By PC Geeks Support / Network Solutions / / 0 Comments

Thinking of replacing your aging home wireless network or building a new one? While this may be a daunting task, creating a safe, secure wireless network is actually quite simple and will quickly pay for itself in speed, security, and convenience. This is especially the case if you are still stuttering along at 54mbps with an old wireless B router or using an older, less secure wireless security protocol such as WEP for your wireless network,

Networking 101: Building a Faster, Safer, More Secure Wireless Network

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Buy the Router You Need for Next Year, Not Today

The use and popularity of wireless devices are exploding and with it the need for more and more wireless bandwidth in our homes. Where five years ago most homes may have had a laptop that needed wireless access, today’s families typically have multiple devices that need wireless access: computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, gaming consoles, security cameras, streaming multimedia systems, and so on. And this will only get worse as more and more devices gain wireless connectivity. That’s why it is important to buy a wireless router with sufficient bandwidth and range to connect every device in your home for not just today but for the foreseeable future. Do your research and take the time to get the right router for your home.

Security Should Come First

The first step in setting up a wireless router is to set up a secure administrator account password on the router. Why is this important? The default administrative password on many routers is as simple as admin, meaning anyone who can access your network can login as the router administrator and network settings on the router at will.

The next step is to set up at a WPA2 security with at a minimum seven character password, preferably one that mixes letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and special characters. This is the password you will use to connect devices to your wireless network and will help you control who connects to your network. The more secure your password is, the less likely your network will have uninvited guests.

Sharing is Good, but Security is Better

You may occasionally have guests in your home who will need wireless internet access whom you do not necessarily want to have full access to your network or to other devices on your network. This is where a secure guest network can save the day.

Most wireless routers offer an option to set up a completely separate guest network, with its own password and security settings. Guest networks can be configured to give your guest access to the internet and nothing else, or you can choose what level of access guest will have to your network.

Control Your Traffic

Most modern routers offer a feature called Quality of Service (QOS), which allows you to shape bandwidth usage based on what type of data is flowing around your network and out to the internet. What this means is that the router can intelligently route data traffic based on which data should have high priority, such as Voice Over IP (VOIP) calls, streaming media or gaming services. This may be off by default but should be turned on if you use any of those services.

Need help? Feel free to contact us for more tips and tricks on setting up and maximizing your wireless network.

By PC Geeks Support / Network Solutions / / 0 Comments

Your office benefits greatly from a solid and easily accessible network. When all of your office staff can access important data and documents, it helps your office run smoothly and without problems.

5 Actionable Office Network Security Tips

However, for those with existing office networks, do you know if your network is secure? Are you certain that outsiders can’t access your network without your knowledge?

To assist you with your office network security, here are five tips to ensure that your office is safe and protected.

1. Keep it encrypted. WiFi and wireless signals don’t come automatically encrypted through your router. Keep your network protected by setting up a 63 character password, mixed with upper and lower case letters, special characters, and numbers.

2. Secure internal equipment. While trusting your employees with sensitive data is fine, remember that many network security problems stem from internal breaches. Secure ports, access points, and switches hidden from guests and clients alike.

3. Educate and train employees. When your office staff is educated about security and security issues, they are more likely to identify and rectify potential problems.

4. Limit access. Shared folders are great for passing data between employees. But when everyone has access, bad things are bound to happen. Remedy this by adding encryption procedures to important shared folders.

5. Work with a professional. If you are uncertain about your office network security levels, allow a networking professional to take a look for you. Oftentimes, an expert in network security can help you find problems that you didn’t know existed.

Don’t let your office network security fall by the wayside, and work with an expert today.

For additional information on how we can help you with your small business network security solutions, please contact us today.

PC Geeks is the premier computer repair company throughout Collin County and beyond.

5 Tips for Setting Up a Home Network

5 Tips for Setting Up a Home NetworkSetting up a new home computer network can be challenging. You may want to call a professional for assistance. Whether you do it yourself or call an expert, there are a few things that will help create an efficient and effective network. Here are five home networking tips to assist you. 

  1. Know your router needs – Before purchasing a router, it is important to determine exactly what you need. How much coverage do you need (square footage)? How many devices will be connecting to the network? Choose a router that properly suits your specific needs.
  2. Record your router settings before upgrading – It is helpful to write down all usernames, passwords, and settings before removing an older router. You will need this data during the upgrade process.
  3. Router placement – Poor router placement can limit the performance of the router. It is recommended to place your router in an open area, closest to the center of the home. Hallways are an ideal location.
  4. Configure Wi-Fi security – Do not leave settings on default. It is important that you configure your Wi-Fi security settings. Otherwise, you leave yourself open to security breaches.
  5. Remove older Wi-Fi devices – Many people do not realize that older devices accessing their Wi-Fi can bring down the overall performance of the network. Upgrading your router is great, but it will be compromised if you are connecting with old devices.

Planning is the ultimate key in setting up a successful home computer network. If you take the time to prepare and plan, you should have a smooth transition. Whether you are upgrading or putting in a first time network, use the tips above to assist in the process.

Contact us for more information and assistance. Our experts are happy to answer your home network questions.