Alcatel Ride-Fi - Secure Your Connection - Sprint Product Ambassador
Let us talk about security. If you read my other blogs on the Ride-Fi device you would get the basic setup on configuring the device for a first time use. In this article I will discuss in further details some of the changes that should be made for your own and your Family's/Businesses own protection. This discussion will assume you already have your device setup for initial use. in order to configure the device for further security you will need to login into the devices Web Gui.
Accessing the web gui / device manager can be done by either navigating to http://192.168.128.1 or http://myhotspot. At first you will be given the home page. Here you get a summary of your usage at the time of connectivity to your Ride-Fi. Most of what I am going to discuss will be under the Settings Section. When you click the Settings tab you will be instructed to enter your device managers password. If you ave not changed it in the initial setup then it should be the word "password without parenthesis.
Once under the section you will be in the WiFi basic configuration section. There are couple of things that can be done to secure your network here. Enabling stealth SSID will stop broadcasting your SSID to be seen but will still allow you to manually enter it on your devices to connect to. No one will try to connect to a network they cant see typically. The Password Key is pretty secure in my opinion but you may not remember it so it is best to change it to something you will be more inclined to remember. When changing passwords Include both upper case, lower case, numbers and a specialty character to make cracking the password hard. Next determine if you really need to allow more than a few connections at one time. if you know you will not have more than 3 devices able to connect at once reduce the maximum connections down from 8 to the desired request.
Next go to the Devices tab and select Web Interface. If you were able to access your device manager with the default password. Here is where you will change it. I recommend using a different password than your Wi-Fi password. Make sure you choose a combination of upper case, lower case, number and specialty characters to make the password. After the password has been changed you will then need to go to the Advanced Router section.
Under the LAN Settings section here is where you can configure the IP address range you will use on all your connected devices. In the initial setup Alcatel gives you over 100 IPs to use. In my world I don't think I will ever need or use 100 IP addresses. I do not even have that many WiFi connected devices. Here I would reduce the IP range under the DHCP IP range to something more within the range of connected devices. Keep in mind its ok to have more than your need. That is where the DHCP lease time comes into play. The DHCP lease time tells the device how long to hold the IP address assigned to your device for before it releases to be used with another device. I do not see the need to have my IP's stored for over 700 minutes so I reduced my down to 120 minutes.
If you are going to have little ones connecting with their own devices may I recommend additional web surfing suggestion. Under the DNS Mode section you can manually setup a DNS ip addresses to use. I use a service called OpenDNS and I recommend something like this service to protect prying eyes from going or seeing things they should not be on the internet. DNS is used when visiting websites in the simplest form. When your trying to visit a website the DNS service compares the site your trying to visit to known known blacklisted/bad lists and if it is on them you would be denied from going to the site. Very simple, very effective.
Finally if you want to be even more secure you can go to the firewall section and start creating firewall rules for added protection, but this would be beyond this discussion. If you follow some simple changes with your network you will be secure enough for the average user to drive around and use your hotspot without many issues. if you take anything from this its that you please change your passwords. this is the simplest thing to do and pretty much secures you from most of the attackers/hackers out in the world. while not everything is 100% secure we can always try our best to be aware of the tools we are using and how to protect ourselves more fully.
The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee