When people were first able to afford more than one computer in their house and they wanted the internet to go to both of them they had to use a wired router as the wireless version of the router was just too expensive at the time.
But back then, when everything was wired, all you had to worry about was making sure that you had a firewall set up on your computer.
There was no way that anyone was going to be able to sneak on your network without you knowing about it.
They would have to physically split the wires and that is something that is hard to sneak.
The Rise Of Wireless Connections
Now that they are so cheap, and also due to increased popularity of the laptop, you are now seeing that everyone who has internet also has a wireless router in their household, but you have to realize that with this ability to move and still be connected, there comes an inherit danger that you must be concerned by.
This danger is that anyone from the outside will be able to access your network.
The signal for your wireless router just does not stay in the house – it also gets spread a little bit of a distance from your house as well.
How far it goes depends on how strong the router is and it can also depend on the material of your walls – some walls let the signal go out easier than others.
So now that you have this signal that is able to be picked up outside of the house, you must think about securing it.
If you do not secure it then anyone will be able to get on your network and at best steal your internet, and at worse break into your personal computer.
Protecting Your Wireless Signal
To be able to protect your wireless signal you must think about the protection that you want to use.
Most networks use encryption.
Encryption is a code that will keep unauthorized people off of your network.
A modern day wireless network will come with many different types of encryption that it can use.
The oldest and considerably weakest standard that is available is the WEP standard and you want to avoid that one if at all possible.
It can be cracked in less than 5 minutes by anyone with the right software and so will not offer you much protection at all.
The other types of encryption are WPA 1 and 2.
These are the two strongest wireless encryptions available on most home based wireless routers.
If you use this level of encryption the one thing that you will need to do is to have a long password key.
If you decide to pick a short dictionary term for the password key then it will not have much protection at all but if you pick one over 14 characters that is not in the dictionary then it will be almost impossible for someone to break it.
When you get a new wireless router you should be prepared to pick the right encryption for it.
If not, then you can still be left vulnerable.