So, you’ve spent your hard-earned cash on a hardware firewall to protect your home network against intruders, or perhaps you have upgraded to a wireless router that includes a built-in firewall. Whatever the case may be, although most models of hardware firewalls are very easily and quickly set up with a wizard-style interface and a few clicks, the default security settings of the router largely remain off.
To improve on this situation, you will need to manually configure your router to provide more security. If you have a network, you are a network administrator; whether you have one desktop and a laptop, or a desktop in every room and a couple of network-enabled consoles, you alone are responsible for the integrity and security of your home network.
This article is based on a Netgear DG834GT router with built-in firewall that I recently reviewed. If you do not own this model, don’t worry as most current hardware firewalls/routers are administered in the same way. They use a browser-based interface that you access in the same way as a web page. The features may differ from model to model but the principal is the same, and many similar features are found across brands.
The automatic configuration of modern routers normally set the router itself to the network device with an IP address of 192.168.0.1 and other devices (desktop PC, laptop, etc) as 192.168.0.2, 192.168.0.3 etc, etc.
To access the administration utility, you normally only need to open a browser and type http://192.168.0.2 in the address bar. If this does nothing or displays a “Page cannot be found” message, it may not be configured/installed correctly or you may need to access it in some other way, so check the documentation or manufacturers web site for advice.
You will probably need to enter a password to access the admin pages, if you have not already changed this, the default password will be in the documentation for the device.
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