last updated 12/16/2019
There are an estimated 34.8 million Smart Homes in the U.S. today and the market is expected to grow 15.4% annually. Your home WiFi router connects a lot more devices to the internet than just smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Routers today play host to light bulbs, security cameras, thermostats, doorbells, speakers, and TV's. Below are steps you should take to secure your home WiFi network:
- Use a strong network admin password.
This is not the same as the wifi password, this is for the administrator account on the router itself. **If the instruction manual lists the default username and password, the hackers know it too.**
- Set up multiple wireless networks to segregate your devices.
Many routers allow you to have a guest network. If your device allows it, set up separate networks for your smart-home devices, personal devices, and guests.
- Set strong and unique passwords on your wireless networks.
Since most devices auto-connect, set these passwords to 20+ characters in length.
- Enable network encryption (WPA2 or WPA3) standard in devices.
- Disable the remote access feature on your router.
This allows you to access your router’s interface remotely, which is great if you want to connect from say, Russia. With this feature turned off you or anyone else will have to be within the broadcast range of your WiFi network in order to access the router’s interface software.
- Update your router’s firmware at least yearly.
If updates for your router are no longer available, you should get a new one. Ask your internet provider if you qualify for a free router.
- Change the default name of your home network.
This should be something other than the default and NOT something that identifies you personally.
These basic steps can help to secure the 400 million+ wireless networks all across the U.S.