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Wireless Network Security

A. How to safely use a home wireless network

1. The security to be applied has improved over time. In the early days of Wi-Fi technology, Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) was considered sufficiently secure. Then, vulnerabilities that were found gave rise to the IEEE 802.11i standard in 2004, better known as WPA and WPA2. WPA was a dressing to mitigate the risk of WEP being used by old devices until their end of life, new ones using WPA2 (current security standard). There is WPA3 which is to be put on the market in 2020, some points to settle. Home use is normally done with WPA2-Personal (or PSK) with the use of a password between 8 and 63 characters. Considering that wireless networks do not usually have the means to detect multiple attempts to access the wireless network, it is strongly recommended to use a password of 63 random characters in order to properly secure your network without -wire;

2. The name of your wireless network should be descriptive, but without revealing its importance too much. “Hiding” its broadcast is not a corner security measure. With the appropriate software, it is easy to see the name of the network;

3. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may provide you with a router with Wi-Fi (wireless) service capability. It is often observed that the security of these routers leaves something to be desired and exposes you to attacks from other customers of your ISP and / or the Internet. It is recommended that you get your own router to isolate your devices from the curious and so that you keep full control of your settings;

4. Some Wi-Fi routers offer the possibility of activating visitor access. It is a desirable measure to simply give Internet access to your friends and family member passing by without allowing their devices to probe inside your house and possibly, compromising your network and device if theirs is infected;

5. In order to gain the best possible performance, it is 2020 and it is less and less likely that you will have an old device using the old Wi-Fi standards (A, B or G). To guarantee you the best performance. possible, DEACTIVATE the old standards, in both operating modes, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Your equipment should at least use the Wi-Fi N standard.

B. Should I use signal repeaters if I have a weak signal in the house?

1. Placing your wireless router in the home is essential to its efficiency. Position the router so that there is as little interference as possible from people nearby. An ideal place is to place it near the ceiling. All you have to do is deploy a wire to it.

2. Wi-Fi signal repeaters allow you to extend the coverage of your signal offer. It must however be kept in mind that at each signal repeater, your maximum transfer speed is cut in half by the very nature of the operating mode of this technology, ie “Half-Duplex”.

3. To take full advantage of your wireless network, it is recommended that you use “MESH” type wireless terminals. These will form an information exchange network parallel to what you use and will maximize exchanges, highly more reliable than repeaters. You will thus cover each place of your residence with the minimum of disturbance;

C. Do I need to update my router?

1. As with any technological part, it is necessary to update this equipment, until the manufacturer no longer supports it. At this time it is time to get a more recent one, or in the case that you are more familiar, there is open source code (DD-WRT) allowing you to give a second life to your device or even give it other features;

2. It’s not just your wireless router that needs to be updated. Your devices that use Wi-Fi (mobile, phone, tablets, cameras, door handle, doorbell, household appliances, children’s toys, watches) often also need to be updated, otherwise they are vulnerable to attack who can compromise them.

D. If my router is more than 5 years old, should I change it?

1. In the event that you come to the conclusion of changing your wireless router (which belongs to you), you should consider obtaining a next generation model, either of the “WiFi 6” type (IEEE 802.11ax). These models will be compatible with the next generation of 5G cell phones, will be able to improve your working and entertainment environment, when your newer devices will have “WiFi 6” transmitters also to take full advantage of this new technology;

E. Do I still need to use antivirus software with my devices on a wireless network?

1. More than ever, computer threats are everywhere we go. As soon as you visit a website, a simple web page, it will be put to the test, hence the importance of keeping it up to date. However, your last line of defense will be antivirus software. There are several on the market. Read the different test benches to determine which one is right for you. Most will let you try it for 30 days.