However, there are a couple of steps we can take to maximize the security of our router to protect our network and PCs from intrusion...
The most important step in choosing the best wireless router is to find out what type of encryption our potential router uses.
If we do not use encryption, then our information is unprotected. In other words, our information can be captured by intruders. This is particularly important if we use our wireless connection to carry out financial business, such as online banking.
There are, essentially, two types of wireless encryption...
WEP offers a basic level of security for wireless data transmission. Unfortunately, WEP's cryptography can easily be broken by the tools that crackers have developed, leaving our computers open to entry. So, look for WPA encryption, which is used by the best wireless firewalls.
It secures wireless data transmission by using a key similar to WEP, but the WPA key changes dynamically using Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) for encryption. This changing key makes it much more difficult for a cracker to crack the key and gain access to the network. So, WPA provides optimal security for homes and business.
Some government departments make WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) a requirement. WPA2 is the second generation of WPA security and provides a stronger encryption mechanism through Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). This encryption is not yet a standard, but may be found on the best wireless router firewalls.
This is the only security information we need to look for on a prospective product, prior to our decision to purchase. But here are some security tips for when we choose our best wireless router and install it...
Wireless router firewalls on the network use their SSIDs to communicate with each other. However, routers are shipped with a standard default SSID... for example, the default SSID for Linksys routers is "Linksys"!
Now, a cracker armed with the manufacturer's default SSIDs can gain access to our network, unless we change the default name. Once changed, it puts another obstacle in the way of the cracker's attempts to penetrate our defenses.
So, to prevent the network name being discovered and someone attempting to access it, just disable SSID broadcast on the router's configurable software. Our network now becomes invisible to intruders scanning for unprotected networks.
With MAC address filtering enabled, wireless network access is provided only for wireless devices with specific MAC addresses. So, for example, you can specify only the computers in your house to access your wireless network. This will make it difficult for a cracker to access your network using a random MAC address.