Home network security
I thought I would write a post on how to secure a home network, software or hardware that I use at home and away from home that you can implement for a reasonable cost to secure your home network.
Most home internet users today purchase a standard WiFi router as their connection to the internet, while some of these are good products their focus is not always on security, and often with the higher priced models you might be paying simply for branding or marketing.
You can now get a Firewall that costs under $200 for your home connection that just a few years ago probably would of cost upwards of $1000.
My suggestion for a full featured SoHo Firewall that will provide you great protection and can be configured by someone who is moderately technical, is the ZyXEL USG20w
For $172 you are getting an ICSA Certified Firewall, with 4 LAN/DMZ Gigabit ports, Content Filtering, IPSec VPN, SSL VPN, DHCP, DNS and so many more features.
I’ve personally used this in the past for an IPSec VPN from one of our remote offices, and this was far more reliable than the SoHo Cisco router we had previously, for the price this is an exceptional piece of hardware.
One great feature about this router is the SSL VPN is incredibly simple to set up, this will allow you to access home network from the internet which is very handy if you have files or need access to your computers at home while you are on the road.
A VPN server will basically tunnel your connection through a remote server, so when you browse the internet your IP will look like it is from another location.
Masking your connection with a VPN service can be a good investment, especially if you are frequently travelling and using WiFi hotspots and internet in other public places,
VyperVPN is my personal choice, they support a wide range of devices (Windows, OSX, Android, iPhone, Linux and even the choice to have a VyperVPN router which covers your whole network)
They are at the higher end of the price spectrum, but you get what you pay for, which is speed and service, they are especially good if you ever in China or countries with strict firewalls as they can circumvent those countries firewalls via their “Chameleon” service (I suspect it is probably just scrambled OpenVPN)
Anti Virus / Security Software
I should not have to explain why this is important, viruses and malware are becoming more intelligent and less detectable, with so much private information kept on your PC anti virus software is a very important component in securing your home network below I list 2 security suites I have used that I would recommend.
Bitdefender Total Security 2015 is regularly at the top of Anti Virus yearly reviews and for a good reason, it is the best anti virus software available right now
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2015 is slightly cheaper than BitDefender but still a great option if your budget is limited.
Not strictly a piece of security software, but having backups is important, with cloud storage being so cheap many people may think having backups at home is no longer needed.
And it may be the case for some, but I like to always keep a backup of mine and my wife’s PC at home, If I need to restore the operating system for whatever reason it makes my life a lot easier.
Personally I use Acronis True Image 2015 it has always worked great for me, I’ve tried others like Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 Suite and just found Acronis was a better overall product.