While walking across a mall or a departmental store, one would have hardly ignored the presence of Wi-Fi in the surrounding. It has been something which keeps the customers engaged and help in luring the customers.
For the companies, it has been quite helpful for connecting the employees on a secure network. It helps in proper coordination between the staff and keeps them updated.
As the name Wi-Fi reaches our ears, a figure of the wireless network starts taking place in our minds. Though most are wireless, some do exist as wired ones. The work and features are almost the same with only minute differences cutting across them.
There are many components of a Wi-Fi system and understanding them is a necessity before setting it up. However, the heart of a Wi-Fi system is a router.
Before discussing the types, one needs to know the answer to the question- What is the basic definition of Wi-Fi router? The answer is a plain one in case one does not dig deeper. A wireless router is a device which provides routes between data generators and receivers in a Wi-Fi system.
The role of generator and receiver can be played by both- users of the Wi-Fi system and the service provider. A wireless router decides the destination of the next network point to which a packet is to be sent.
It takes notice of the current status of the network and determines the way for transmitting the packet of data. It can be present at almost every point on the internet.
The router works by creating a table of various routes available and their statuses for deciding the channel for sending the packet. A packet can reach multiple network points. The router calculates the distance as well as algorithms for the best available routes and decides the channel accordingly.
Its function is allowed to the network layer in the standardized form of programming of the network. It acts as a Layer 3 switch and its purpose is about routing on a network system.
Regarding hardware, routes can also serve as firewalls in the networking system, especially when the system is connected through wires or satellites. According to many network engineers, using routers in the Wi-Fi system has better protection as no internet protocol address of computers on the system is directly trackable on the internet.
This rules out the method of port scan which is used to find potential weaknesses in the system as a standard port is assigned to all the system which is different from the actual port.
The bandwidth provided by Wi-Fi router is increasing with time, thanks to some of the great technological advancements in the recent times. Though the bandwidth is increasing and the speed of data transfer is boosting, the vulnerability factor also exists on the scene.If you are also looking to set up a Wi-Fi system, you should take a look about the secure and unsecure routers.
All the routers available in the market are not safe to use. The cheaper ones own a greater chance of vulnerability concerning security while the other ones are comparatively safe. You should know the various ways in which a Wi-Fi router can be unsecure.
The number of routers shipped every year touches the million mark, and each router has a predefined configuration with a predefined password. So the routers from a single manufacturer do not have a large dictionary for passwords, and so it is not that difficult to find out the predefined password.
The registered IP address for the Wi-Fi router is a known secret. Anyone can find it out using some tools, and that makes it more vulnerable as anyone can get access to the admin console. It is something you can change in the settings, and you should indeed change it.
When you browse through admin console of your router, you will see that Default has enabled universal Plug and Play. It exposes your router towards external attack as it was developed for Local Area Network (LAN), not for the wide exposure of internet.
WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) can be a nightmare for the security of your router. The reason is the eight-digit code printed on the back of the router. The eight digit code is divided into two segments – the first seven numbers and the last and random checksum.
Though there are millions of combinations available for these numbers, due to some sequences and patterns there are only some thousands available for our WPS. That makes a router go down on the knees on a vigorous attack.
The updates provided by the router manufacturer to increase the security of your router. However, in some cases, they overwrite the manual settings you have done in the admin console. It requires you to reconfigure them. In case you ignore it, it more becomes configured with the predefined configuration, taking you to the beginning.
USB ports are a great convenience as they allow to access data stored on your pen drive or hard drive from anywhere in the network. However, they also open a path of vulnerability as anyone known to you may install malware through the port and your router will become a part of a botnet.
This aspect is a major challenge for all Wi-Fi operators across the world. The security of Wi-Fi router is the most significant one and should be paid proper attention. Ignoring the security may take down the entire system. You should take down sufficient steps for securing the Wi-Fi router.
The very first step is choosing a password. The router which is open to is the most vulnerable one.You should set up a password or passphrase so that only authorized person gets access to the network.
Some routers offer the facility for remote controlling. However, if you really do not need this or you rarely use that feature, it would be best to disable remote administration. The reason is that it allows getting access to the admin console anyone close to the router, who has to bypass some minor security measures.
Every router comes with a predefined SSID name. It is the name by which your router is identified. Many routers have the manufacturer’s name as the SSID. It makes the name of your network public which is a security risk. You should change the SSID as soon as you configure your router.
Many routers come with a firewall installed. If your router also has that feature, you should enable it. It helps in adding an extra layer of security for a Wi-Fi router.
Avoid adding rogue AP to the router. Some user may link unauthorized AP for increasing the coverage area. However, this can be used for malicious purposes also. The better thing will be not taking any risks about the security.
For more security, use Enterprise WPA2 with 802.1X authentication. It is one of the best methods for adding security to your Wi-Fi router. The best feature it offers is the different authentication for each user. In that case, each user has his username and password. No one is allowed access to the admin console.
Another good feature is that every user gets his encryption key. It means that user has the authority to decrypt his own data only. He cannot peek into some other network. For that, you would need to setup RADIUS server which enables user authentication.
