If you’re thinking about a router upgrade consider this first

what to consider when looking a router upgrade

If you’re thinking about a router upgrade consider this first

Wireless Router Upgrade

Your router, the connection point for internal networks to link to the outside world, may not be suitable for a wireless network. Even routers that don’t include wireless support need to accommodate different network configurations to support a WLAN. Maybe it might be time for a router upgrade.

A wireless network will have a different network address range than your wired network, and your router must support at least two network ranges. Companies with visitors often provide a secure guest network login in the reception area, or in meeting rooms, and this requires another network address range that should be separated from all your internal network resources. After all, a guest should see your Internet connection, but not your internal auditing files.

If your router does support wireless network connections, and you´ve had the router more than three years, upgrading is recommended for security reasons alone. Wireless networks require authentication protocols that have changed drastically in the last few years. Older routers are less secure, and often don´t work at all with newer security protocols included on the most recent laptops and other devices.

Include the cost of a new router in your wireless budget. You may not need it, but better to be prepared than unsecure.

Rethink your Security before Installing a Wireless Network

Wired networks have one great security edge; hackers have to be inside your building to connect to your network. Wireless networks, especially when configured incorrectly, broadcast to the outside world.

Security must be tightened a couple of notches when you install a wireless network. Every wireless access point sends an SSID (Service Set IDentifier) a unique number attached to wireless data packets to differentiate that wireless network from others. Do not confuse this with a security measure, because changing your SSID away from the default setting, and turning SSID broadcast off, only slows down hackers by about sixty seconds.

This is a network identifier, not a security tool. Change it from the default for easier internal management, but don´t think it blocks anyone. Security client tools are like using WiFi Protected Access and WPA2 for authentication. These supersede the earlier Wired Equivalency Protocol that wasn´t, unfortunately, near as equivalent as the industry hoped. In fact, if your company handles customer credit card information, the Payment Card Industry audits demand you use at least WPA for wireless security, or you fail the audit.

Wireless client authentication is too detailed for this paper, but be aware that adding a wireless network to your infrastructure requires a complete security approach, not just some piecemeal kludge to get a few laptops connected.