How to Password Protect a Wireless Modem

By James Wright

With the Internet growing in popularity and becoming much more accessible to everyone, it's important to ensure that your Internet connections are secure. Many modems designed for personal use at home now allow wireless connections that can be accessed by everyone who can find the signal. While this makes accessing the Internet more simple and convenient for you, it also makes it more convenient for people to connect to your network without your permission, or even without your knowledge. It is very important to secure your own wireless network.

Step 1

Access your modem's control panel. This may differ depending on what type of modem you have. Your wireless modem will come with instructions and a URL you'll enter in your browser's address bar to access its control panel. If you cannot find it, calling your modem's or ISP's support line may work.

Step 2

Change your modem's administrative password. This is the password that allows you to access the modem's control panel itself. You may have a default password, or you might not have one at all. Set a custom password so only you can access the settings. If anyone else can access it, they may be able to change the settings, which may not be a good thing.

Step 3

Change or create a wireless password. This is the password user's will have to type in to access the network. It's recommended that you use a different password than your administrative password. You have a few options to choose from: WPA2, WPA, and WEP. These are the different password encryption types. If possible, use WPA2, as it is the most secure. If you can't use that, use WPA, and if you can't use that, use WEP. WEP is the least secure, but better than nothing at all. The user will have to type the correct password regardless of encryption type.

Step 4

Change your network's name. This is what users will see when browsing for wireless networks. It may be something like "linksys" or "2WIRE." Rename it to something you will recognize but others will not. For example, do not name your network "Bob's Connection" because that is an obvious giveaway.

Step 5

Disable your modem's remote administration functions. You may need help locating this option on your modem. This is important because it prevents people from being able to access your modem from other locations. Remote admin functions are only important if you travel frequently and have a need to access your modem from other places.

Tips & Warnings

  • It's helpful to use a long password with letters, numbers and symbols to increase the difficulty of someone guessing your password. However, make sure you can remember it or have it written somewhere before you save it!
  • Your device may allow you to disable SSID broadcasting. If you do this, your network won't show up on people's computers. Instead, they will have to type the network name manually. This can be a hassle, but might be worth it.
  • Never give your passwords to anyone you don't want having any power over your network. Keeping your network safe is very important.