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Securing your router is important. You may need to take an Ask Leo! checklist to your internet provider to insure you are properly protected.

I've just had a wireless modem installed by my ISP. I have no way to login to it or change anything. Is there any way I can check to see if my connection and data is secure? Thanks.

In this excerpt from Answercast #24, I look at a router that has been set up by an ISP and run through the list of things that a client should ask their ISP to insure their system is secure.

Securing a modem

So it depends on how you're connecting to it.

If you are connecting to it via wires (in other words, you have an Ethernet cable plugged from your computer into the modem or into a router and then into the modem), there's nothing in your control that would affect your security and require you to look at the router.

That being said, since it's a wireless router...

  • If you had to specify a password in order to connect to it wirelessly, then you know that the wireless connection is using some form of encryption.

I think ultimately that's what you're looking for.

Specific settings

Without knowing the specific modem that you're using, it's hard to say exactly what kinds of options are available to you to further secure that connection.

There are many things that I list in "How do I secure my router?" – an article elsewhere on Ask Leo!

  • If you can't access your router, those aren't going to be things that you can check for or alter.

What I would recommend then is that you make sure to contact your ISP and ask them essentially this same question.

Go down that article's list of things that I recommend you secure and ask them about each one in turn:

  1. Is the password secure?
  2. Is the wireless connection using WPA and not WEP encryption?
  3. ...and so forth.

Make sure that the router is secure and make sure that the ISP is willing to tell you exactly what they've set up for that router. Perhaps, ask them to give you direct access to the router and it's settings.

Article C5431 - June 6, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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