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Why and how to change the name and password of your home WiFi network

June 7, 2017 - Hardware Review
Why and how to change the name and password of your home WiFi network

Your router is the main gateway to your home network, and also to all the devices you have connected to it. Someone able to access it cannot only take advantage of your connection, in case it is someone with enough knowledge could have the keys to access the devices you have connected to it.

That is why it is highly recommended to change the name and password of your home WiFi network. Conforming to the default settings is one of the most common mistakes that users make, so today we will explain in a simple way how and why you have to change these parameters.

Why change the name and password of your WiFi

WiFi network

Image Source: Google Image

No, operators do not manually think or design each key of the routers of their millions of customers. Usually what they do is delegate to their own algorithms, which are occasionally discovered and filtered. When this happens they are exposed to all users who have not modified their default settings.

These algorithms are mathematical formulas with which the operators design their passwords. That is why, once the attackers get them can create specially designed applications to exploit them to generate passwords identical to those used by operators. This means that if an attacker knows that you are a client of an X operator , you only have to generate passwords for that operator until you get yours in a matter of minutes.

And this is where the user names come into play. They in and of themselves do not make a significant difference when it comes to directly protecting your WiFi, but they can betray those who pay less attention to their default settings. If your network has the default user name of an X operator, you are more likely to also use the default password that a neighbor whose WiFi network is called THE NEIGHBOR OF THE SIDE.

Apart from this name, if your password has been created by you and is not governed by the mathematical formulas of any operator, an attacker will find it much more difficult to solve it if it is safe. And is that in the end there is a 100% safe password, but the more difficult you put your attackers the more chances you have to give up and find another victim easier.

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How to change the name of your WiFi and your password

WiFi network

Image Source: Google Image

The first step to changing your router’s credentials is to get your local IP or default gateway. To do this, if you are in Windows, open the start menu, type cmd, and when you are prompted to run the System Command application. You will enter the Windows terminal, where you only have to type the ipconfig command and your different IP addresses will be shown to you.

That you are interested in you is the default gateway, which recognize that usually begins with 192.168.xx.xx. Copy and type it in the address bar of your browser to enter the configuration of the router. When you do this, you will be prompted for a name and password that will be stuck on the device, you will have the installer when you register, or you will find the complete model name of your router on Google.

In macOS you can also get your local IP by typing ipconfig in your terminal, but also by entering System Preferences -> Network and clicking on your connection. In the GNU / Linux distributions like Ubuntu another of the same, just enter the Configuration panel, choose the Network option and click on your connection.

Each manufacturer has its own configuration page for the router, so it is difficult to give accurate directions to all. Even so, the main points and options should be the same, and you only have to navigate the menus until you find the Network Name (SSID) section, which is the name that your WiFi will appear when you try to connect to it.

So the first thing you have to do is change this default SSID name. On some Thompson routers such as those tested when writing this guide you get in the Wireless section, and within it in the Main Network option. But as we said, the path to the SSID may vary depending on your router.

Then you have to change the WPA pre-shared key. In the case of our Thomson router is on the same page as the SSID name, but again I remind you that maybe in your case it is not. So if you do not see it immediately look at the configuration until the term WPA. Next you will see the key you have been using so far, so change it and click on the save button to apply the changes.

When changing these passwords you have to consider a couple of security measures that you must take. First of all avoid creating specially simple passwords, either simple combinations, as personal data or dates that can be obtained through social engineering. Neither do you believe some so difficult that you later forget, try to find a good balance.

Finally, you’ve seen how the router’s own configuration page also has an easy-to-find password. That is why it is important that you also change it for another chosen by yourself. In the case of our router is in the Password section within the Router category, but again this could change depending on the model.

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