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Set Up and Encrypt Your First Wireless Network at Home
By: Katie Gatto
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    Table of Contents:
  • Set Up and Encrypt Your First Wireless Network at Home
  • Hardware Setup
  • Software Setup

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    Set Up and Encrypt Your First Wireless Network at Home

    (Page 1 of 3 )

    Setting up your first at-home wireless network is relatively simple. It is when you need to make your network secure that things can get a bit hairy. After all, knowing what you are doing is important. A misstep can mean that you have to reset the whole thing and start again. Feeling uncertain? Keep reading.

    This article will help you to get things going right the first time. If you are worried that the instructions will not work with your hardware, donít; we have instructions for some of the most common models of wireless routers. That way most, if not all, of you will be able to get what you need. Before we get down to the how tos, though letís take a second to consider a very important aspect of your security: your password.

    By default, your router will have a password. Likely it is simply the word "admin," or worse, the word "password." Never, ever leave these passwords as they are. This is the net security version of walking around with your social security number written on your forehead.

    Suffice it to say that bad idea does not begin to cover this option. It does, in effect, negate all of the work that you will be doing from this point on to secure your network, so take the time to give your network a secure password. You need to make a new password, which brings us to the basics of how to make a good password.

    • Do not use a word that you would find in a dictionary.

    • Do not use familiar names like your name, or your pet's name. 

    • Do not use a short word. Think eight characters or more in your word.  

    • Do not use numbers like your birthday, phone number, or social security number.

    • Do mix in numbers and capitals. 

    Examples of Bad Passwords

    Fluffy (too short, dictionary words, possibly a petís name).

    JoeSmith (name, no numbers)

    2122223456 (a phone number, no mix of letters and numbers)

    Examples of Good Passwords

    GranL969162 (long, mix of numbers, addition of capitals, not a dictionary word or name).

    Just be sure that if you write the password down, put it somewhere very safe, like a locked box. If you do not remember this password, then you can kiss the ability to make future changes goodbye. Unless, of course you want to reset the router and start again.

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