Wireless Router Hacks

router

 

Today’s post will follow my Gadget Saturday tradition where I will write tips, tricks, hacks and reviews for a type of gadget every Saturday. I will write about wireless routers today, and first, I am going to tell you that they are a very powerful block of electronic that you can mod, hack and tweak. If you don’t have a wireless connection at home, then this will convince you to get one!

 Why Use Wireless Connection Instead Of Direct Connection

With cheap, quality wireless router produced nowadays, I can’t see any reason not to lose your messy wired connections. Moreover the fact that almost all of today’s gadgets can only take wifi connection (certain exceptions like laptops). But at least it’s been made very clear that mobile phones will never include a LAN cable port.

Why Wireless Connection Rocks

  • Wireless Routers allow you freedom of movement in your house, what’s with not being attached by your cable connection.
  • You can share the connection with other computers in your household.
  • Your mobile phones will no longer need pricey data connection even in your house.

Reasons Why You Haven’t Used Wireless Connection Yet 

  •  Nothing can match the speed your wired cable offers.

 

speed2The thing is, the one gigabit speed offered by your cable will not the speed your internet provider offers. Since most providers will not offer that kind of speed, why bother? Some wireless routers connection can serve up to 300 MB/s connection anyway.  That might be just enough for you and you might not even notice any difference from wired connection.
  • Need money to buy

 

us_dollars-6907Let’s see, I got a cheap TP-Link Wireless N Router here for a meager $20 and I can say for sure that this wireless router is enough for any 1-floor apartments. I also got its more powerful brother installed in my parent’s 3 stories-house that gives enough coverage for the whole building. There are some dead spots here and there but for $50 I don’t think I’d even get that much. If you haven’t got a wireless adapter for your pc (Laptops will have it by default), I recommend getting the same brand as your router’s. I use this high gain 300 MB/s adapter in my pc and it works like a charm for me. So, the whole setup should only cost you $50. Rather than getting another wired connection installed in your house (about $100 per month in my case), wireless connection is definitely cheaper.
  • Afraid of  the security “myth” where everyone outside will be able to access and hack your, uh, “everything”.

 

network-security-lockSetting up a good WPA2/TKIP password should be enough for most people, but if you are really paranoid against hacker attacks than my advice is to install a VPS in your house. But most of the times, a really strong password will do you wonders, and if you don’t want your relatives or friends piggybacking in your connection then don’t use your birth date or name. I wouldn’t even start on how much a bother it is to hack someone’s connection. I’m going to say for sure that not everyone can do it.

 

  • You can share the connection with other computers in your household.

 

share connectionI am listing this as an advantage and a disadvantage because your pesky neighbors might try to piggyback on your wireless connection. Yes, if you got a strong wireless router then it’s highly probable that your neighbors can connect to them too. Nothing a good password won’t solve though, that’s why I recommend you not to use general passwords like birth date or your dog’s name. If you got a tech-savvy neighbor that is suspicious then you might want to access your router’s admin page to check whether there is any other connection than yours.

 

Change Your Default Router’s Password

 

router default passwordAccessing your router gives you the admin rights to your wireless connection and allows you some handy powers like opening your ports and changing your signal channel to avoid interference. If you have a wireless router at home, then most probably its admin page password is ‘123456789’. They are default passwords and the first thing I try every single time I try to access some airport stalls’ free wifi. Eerily they often work and it’s not even funny anymore on how many people I know that haven’t changed their passwords. So, please, change them right now.
Not Enough Wireless Range 
It’s very stressful if you have low signals in rooms you’d like to use your connection in. You will get problems like disconnections and slow speed that borders on the annoying line. To boost your wireless range without spending any money, I recommend re-positioning your router so that it casts a direct line of sight to your wireless adapter. Also, wireless signals seems to hate thick walls, mirrors, glasses (even your aquarium)If you can’t do that for the lack of space in your house then you might want to try to buy some high powered antennas or even repeaters. They should help solve your wireless connection problems if push comes to shove. Some free wireless router hacks I like are:
Unlocking Your Wireless Router’s Hidden Potential With DD-WRT 
Check if your wireless router supports the DD-WRT  firmware here before taking the plunge. It basically allows you to supercharge your wireless router into giving more transmit power or even limiting the speed of other computers in your household. This is a quite dangerous process to take and may even break your router beyond repair, so if you don’t know what you are doing, then don’t do it.

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