You’ve recently discovered that your neighbor has been secretly connecting to your Wi-Fi and piggybacking your bandwidth. Because of such uninvited guests, your internet connection is unstable at times. Sometimes, you clearly notice when your internet does not work as intended.
Of course, sometimes the blame might go to peak times when many users under the same Internet Service Provider go online. However, it can also be because someone has been using your network without permission.
Gaining access to an open wireless network is far easier than expected. For instance, if you keep the default password on your router, neighbors might find its password according to its manufacturers. Furthermore, even if users change passwords, they might switch to something simple.
You can make your internet connection more immune to neighbors and other entities accessing the network without your permission. This guide will show you how to hide your network name from the list of available connections.
Know how people can access your wireless network after finding it
Every wireless network has an SSID (Service Set Identifier) that gives it a unique identity. A sequence of characters, a maximum of 32, forms the SSID to mark out your wireless network. It’s some name for your network. To ensure that you can find and use it efficiently, most network systems broadcast the SSID by default. This factor gives third parties that window of opportunity to find access to your network.
- When you’ve completed the process of hiding your Wi-Fi network, you’ll be hiding your SSID.
- You have used an SSID every time you have logged into a wireless network at a coffee shop or restaurant. Quite often, the SSID is the name of the place.
Fill in your router’s IP address into the address bar of your internet browser
Have you ever logged into your router before? If not, you’ll need to identify the IP address of your router. “192.168.1.1” is the default IP address for almost every system. After connecting to the network, you’ll have to fill in this address in your internet browser to log in to your router.
Entering the above address should take you to a page that asks you to enter your login credentials. If it doesn’t, refer to your router’s manual. You may also check the bottom of your router as vital information like the network key, SSID, and encryption key are listed in most routers.
Put in the login information for access to the Control Panel
You are prompted to log in with your username and password upon entering the correct IP address. If you haven’t set it to something other than the default ones, refer to your router’s manual again for the default login information.
In case you haven’t ever customized your login information, the username is likely to be “admin,” and the password shall be left blank. To boost the security of your network, make sure that you change the default login details at the earliest.
Select home network/wireless network/WLAN
This section in the control panel allows you to modify a few default settings in your network.
Clicking on the “configure” or “modify” button allows you to configure the network.
Unselect Broadcast Network Name
Look for the “Hide SSID” option. When you opt to hide your SSID, you stop the automatic broadcast of your browser’s name to anybody using any Wi-Fi-capable device. Anybody wanting to connect to your network must enter its name into the device.
You may also consider these additional steps you can take to boost your network’s security and privacy.
- Enabling MAC filtering. All Wi-Fi-capable devices have MAC (Media Access Control) addresses. Enabling MAC filtering makes it necessary to enter the addresses that you allow access to your wireless network to be entered manually. It helps block unauthorized access to your network.
- Set WPA2 Encryption. A surefire way to boost your network’s security is to use WPA2 encryption. Locate your network control panel’s security section. Click on WPA2 on the dropdown menu, after which you’ll need to enter the PSK (Pre-shared key). It is the key anyone looking to access your network will have to enter.
- Install a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Installing a Virtual Private Network boosts your online anonymity. The VPN app hides your actual IP address and connects you to the internet using a remote server. Of course, not all routers support VPNs. Thus, you can install a VPN for Windows or other devices like smartphones and tablets.
Incidents of cybercrime are rising with each passing day. Under the circumstances, you should do everything within your means to protect yourself. Preventing unauthorized access to your wireless network is a fundamental step.
The steps we have suggested help boost the privacy of your wireless network to a great extent. Cover your tracks on the internet as much as you can. Enhancing your online privacy and security keeps you safe and secure.