How to Set Up Wireless Router Security

By Gregory Hamel

Wireless networks allow multiple computers in a localized area to connect to the Internet using radio waves. Wireless networks are often created with a wireless router that accepts an incoming Internet connection and then broadcasts a wireless signal. An unsecured wireless router will allow any user within its signal range to access the Internet. An unsecured network is a potential security threat, and unwanted users or "piggybackers" can use up network bandwidth, resulting in a slower connection. Securing a wireless router will force users to connect using a password and improve wireless security.

Step 1

Click "Start," type "Run" into the Search box and press "Enter." Type "cmd" into the Run text field and then press "Enter."

Step 2

Type "ipconfig/all" and press "Enter." Locate the number listed under your wireless adapter as your default gateway. This is the router's IP address. Common IP addresses are 192.168.1.1 and 192.168.0.1.

Step 3

Open a Web browser, type the IP address number into the address bar and press "Enter."

Step 4

Type your network username and password into the appropriate fields when a prompt appears, and then click "OK" or press "Enter." You will be logged into your router's administrative setup panel.

Step 5

Locate the menu for wireless security set up. Each router's administrative panel will look a little different. Typically, a menu for wireless settings will have a submenu for security options. For instance, on Linksys routers, click the "Wireless" tab and then the "Wireless Security" tab. For Netgear routers, click "Wireless Settings."

Step 6

Select the WPA security type from the list of security types and then choose to use WPA TKIP. To do this on Linksys routers, change the security mode to "WPA Pre-Shared Key" and set WPA algorithms to "TKIP." On Netgear routers, click the "WPA-PSK [TKIP] + WPA2-PSK [AES]" option.

Step 7

Type a password or passkey into the space provided, write the password down and then click "Apply," "Save," "Save Settings" or the equivalent option. The network will now be secured and require a password to log in.

Tips & Warnings

  • WPA and WPA2 offer better security than WEP.
  • Write down your password or phrase and do not give it out to anyone.