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Control who’s on your home network

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Tips for securing your router to protect your data.


Keeping your Viasat Internet wireless system secure has never been more important. Network poachers can drain your data allowance and slow down your network, while hackers could potentially gain access to financial and other personal information.  Remember, anyone within range of your Wi-Fi signal can jump onto your network, so it’s worth taking the time to ensure you’ve got strong security in place.
 

We’ll walk you through a few steps to help ensure your system is as tight as possible: 
  1. First, if you haven’t already done so, create a strong password or ratchet up the strength of your password. This is your first line of defense against poachers. 
  2. The next level of security involves changing your network visibility settings so your Wi-Fi signal doesn’t appear among the list of nearby, active ones. This is more advanced and requires at least a basic knowledge of home networking. To do this, you’ll need to turn off your Service Set Identifier or SSID, which is the public name of your wireless network (“JonesHome” or something like that.
  • To turn off your router’s SSID broadcasting, or visibility, open your browser and type your router's IP address into the address bar. Your router's IP address usually can be found located on the bottom of your router or in the user manual or setup software (it’s typically something like 192.168.0.1). Then hit enter.Netgear Genie interfaceThe router settings page will appear.  You may be required to log in to change your settings.  If you do not know the username, your router's owners manual will provide it, or you may look online by searching "default username for router" and look for your router type in the list.  A typical default username is "Admin" and your password is your Wi-Fi password, NOT your Viasat password.  Some routers show the password on a label on the router.
  • Once you are logged in, disable your SSID broadcast. Every wireless router settings page is a bit different, so if the setting isn't obvious, check your manual or the manufacturer’s website support pages to find it. Some are labeled “closed” or “visibility” setting.
  • If you opt for this method and need to connect a device to your wireless network, remember your wireless network name is now hidden and you will not see your wireless network name.  Cell phones, tablets and computers typically have an "Other" option at the end of the list of (non-hidden) wireless networks.  When you select "Other," you be able to manually type in the name of your wireless network.  Your network name will typically be case-sensitive. Some devices will also have a box you need to check that says “Connect even if the network is not broadcasting."  
     
    We hope these guidelines are helpful, but keep in mind they are suggestions common to most routers, but not all.  The best resource for learning how to step up your router’s security is on the manufacturer’s website. Here are some links to the support section of the most common router manufacturers.
    *A more advanced security strategy: Specify the devices allowed to access your network using MAC address filtering. This will block access to any other potential device or user, even if they use the correct password.  (A MAC address has nothing to do with Apple products. It is a unique number assigned to every connected device, from computers to gaming devices. Here’s the Netgear page on how to do MAC address filtering.)  But be aware that this can be time consuming, and that MAC addresses are easily faked. Many experts caution against using MAC address filtering alone as a viable security practice. 
     
Finally, realize any changes made to your wireless router could affect the network connections for your wireless devices. You may need to change their settings as well. Yes, it takes a little doing, but unlike locking the door to your home, you only need to secure your home network once to be safe.

For more info on setting up and securing home networks: 
How to create a home network with Viasat Internet and a wireless router
Watch this video for tips on getting updates without draining data:


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