There is no doubt that a wireless network is the best way to set up a home network and to make the Internet available to every member of your household. In most cases when using a wireless network, family members can be in any section of the house and still pick up the wireless signal to access the network or the Internet. Wireless networks offer networking convenience and quick access to the world via the World Wide Web.
One of the downsides to having a wireless network at home is that there is the potential for neighbours to leech off of your signal. Anyone living in close proximity to your home is likely to be able to detect and use your wireless network. That is unless you go the extra step of securing your network.
Since most people buy their network router and rush home to plug it in and try it out, they very often fail to follow the appropriate steps needed to set the network up for optimal security. The most basic way to protect your home network is by setting up a network key. A network key is basically a password that you require people to use when they want to gain access to your network.
Another way to protect your network and your data is to make use of the data encryption technology that is available on your router. Depending on the age of your computer and your router, you will have a series of encryption options: WEP, WPA, WPA2, etc. Encrypting your data ensures that it can not be stolen in transit should anyone gain access to your network or to any information you send through the Internet.
Unless you have unusual circumstances, it is advisable to always secure your home network. Many people are relaxed about this issue, stating that they have nothing worth stealing. If you use your computer for online banking, you run the risk of having your passwords stolen on an unsecured network and thus funds stolen from your account. Even worse, you could find that your identity has been stolen just by way of the sensitive information that can be found once an individual gains access to your online account. Securing your home network is vitally important. Therefore, always be sure to follow the instruction manual that comes with your router when setting up your home network.