You can also add MAC wireless filter. Though it makes new users connecting to the network a bit difficult, it helps in improving the overall security of the network.
With the increase in many tech gadgets in the houses such as smart TV, laptops, and tablets, it has become more important than ever to equip the house with a wireless router. It can provide you with a seamless experience and excellent connectivity.
While choosing a suitable network for your home, you should figure out the coverage area and the type of connection required. You would not want to pay for the features you are never going to use.
However, in case some of the family members are heavy users like watching videos all the day online or someone working on private work, you are going need a router equipped with many new features.
The latest routers available in the market to offer a range of features but they also need a hefty sum for them.You can keep the following points in mind beforegetting a Wi-Fi router for your home.
Not every router available in the market has dual bands for operating. Single-band routers work over 2.4 GHz frequency, and you can call them the cheapest routers available in the market. For normal usage, single band routers are enough and can do most of the general tasks you throw them to do. However, if you watch videos online or play games on online platforms, you may consider a dual-band router.
It works over two frequencies- one 2.4 GHz and the other at 5 GHz. The 5 GHz band is typically less surrounded, and with fewer networks operating on it, it is perfect for video streaming and playing live online games.
A three band router also comes which is used to handle heavy traffic like many video watching, torrent downloading and online file transfer.
Wireless internet protocols are used for sending and receiving data over the Wi-Fi network. The most widely used router is 802.11n which can give a maximum speed of up to 600 Mb per second for data transfer. It utilizes multiple input multiple outputs (MIMO) which uses many antennas for data sharing.
Most of the laptops and tablets come with 802.11n Wi-Fi, and so 802.11n router is an excellent fit for a household having a few devices operating. In case of many smart TVs and large file transfer over the internet, you may need a Wi-Fi coming with better features and so more pricing.
A Wi-Fi router owning a USB port can be useful for a household. It can be used for connecting a scanner or printer. It also allows data sharing from a pen drive over the network which is a good feature to have on your Wi-Fi network.
For enterprises, Wi-Fi can be handy as they can be used to connect the employees as well as for customers’ use. Most of the routers available in the market for business use come with a built-in AP. However, in case you would like to increase the coverage area, you can connect additional AP with your Wi-Fi router.
Some enterprises offer free Wi-Fi access for their customers. For that, a separate SSID can be created with a different security system from the main network. It offers free guest access to the system. Many enterprise routers offer more than a single guest access window. They create multiple virtual LANs which have separate settings for each network, and you can configure them separately.
Some business-class routers have a built-in virtual private network (VPN) which allows the user to connect with the network from home or anywhere else. It provides a window channel through which the user can have remote access to the network.
It also allows one router to connect with other routers through the internet securely. It enables you to access files and provides a connection between different physical locations.
Routers for business use have additional features for security. Some of them are content filtering to block unwanted materials, block spams and antivirus for protection against malware. The unified threat management (UTM) can help to catch the malware before it reaches and affects individual computers.
Some enterprise Wi-Fi routers come with Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service (RADIUS) server which provides extra layer security for the network. Using it, you can assign separate username and password for each user. It is of great help in adding a new user or deleting an existing user account.
The requirements of a Wi-Fi router for a school are quite different from routers for household or business usage. The school Wi-Fi needs to lay down many restrictions on the content as well as usage duration. The kind of users to be connected also needs to be taken into consideration. The following points will help you in setting a Wi-Fi for the school.
The very first necessity is determining the coverage area. It is applicable for all Wi-Fi networks, irrespective of the purpose you are setting it up. The fact that you want to cover the entire school or only the central block helps you to choose the router for your Wi-Fi.
Once you have determined the coverage area, the next thing to do is selecting a router. According to the need and features, the price would vary accordingly. If you are sending data over a longer distance, you may need an extender to increase the coverage area.If the coverage area is more, a bigger antenna may be required.
Every router comes with built-in security measures. Once you get a router, lock down the security measures after installing it. For the school, high level of security is required so that students do not get open access in case the network is not intended for students’ use.
When you have set up the router, a tedious task appears in front of you which is connecting each device to the network. However, once a device is connected, it will remember the Wi-Fi in its system, and so it will be a one time job.
The router for school usage generally does not undergo heavy hammering as most of the tasks include file sharing and data about the students. In case the router is for students’ use, it would need to be a strong and compatible one to do whatever task it is thrown to perform. Many routers with different features are available in the market, and you can choose the one for your school according to the need.
The routers are the backbone of a Wi-Fi system. It is the only manager which handles almost all the tasks required for a Wi-Fi network to work smoothly. It is the central device which controls the pathway for data sharing. According to the usage, it determines the best available route for packet transfer and so controls the flow of data in the system.
It is also primarily responsible for the security of computers connected to the Wi-Fi network. The firewalls and antivirus coupled with some other security measures in the router save the system from external attacks.
Wi-Fi routers are oriented for various uses, as mentioned above. Some examples are for household, enterprise or school also.
Each purpose has its own set of requirements, and so the Wi-Fi router should also be selected accordingly. A good Wi-Fi router can ensure a seamless experience during surfing through the network and help in doing difficult tasks with ease.
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