Wi-Fi is essential for almost all of us today. From streaming to handling complex processes online, the Wi-Fi technology has paved way for a future where nearly everything goes digital.
Everyone needs a Wi-Fi device today. But a poorly secured Wi-Fi can put your personal information at risk, or an unsecured Wi-Fi can give your neighbors the chance to freeload off your internet and compromise the speed and performance of your bandwidth.
Though some people may choose to connect to the WiFi without a password, keeping your router password protected and frequently changing the password are essential to protect your network and keeping your information secure.
To make this as simple as possible, we have broken down the process into four simple steps:
To change WiFi password and/or name, knowing the IP address is essential, as that is what connects and helps you communicate to the internet. Depending on your operating system, you can follow the steps below. Alternatively, use the default router IP address (192.168.0.1/192.168.1.1).
To find the IP address on Windows 10:
To find the IP address on Mac OS X 10.5 and later computer:
Once you know your IP address, you can access the router's web interface by entering the IP address into the address bar in the browser.
This will take you to a gateway where you can access and change your router settings. Before you can access the settings, you will have to login using router username and password first. Here is a list of default username and passwords for the admin panel.
Once your details are entered and logged in, you will search for the “Wireless” section of the configuration page.
The name correctly used for this option varies and changes from manufacturer to manufacturer, but it generally consists of keywords like “Wireless” or “Wireless Settings/Setup.”
If the wireless section has multiple subsections underneath, you will look for a page called “Wireless Security.”
Navigate to "Wireless" > Wireless Security > Choose a security mode (WPA/WPA2) > Select Password/Pre-shared Key or "Passphrase".
This is where you can enter your new WiFi password. To prevent your WiFi password from being hacked, you will need to make sure that it’s a strong password and difficult to crack/guess.
It must not be related to anything personal, the longer the password, the better, and a mixed combination of numbers, random cases, and special characters (such as ! $ or even #).
Wi-Fi systems have three types of wireless encryption: WEP, WPA, and WPA2.
WPA2 is the most secure of them all, but it does not work on older devices as the coding will not be supported and cause connection errors.
In such cases, you can switch to WPA. In an example, WEP is not recommended at all since it’s straightforward to break encryption and can be hacked into in under 30 minutes.
Changing the network name does not have a direct relation to security as much as it has an indirect connection.
This is because it’s just a psychological trick since routers with default names are seen as easier hacking targets than those will a changed name.
Since the network name is publicly broadcasted, it should not include anything personally identifiable.
Lastly, once you are done entering information (such as your new password or username) and updating your settings (security type), click the "Apply" or “Save” button that is usually located at the top or bottom of the page.
Once you do so, the router will take a few moments to process the changes, at which point all connected devices would automatically be disconnected.
After the settings are changed, you can then connect your devices again to the wireless networking by using your new password.