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Tuesday 23rd September 2014
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How To Lock Your Wi-Fi Network

computer securityWireless networking offers an easy way for your computers, game consoles and an array of technology to access the internet without trailing wires all over the house.

Usually the network consists of a router/modem connected to the internet and each device wirelessly connects to it via a network card either built into the computer or added at a later date.

Some ISPs such as SKY and BT may supply a router with the wireless network already locked and the network key printed on the bottom so you won’t need this tutorial and can carry on wirelessly networking without worry.

Why should you lock your network?
Security is a very important factor when setting up your network. If you leave it unlocked, anyone in your street can log onto your network, use your internet connection and download all sorts of undesirable nonsense.

If you don’t secure the router itself, they can even change your settings and lock you out of your own network!

How to lock your network?
To find out if your network is locked, click on your wireless internet icon on the computer. It should show you a list of all the wireless networks in your area including your own using the name you have given it or something like SKY12345 or BT65432 etc. If there a closed lock icon next to your network, then you know its locked. All you need to do is make sure that the default username and password to log onto your router has been changed to something only you know. Refer to your router instructions or website to find out how to  do this as routers vary by model.

If your network does not have a lock or the lock is open, then it means its possible for anyone to log onto it. To stop this, log into your router again using the instructions that came with it. If you’ve lost them, go to the website of the company that made your site.

Most routers are accessed by an internet browser and typing in the IP address of the router. Netgear Routers for example usually use 192.168.0.1 as its address. BT routers often use 192.168.1.1 The router will ask for your username and password and then show you a menu.

Look for the menu that is for wireless security settings. Click on it and if the menu shows NONE  you will need to change it. There are various strengths of security and most computers can use WEP or WPA.

You may need to experiment with your computer to find out which security level works best with your computer. Most new computers can use WPA.

You will then be asked to create a network key (ie password). Do so and make a note of it. Once you do that and apply the settings, go back to your list of networks and YOUR network should now have a lock on it.  Click on it and it will ask you for network key.

You should now be on a secure network! If you have any problems, contact the supplier of your router.

Don’t forget if you secure your network, you will have to put the network key into your games consoles, mobiles phones, media centre and anything else that connects to your computer through your router.

If you have any other problems, refer to the supplier of your modem or visit the website of the manufacturer.