The Benefits and Risks of Wireless Networks

One question that we get a lot is: What are the benefits and risks of having a wireless network at home?  Here is a brief answer to that question.

Benefits

The primary benefit of a wireless network is the freedom from cables.  As long as you are within range of the wireless router, you can get on the internet.  It is very convenient.

Risks

Any time you send information wirelessly, there is a chance that it can be intercepted.  The security you use to encrypt your information will determine how easy or hard it is to intercept.

If you setup a wireless router without any security, you are asking for trouble.  People standing outside your home with a laptop or mobile phone will be able to use your internet connection and possibly even access the files on your computer.

Proper setup

You should setup your wireless router with WPA security for maximum protection against people intercepting your information.  In most cases however, if you just have a basic password protected wireless router, would-be hackers will move on to easier pickings.

If you want to be super secure, you can turn off the broadcast feature on your wireless router so no one can even see your router.  You can only access it if you know the router name and have already setup the password.

Even though this is very secure, it often leads to some connection issues on certain computers.  For this reason, we suggest you leave the broadcast feature on unless you are really good at troubleshooting computers and routers.

Questions

If you have any questions about the setup, feel free to leave a comment below.

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