Many Internet providers will set up your home network when you first connect to their service, but it is a fairly easy do-it-yourself project or a simple job for an IT support company. Whether you set it up yourself or go with a pro, but sure to know the basics of how to connect to your network and how to keep it secure.
First, as the WiFi Alliance explains, you need to enable the more secure WPA/WPA2 standard. This setting will make it harder for someone to break into your network. Second, change the default name and password that comes with your WiFi router. You would be amazed at the number of home networks named ‘Linksys’ with the password “password.” You want to choose a strong password that isn’t easily guessable.
Uninvited guests on your Internet can overburden and slow down your network. The intruders can expose your network to suspect sites compromising the security of your data and your devices. Illegal activities such as piracy or trading in illicit materials could be attributed to your network and result in legal problems that would be avoided if you locked down your connection.
Some believe that you should share your Internet connection as a public good. The Electronic Frontier Foundation argues that an Open Wireless Movement is needed as open Internet enables all of us to have access when we are away from our own resources. Unfortunately, the current security concerns of most home users don’t allow this ideal to be practically available. More directly, the sharing of your Internet connection is a violation of most Internet providers’ policies and can result in the cancellation of your service or even fines.