Have You Looked At Your Wireless Router?

Do you have a wireless router in your home or business? If you do, you need to read this post for more information on the steps to protect your wireless security. Wireless routers usually get installed by yourself or technicians from your wireless provider, which in my area of Baltimore, Maryland, is more than likely to be Comcast or Verizon. Every wireless router comes from the factory with a network name, also known in technical terms as the Service Set Identifier or SSID, and a password to allow technicians or the individual user to access the wireless router and change the settings. The SSID and password for the router can be frequently found on the bottom or side of the router, depending on the brand. The technicians initially use this data to access the router and set it up for the customer. Now that you know how to find your initial SSID and password for the router let’s talk about improving its security.

The wireless router in your home or business has an internet protocol address, also known as an IP address. Every piece of electronic traffic gets sent from inside your home or business to your wireless router at that IP address. Then it is sent externally to your home or business by the router, also called a gateway. The router’s IP address is your way of accessing it to check its security and change settings. How do you find your router’s IP address? While I could write several paragraphs about how to accomplish this task, I recommend you search Google to determine the proper method to find your router’s IP address using your specific laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Once you have found your wireless router’s IP address, we are ready to help improve your wireless security.

To access your wireless router, you type its IP address into the address field of your web browser and send it on its way. Your browser should present you with a website for a user ID and password. If you use Comcast as your provider, you will get a page that identifies itself as an Xfinity Gateway login screen. You should use the network name or SSID as the user ID, and the password found on the router’s label, assuming you have never changed it. If that user ID and password don’t work, then use a user ID of “admin” and a password of “password.” Assuming that neither you nor a technician has changed the user ID and password values, then one of these two options will grant you access to your gateway.

Once inside your router or gateway, you will most likely see a screen with a series of menus for options to change the settings on your router. If you are using Comcast Xfinity, you can change settings for software, hardware, or the firewall; you can use their wizard to walk you through your choices, and you can also view all your connected devices and institute parental controls on your wireless router for those of you who want to turn it off at 10 pm. The first step you should take is to change your password for accessing your router, which is marked at the top of the login screen for Comcast. As you explore this maze of choices, make some initial notes on the current settings before making changes. You must experiment, and I recommend making choices in small increments so you can test them before making additional changes. Today’s routers have many more security features than the average home or business owner realizes, so explore these cautiously, and you will improve your security.

Please feel free to send me comments or questions regarding this blog post or my previous post, and I will respond as soon as possible. Thank you for checking out my blog!