Before you can secure a Linksys wireless router, you need to set it up properly. To set up your wireless network, you must first connect it in series with the modem, which is connected with the Internet superhighway.
I assume that you have connected the router with your modem and are now ready to configure it. To do that, you must first use an ethernet cable, which is supplied with the router, to connect the router with your PC, for configuration.
Use any of the ports on the router, other than LAN or WLAN connections, for the purpose. Switch on the router and your computer. Then, follow the instructions presented below.
Open Web Browser and Type Address
To access configuration settings of a wireless router and implement security measures, you need to type an address in the browser. This address is different for routers of different brands. Connect to the Internet on your PC and type in the following web address - 'http://192.168.1.1'. This will open up the settings menu of your router.
Run Basic Setup
Once you enter the address and hit enter, a pop-up window will open up, asking for a login name and password. Enter 'admin' in the password window and leave the login box blank, before hitting the 'enter' button. Once the setup page opens, click on the Internet setup tab.
For maximum security, it is best to opt for static IP addresses. You will have to enter all the IP address details that are specific to your ISP. It will include the subnet mask address, gateway address, and IP address. Enable DHCP server in the network settings below and also set a maximum number of DHCP users.
Choose Wireless Settings
Then, click on 'Wireless' tab and make changes in the basic wireless settings. Choose network mode to be 'Mixed', which will allow devices using different wireless networking standards (a,b,g,n) to work.
Change the SSID name from Linksys to something else for security reasons. It would be best if you disable wireless SSID broadcasts.
Enable Wireless Security Settings
Next, click on the wireless security settings tab and enable WPA2 personal encryption standard. This is the best one available currently. You may also choose WAP as the encryption standard, but WPA2 is recommended.
Enable the MAC Filter
Enable the MAC filter settings for your wireless router, to restrict access to your network. Only devices with MAC addresses that are included in the router MAC list will be able to access the Internet through your network. You need to add the MAC addresses for connecting devices, to the network. You can either restrict access for certain addresses or allow only some to log in. Click on 'Edit MAC Address Filter List' to add or delete addresses.
Set Administrator Login Name and Password
For security reasons, it is important that you change the administrator password. Click on the administration settings and change the router password. Also, disable the 'Remote Management' facility. Save settings and close the browser window. It is a good practice to keep changing the password periodically.
You can rest assured that your wireless network is insulated from hacking attacks if you follow the simple steps listed above.