One of the most important things you should do when you purchase a new wireless router is to make sure that you set up encryption so you keep your network secure. If you leave your network open it is an inevitable that others will start to use it as they see it as an opportunity to browse the Internet and possibly access your files and information.
Because of the variety of routers available in the marketplace it's essential that you have a quick overview of the owners manual. Essentially most routers are very similar in what they do, however the interface can look slightly different so it's impossible to tell you exactly what you need to do in order to make sure that you switch on encryption. Once you have enabled encryption you will then restrict access to allowed uses only that will use a password or pass phrase that you have selected.
But in the configuration area on your router you will have security settings in this area you need to select the encryption type you want to use. Many people opt to use WEP encryption, and this is selected you must choose a password that is 10 characters long. This password or sometimes referred to as passphrase must consist of letters between A-F and numbers 0-9 it's essential that you choose a strong password and a mixture of letters and numbers will ensure this.
When you have changed the configuration settings on your router you need to save this and will most likely be asked to restart. Once this is done you can no longer connect over open connection on your wireless network you would therefore need to "view available networks" on your laptop and you come connects on your WiFi network. You should then be asked for a password, which is to 10 digit passwords you selected. Once this is done you will be securely connected to your encrypted WiFi network.
There are a number of other security settings that you can do it and you can consult your manual will in order to do this. It's essential on all home-based or even business based wireless networks that encryption is enabled. Other areas like using MAC addresses can ensure that you have a higher level of security.