How to Make My Wi-Fi Private

By Ruri Ranbe

A public hot spot enables you to connect to the network without requiring authentication, and a private hot spot restricts access to the network unless you enter the password correctly. Some routers ship with a password already configured, and when you insert the installation disc for the device into your computer, the software provides instructions for connecting to the private hot spot -- but most are open to the public. To protect your hot spot and prevent strangers from logging in to your network, set up wireless security on your router.

Linksys

Step 1

Navigate to "http://192.168.1.1" (without quotation marks) from your browser and log in to the Linksys router using "admin" (without quotation marks here and throughout) as the username and password.

Step 2

Select "Wireless" from the main menu and then choose "Wireless Security" from the submenu. Change the Configuration View setting to "Manual."

Step 3

Choose "WPA2 Personal" or "WPA2/WPA Mixed Mode" from the Security Mode drop-down menu.

Type a password consisting of eight to 63 characters into the Passphrase field and click "Save Settings."

Netgear

Step 1

Navigate to http://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.1.1 in your Web browser -- the address varies, depending on your particular router model. Then, log in to the Netgear router using "admin" as the username and "password" as the password.

Step 2

Select "Wireless" or "Wireless Settings" from the left pane; then choose "WPA2-PSK [AES]" or "WPA-PSK [TKIP] + WPA2-PSK [AES]" from under Security Options.

Enter a password consisting of eight to 63 characters into the Passphrase field, and then click "Apply."

Belkin

Step 1

Navigate to http://192.168.2.1 in your Web browser to access the Belkin router.

Step 2

Click "Log In," and then click "Submit." You do not need to enter any information to log in to the router unless you've previously set up a custom password.

Step 3

Select "Security" from under the Wireless heading in the left pane, then choose "WPA/WPA2-Personal (PSK)" from the Security Mode options and click "Apply Changes."

Step 4

Choose "WPA2-PSK" or "WPA-PSK+WPA2-PSK" from the Encryption Technique drop-down menu.

Type a password consisting of eight to 63 characters into the "Pre-Shared Key (PSK)" field and click "Apply Changes."

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