HomeTechHacker: 5 Settings to Configure on Your WI-FI Router Now

Sunday, September 3, 2023

By Marlon Buchanan

Your Wi-Fi router is the most important home networking device. It protects your home from bad actors. It also plays a key role in your network’s speed and stability. 

Making sure your Wi-Fi router is configured to give the safest and the best experience is important. Here are seven settings that you should configure now.

1. Use the highest Wi-Fi security standard

WPA3, or Wi-Fi Protected Access 3, is the latest standard for securing Wi-Fi connections. It uses more powerful encryption than WPA2, better protecting your network from snooping hackers. Most Wi-Fi devices don’t yet support WPA3, but newer devices do and soon they will become ubiquitous.

Make sure you have WPA3 enabled on your router for the devices that do support it. Routers that support WPA3 are backward compatible with WPA2, which is the lowest standard you should use (WEP isn’t secure anymore).

WiFi lock
2. Set your router to automatically update your firmware

Your router (and the firewall in it) is your primary defense against hackers penetrating your network. 

New vulnerabilities are discovered all the time, and you want to make sure that your router has the latest protections. 

Periodically check to see whether your router has an available firmware update and keep your router up to date. Many routers will notify you of a firmware update, or automatically update it based on a schedule you choose.

3. Set up Quality of Service (QoS)

Quality of service, or QoS, allows your router to prioritize Internet uploads and downloads for certain types of traffic (e.g., video streaming, videoconferencing, and voice over IP) and devices (e.g., computers, smart TVs, and gaming consoles). This helps improve the experience of devices that need solid connections. I recommend taking the time to learn how to enable and configure your router’s QoS settings, especially if you have a slower Internet connection.

4. Change the default router username and password

You never want to leave the default username and password on any Internet-connected device. It leaves an easy door to compromise your network security. I highly recommend that you change the default username and password before doing any configuration of your router.

5. Set up a guest network

If you don’t have a guest network, you may find yourself in a situation where you have guests over and you have to give them your password so they can access your network. 

This gives your guests not only your password, which may be sensitive and used for different accounts (although, you should not reuse passwords) but also access to all of your networked devices (printers, network shares, PCs, etc.).

A proper guest network allows you to set a separate and shareable password for your guests. It also protects your private computer resources from being compromised by guests.

Many routers make configuring a guest network simple. If yours does, it’s worth learning how to configure it. Otherwise, consider purchasing a router or access point that has the feature.

Marlon Buchanan
Be sure to check out my free Wi-Fi Tuneup guide for more tips about making your Wi-Fi top-notch. Get a copy of my best-selling book, The Home Network Manual

If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to making your home network, fast, stable, and secure. It’s available in Kindle, paperback, and audiobook formats.

Marlon Buchanan is a best-selling author, IT Director, and founder of HomeTechHacker.com, a website with free resources to help you make the most of your home technology. 

If you have questions or comments about this article you can contact Marlon through his website or on Twitter.


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