Most people know that you need to keep your wireless network secure but how many people know how to check their wireless encryption and maybe even increase it? This tutorial will show you how to access your router, view your existing settings and increase your level of encryption.
Before we start a few words on the different types of encryption. There are basically 4 different types of encryption - WEP, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK and EAP. Home users only need to worry about the first 3 whereas EAP will only apply to businesses with a Radius server. Almost all routers and WAP's (wireless access points) by default only come with WEP or even no encryption whatsoever. WEP has some pretty big security failings and can be easily broken using tools off the internet in no time whatsoever!!! WPA is much better but WPA2 is, at the moment, virtually unbreakable. EAP requires a radius server which centralises all access attempts but this is not covered in this tutorial.
Ok open up a browser and type one of the addresses below which corresponds to your router in the address bar. For example mine would be 192.168.1.1
You will then be asked for the router login details. If this is the first time that you have accessed your router then use one of the passwords below. If you have accessed your router before and changed the login details then use those.
Sky username = admin, password = sky
BT username = admin, password = admin
Orange username = admin, password = admin
Talktalk username = admin, password = password
Virgin username = virgin, password = password
Next thing to do is locate the wireless settings. Once located you should be able to determine what type of encryption you have and what the key is. Make sure that you have the highest form of encryption available for your router (either WPA or WPA2) and that your key is made up of both letters and numbers. Keep a record of your encryption key in a safe place for future reference. Before you leave the router settings change the admin login and again keep a copy in a safe place for future reference.