Best practices checklist for your WiFi network


Strengthen your password security


To boost your password security, use a passphrase instead of a simple password. Create your passphrase as long as the device is capable of. Make it personal and use something only you know.

Use a combination of upper/lower case and special characters and also substitute a number for a letter. The passphrase needs to be hard to guess and something you will remember.

Build a strong passphrase using simple details. For example, if you are into wines, create a passphrase like "Get me a b0ttle 0f 2001 Reserve wine".


Create a unique router passphrase


Create a unique and secure router passphrase. This needs to be different from your WiFi passphrase.


Protect your WiFi by using a strong WiFi passphrase


This rule is paramount. Always use a unique passphrase or password to protect your personal WiFi network. This needs to be different from your router passphrase. This can prohibit strangers from connecting to your WiFi. Today, the liabilities concerning WiFi access are numerous, including downloading illegal content. Keep strangers out of your network and protect your WiFi!


Use a non-descript WiFi name


The more personalized your home network is built from the inside and out, the more security it will provide. Use an easy-to-recognize, non-descript WiFi name. A few examples of non-descript WiFi names are "Virus Unsafe," “H0me,” or “Linksys03945.”


Limit access to your admin account


Keep your router password a secret! Just like your home door key, it controls who can access your router settings. Don't give it out to anyone unless you trust them.


Implement WPA3™ or WPA2™ on the WiFi network


For the most secure WiFi connection, use WPA3 on your router, if all your devices support it. If you have older devices that don't support WPA3, you can configure your router to use WPA2/WPA3 mode. This allows newer devices to connect using the more secure WPA3 protocol, while older devices can still connect using WPA2.

Location, location, location of your router


        • Open space is key for optimal WiFi: Keep your router and node in the open for best WiFi coverage.
        • Minimize interference: Keep your router away from electronics that can disrupt the signal, like cordless phones, microwaves, and baby monitors.
        • Central location is ideal: For even WiFi coverage, position your router in a central area of your home, away from walls and corners.
        • Large homes or obstacles: If your home is spacious or has thick concrete walls or ceilings, or if the internet entry point is not centrally located, consider a mesh network. A mesh system uses multiple units to create a blanket of WiFi throughout your entire home.
        • 5G gateway: If you have 5G home internet, the best place to put your 5G gateway in your home is near a window, high up, or on a bookshelf. Avoid keeping the device in the basement. You can always connect a mesh system to the 5G gateway for better WiFi coverage.
        • Satellite internet gateway: If you have satellite home internet, the gateway may not be in a central point in your home. Avoid keeping the device in the basement.  You can always connect a mesh system to the gateway for better WiFi coverage.


Avoid devices or elements that may cause interference


Nearby metal and water surrounding an access point can significantly reduce the signal strength. Avoid placing the router near these elements. Also, avoid placing these devices around microwave ovens. The devices can see slowdowns to a complete disruption based on the running 2.4 GHz band. Make sure the router placement is as far away as possible.

Separate your guest network


Keep your network segmented. Imagine dividing your home into different rooms but for your digital devices. Create a separate WiFi network for your guest devices to keep your trusted devices secured (such as laptops or tablets that you use for banking or credit card transactions, storage devices, etc.).


Separate your IoT network


Fortify your home WiFi by dividing it into separate networks. Set up a primary network for your personal devices (PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, storage devices, etc.) and an IoT network for smart devices. Prohibit unauthorized users from accessing your network. Consider it as another line of protection for your router. This isolation prevents less secure devices from interacting with your network, reducing the risk of compromising your more trusted devices.


Enable automatic firmware updates


Keep your network secure with auto-updates to your device’s firmware.

Out-of-date security programs can leave your network susceptible to hackers. As hacking methods grow more capable, maintain an up-to-date OS/firmware system to protect your router. Consider it similar to consistently changing the locks on your front door to ward off persistent thieves.

Automatic updates to your firmware best equip your network’s protection without needing to be manually updated every time. These updates will also shed any unwanted bugs interfering with your network’s security.


The router needs to support firewall capabilities


Make sure your personally owned router has basic firewall features. Check if it supports network address translation (NAT) to shield internal systems from external network scanning.


Schedule frequent device reboots


Weekly device reboots shed unwanted bugs from interfering with your network’s security. Use this easy step to stay ahead of malware. Set up weekly restarts for your router, smartphones, and computers. 


Turn off remote access to the internal network 


A simple step can go a long way in protecting your network from potential threats. Reduce the risk of security hazards by disabling or limiting remote management services on your router.


Disable universal plug-and-play (UPnP®)


Shut down potential openings that hackers might exploit to breach your network.


Replace end-of-life routers/gateways/modems 


These devices should be replaced when they reach the end of their supported life. This ensures they can continue receiving security updates and patches to protect your network from vulnerabilities.

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