Take These Steps To Secure Your Home Network Now, NO Software Required
Your anti-virus is doing the very best that it can to keep your computer safe, but what about your tablets, phones, Xbox, Playstation, SmartTV, and other connected devices?
Anything that connects to the internet is at risk from online threats, and you can’t really install an anti-virus or bi-directional firewall on your Xbox or SmartTV. Today we’re going to discuss putting your router to work and guarding your other devices, all for the low low cost of free.
Ever wonder how your computer knows how to find Google when you type in google.com in your browser? Yeah, I never wondered about it either, but we’re going to give you a brief overview, followed by how to change a simple setting and give your security an instant boost.
How Google Finds You
When you tell your computer to go to google.com, it looks to your router and asks, “Hey, how do I get to Google?” Your router likely does not store that information locally, so it says to your internet service provider (ISP), “Hey, how do I get to Google?” Your ISP likely has what is known as a Domain Name Server (DNS), which is a computer with one job: to take words and turn them in to numbers that your computer can use to find the website you’re looking for.
There are other DNS servers, often better than the ones your ISP has, on the internet that offer more advanced features. Some big name antivirus companies offer their own DNS servers, and those servers will filter the results it sends back to your computer. If one of those DNS servers gets a report that website “malware.com” has malicious software on it that can harm your computer or other device, it won’t give your device instructions on how to get there, keeping you and your device safe.
The How to Secure Your Home Network:
It’s likely that your router will have an option to manually configure which DNS server you’d like to use. Check with your router manufacturer for exact details on changing the settings. There are some great general guides, offered by other users-, available for almost every router manufacturer here:
The DNS servers:
OpenDNS, Comodo, Norton, and Google all have free DNS servers, and some are better than others.
OpenDNS offers customization, including specific site blocking, if you use their updater tool and register for a free account.
Norton offers a few options based on which DNS servers you choose. All Norton’s servers block known malware, phishing, and scam sites. You can also block pornography and other adult content, but there isn’t quite as much granular control as there is with OpenDNS.
All Norton’s DNS servers block known malware, phishing and scam sites.
Security & pornography blocking:
Security, pornography, and other:
(mature content, abortion, alcohol, crime, drugs, file sharing, gambling, hate, suicide, tobacco or violence)
Comodo SecureDNS will block phishing, malware, and parked domains (websites that exist but don’t have actual content, and usually have a lot of junk ads and pop-ups).
Google has a very strong focus toward speed, and their security focus is more about the DNS servers themselves and less about content filtering, so they’re getting an honorable mention. Google is one of the few that also offer IPv6 DNS servers (the internet will move toward IPv6 in the next few years as the older IP addressing scheme is running out of addresses)
Author: Jeremy Paul
I am Br8kthroo’s Chief Information Officer and I lead the IT Department.
In 2004, I have received an Associate’s Degree from McCann School of Business and Technology. Two years after, I joined the United States Air Force as a Health Service Administrator. My expertise in computer networking administration and repair was an asset to the USAF as I served my country.
After the military, I worked at MA/COMM – Tyco Electronics, and Geek Squad. However, after a few months, I left the latter company because it forced me to charge clients a substantial amount of money for the services I provided. I love helping people. But I do not love to overcharge. So, I decided to work at a reduced cost helping anyone who asks with their computer problems. When your computer gets sick or injured, I am the soothing doctor to the rescue. It is funny how all these computers seem to find me.
I am currently working on my Bachelor’s degree at University of Phoenix but that doesn’t stop me from giving time to help people with their computer woes. I excel at finding solutions to even the most difficult challenges and I am proud to say that I am Br8kthroo’s super tech guy!.