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Home Wireless Networks

A home wireless network that is working properly and has all the appropriate security measures in place provides wonderful convenience for users. A home network should allow multiple users to connect to the internet with multiple devices and utilize the network for business purposes, personal and various sources of entertainment such as streaming video or music. While a home wireless network is very useful and convenient, unfortunately many times they are not set up properly. A network that is not set up properly can have large gaps in security leaving users open to a whole range risks they may not even be aware of. Some of the most dangerous internet security risks can operate behind the scenes and users may not even know what is really happening while they continue to use an unsecured network connection.


Common Security Issues and Home Wireless Networks

Passwords

As the use and availability of the internet has grown so has the number of online risks. Because people are using the internet more and more for online banking and all types of personal transactions, criminals long ago began to target online users. While the use and risk level has changed, how people come up with the passwords they use most of time has not, leaving their accounts vulnerable. This is particularly true for home wireless networks. What makes a home network even more at risk is the name of the network is broadcast to the immediate area allowing easy identification and hacking attempts by even novice hackers. Some passwords are easy enough for a reasonable person with a little logic to make a guess and come up with the right password. Other passwords might be a little better but even simple password cracking programs can easily break these passwords. The biggest problem with the passwords that people use is they represent items names that people can remember easily. The best passwords are a bit more random and are a combination of letters, symbols and numbers that would appear to not make any sense. These types of passwords are the most difficult for programs to crack and are almost impossible to figure out by simply guessing.

Open Ports

Ports are points of entry into a computer and allow for internet traffic to travel in and out. Most people are not even aware ports exist particularly on the router that controls their home wireless network. Just like ports can be opened or closed on your computer, this is also true for the router that controls the traffic for your network. If a port on your router is sitting open then it means it might be used as a vulnerable point and place where a hacker can enter your system. It is important to perform a scan of your home wireless network and determine if there are any open ports both on your router and on the machine that you are using while accessing the network. You must ensure that all open ports are closed on both units and this should be checked frequently.

Traffic Monitoring

A good way to tell if you might have a problem with the security on your home wireless network or on your PC itself is by looking at the activity and traffic on your network. There are many different programs available that can help you do this and they offer insight into all types of different activity that is taking place on your home wireless network. Some of the programs can even identify and focus in on a single packet of information and tell you what might be contained within the packet. Traffic monitoring is important because it will tell you if there is a lot of communication between programs on your network that you don’t know about. If you see activity that you do not recognize and sources that are foreign to you, then you will want to track those down and find out what they are doing. These programs can be a little technical and it does take some learning to figure out to operate them. However, there is no better way to see what is really happening with your system than a traffic monitoring program.

Firewalls

Most home wireless networks have some type of firewall built-in to help protect your machine from the outside internet world. However, just because it has a firewall listed in the specifications do not assume the settings are optimal for keeping your network safe. Firewalls are only good if the settings are correct, all their ports have been closed and they have been properly configured. It is very common for people to accept the standard installation settings that come with a firewall and they do not understand this can leave huge gaps in security. Many times it offers a direct pathway from the outside internet directly into whatever machines are using your network. Taking the time to fully understand your particular firewall and the exact settings that are needed for your home wireless network is important. This can often mean the difference between a secure network and a totally unsecured network.

While home wireless networks are a wonderful convenience, there are many things to understand about them and to configure properly. The above issues are just a few of the many items that need to be configured properly with proper settings in place. Of course, some of the items can be a bit technical and may be difficult for someone who is setting up a system for the first time. If you need help setting up your home wireless network then give our remote computer support service a try. We offer expert computer support that is quick, affordable and effective. We can help with just about any type of PC problem you may have and our technicians are highly experienced at configuring home wireless networks properly.