A wireless network key is easy to create and to reset in the even you forget them. You must make sure you have some type of wifi encryption enabled, such as WEP or WPA-2. WEP is no longer considered safe, but at least it is something if that is your only choice. However, most network-capable devices these days can now support WPA-2, so make sure you use that whenever you can. If you have older devices, such as a Series 1 Tivo, you may have no choice but to run WEP.
So what are the dangers of not having a wireless network key? Well, for one, your neighbor is probably intentionally or unintentionally using your network to browse the Internet. Also, while it’s unlikely you have a team of hackers outside your house dressed in black, sitting in a van with laptops, monitoring your email and passwords as they float–unprotected–through the air, it is still possible that someone is “sniffing” your Wifi traffic.
How To Setup A Wireless Network Key
The process will differ depending on your router. You might want to visit the manufacturer of your router’s website and download the manual for your specific model. The basic principle is this: You need to login to your router, usually by opening your web browser and typing in http://192.168.1.1 and hitting OK. Log-in with your username and password. If you do not have one, try Admin with no password, or Admin and Admin for both. If you still cannot get it, look for a reset button on the back of the router and press it. This will reset your router to factory default. You will then need to visit the manufacturer’s website and find out their default address. Once you can login, look for the wireless section or security section and enable WPA-2. It will ask you for a passphrase. This will become the password for your wireless devices when they see your router and try to connect.
On a side note, take a moment to change the SSID of the router from the default D-Link or Linksys. Doing this adds another layer of security because it prevents snoopers from knowing what hardware you are running.
If you have questions about setting up a wireless network key or how to rest them, be sure to visit our computer forums and ask.