the article on one page.


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  1. Bandit said on October 29, 2014 at 2:16 am

    Just an update to this:
    – should be turn OFF DMZ
    – do not use WEP – it is insecure and can be hacked in minutes

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