Secure Your Home’s Wi-fi – Avoid Those Overage Bills

Business Security, Security, Video Surveillance Systems

Snow. There I said it. The inevitable has happened in Alberta, the heat of the summer has made an abrupt 180-degree about face and left us Albertans in a bit of a dazed state. But don’t worry; your beloved streaming media service provider will almost certainly have enough content cached to get you through the coldest months. But wait, what’s this, your monthly internet bill is showing a rather large usage increase over last month. What sort of evil is at work here? Perhaps it’s time for a refresher on how to ensure your home’s Wi-Fi is secure against the digital devices of your neighbour’s teenagers.

A good place to start is to know what all you have for devices in your home that connect to your network.

Take an inventory, be sure to include things like cell phones, Chromecast devices, smart TVs, game consoles, smart home devices such as thermostats, cameras, doorbells, smoke alarms, garage door openers, and security systems, etc. This list could continue for pages. (This is why we need IPv6, but we will leave that for another blog).

Okay, you’ve got your list of network devices, now to cross reference your list with stuff actually on your network. Locate your Telus router. On the side of the router is the default IP address and admin password. Using your favorite internet browser, go to the IP address listed on the router, usually, again assuming your router is the default. 

Under devices, you will see all the gadgets connected to your network. Cross off known devices and look for anything rogue. If you have any concerns about the devices that are connected, you may quickly modify your Wi-Fi security key or even the SSID (the wireless name being broadcast by the router). Changing either of these will necessitate updating all of your household devices with the new SSID and Key, but it may save you money on your internet subscription.

It is also wise to check the network security being used by your wi-fi router. An older security type is WEP (wired equivalent privacy) and I advise against using WEP as it can be easily reverse engineered allowing unauthorized access to the wireless and your network. Check that your router supports WPA encryption at a minimum, and if available, utilize WPA2 personal or even the new WPA3 security standard.

If you have an old off-the-shelf router/access point, it might be time for an upgrade. Several vendors offer mesh access points. These mesh devices provide greater home coverage by packaging 2 or 3+ devices together. You simply hard wire the primary access point to your router and place the secondary access points around your house in strategic locations or dead spots. The secondary access points connect to the primary via wireless and broadcast the same wireless SSID network out to provide you with a strong signal throughout your home.

Business wireless is a little more complicated and we recommend contacting a professional to assist with the proper planning and placement of wireless access points throughout your organization. Expert IT Solutions would be delighted to work with you on your wireless network project. We offer a wide range of products for any size installation.