When you buy a new router it’s important to get started using it the right way. Setting up your router to work flawlessly and to give you a secure, stable connection isn’t hard. You just need to keep a few pointers in mind.
Update the firmware
Any router or other device that you buy probably has a few software kinks that need ironing out. Manufacturers continually update the software that goes on their hardware (the technical term for such software is firmware) to address these problems. If your router has firmware issues, it is likely the manufacturer has created a patch for it in the time that it’s taken the unit to make it to you from the factory. Your router, then, is a little behind, even right out of the box. The first thing to do when you install your router, then, is to update the firmware. This one move can potentially save you major problems down the line. The literature in the box should tell you exactly how to update the firmware.
Set up the Service Set Identifier (SSID)
When you scan for available Wi-Fi networks with your phone or laptop, you usually see the names of different Wi-Fi networks in your area – names like Bob’s WiFi , Comcast WiFi and so on. The technical name for a Wi-Fi network is an SSID. Out of the box, new routers have default Wi-Fi names or SSIDs programmed in by the manufacturer – usually, they pick the model number of the unit. Many users simply leave these default SSIDs as they are. This can be risky, though. If you have a hacker in your neighborhood, he’ll have a much easier time hacking into your router if he knows what model it is.
You should change your SSID as soon as you can. You mustn’t try to name it in a way that makes it easy for anyone to guess that it’s yours, either. It shouldn’t contain your name or your address. If you have trouble with a bad neighbor, he’ll know exactly what Wi-Fi network to break into to harass you.
Set up your WiFi password
Turning a WiFi network loose without a password is unsafe. Someone might piggyback on your it, cause malware infections, surf illegal websites on it and so on. Your router’s IP address is traceable to you. If a bad neighbor does something illegal online while connected to your network, the authorities can tell that the activity was done on your network. You need to make sure that you set up a strong Wi-Fi password to keep such intruders out, then.
Don’t forget the router login ID
Each router manufacturer provides a default login ID and password on its routers. You can use these credentials to log on to the router to make changes. These default IDs and passwords tend to mostly be the same for all routers. You should change these login credentials as soon as possible.
Create a backup
Routers need to be set up with complex data. Usually, it’s your ISP’s technician who does this for you. Should these settings ever become corrupted, you’ll need to run to your ISP to have them done again. It’s a much better idea to keep a copy of your router’s settings on hand. Every router allows you to back up your router settings. You should do this right after your ISP is done configuring your router. Should your router ever lose its settings, you’ll be able to get them all back up by going to your backup.