The article discusses about should we enable the WAN blocking on our routers or is it good to keep it unblocked, what would be the outcome of not enabling the WAN blocking. All these questions will be answered with all necessary explanation in the following.
Do You Need To Enable WAN Blocking on Your Router ?
The short and simple answer is Yes, you do. Most of the users must allow the WAN blocking on the router and the other choice is not for everyone. You may find hundreds and thousands of articles informs about how to enable / disable WAN blocking, but it is always better to understand the things as why should we enable WAN blocking and how it is better for us.
The Google will most likely to get you the results in which articles provides the useful data and information in bits and pieces, not one article providing you complete information and explanation why it is that so?
We will guide you in the following to make you understand the things better.
- What is WAN
- Why Should We Enable WAN blocking
- Who Should Be Enabling the WAN Blocking
Basic Definition of WAN
WAN is the short abbreviation of “Wide Area Network” and this network is established by connecting two or more computers through network link. This network is used for sharing the resources and utilities such as printers. WAN network helps the users to achieve higher efficiency instead of maintaining the communication on unshared basis.
WAN vs. LAN
Both are term used for an established network which links two or more computers together. WAN is used for establishing large size network and more common amongst large organizations, government offices and universities where large number of computers needs to be connected to each other to establish the most efficient system over a large geographic area.
LAN is a smaller size network comparing to WAN and mostly used in personal capacity at home to connect the computers of all family members.
Why LAN Connection Over WAN ?
LAN is enough established network for five to ten family members, otherwise it needs to have a big server to allow the hundreds of computers sharing data with each other. This server is not easy and requires lots of technical maintenance, why should one bother to go through all this when using a network in personal capacity.
WAN is good for the offices and organizations because lots of data has to exchanged and retrieved from the server on daily basis.
Advantages of WAN Network Connection
We can connect several numbers of LANs to establish WAN, this approach has its own advantages for giant sized organizations.
To understand this with an example, let’s suppose you are head of Human Resource department in large corporate. You have made online lectures to train the all employees on how to maintain the work ethics, work discipline and work productivity.
As a HR head, you presented number of points to make all employees follow them, so that you can implement the standard operating procedures to achieve highest work efficiency.
You stored all these online lectures on a centralized database which can be easily accessible by the all employees operating on regional offices using LAN.
Disadvantages of WAN Network Connection
Every good invention also comes with its disadvantages and weaknesses. As far as WAN is concerned, it is less-secure network that invites the hackers to steal the data which can be critical for the business or personal level.
WAN connects large number of computers which means more access points to penetrate the network and here hackers take the advantage by penetrating through one of many access points.
It does not means large corporate and offices should not go for WAN now; they should rather try to make it more secure and keep their I.T. officers vigilant all the time.
How WAN AND Internet are Inter-Related ?
WAN is the large network and Internet is the one largest WAN network.
Most of the routers comes with single WAN port which keeps the user connected to the exterior network, this router also comes with multiple LAN ports to allow the home computers to get connected with internet through router.
Router has to be connected with broadband modem and then you will be connected to the internet. This means your router has to be connected to one big internet through modem, then it will also get you connected to one that big internet thing.
To understand the thing easily, take it as the router is bringing all LAN traffic on the internet. These days all ISPs provides the user router-modem device which comes with multiple Ethernet ports and through user can get connected to one big Internet.
User needs to either put a telephone port or coaxial cable into the modem. A modem device takes signals from ISP tower and your home devices starts using these signals to get connected with internet and can watch, read and listen all the content available on Internet.
Should We Enable WAN Blocking Or Not ?
This is the problem you are here for, should we enable WAN blocking or not.
But, first understand what WAN blocking actually is.
Mostly ISPs will provide you a router which comes by default setting to block WAN traffic to your LAN, which means any external traffic from internet cannot penetrate your home based LAN where personal data is stored.
When you choose to disable WAN blocking feature, you allow the internal traffic from all over the world to penetrate your private network.
Once you allow the external traffic to have an access on your LAN, they also get access on your router’s GUI, online settings and ICMP.
ICMP is the short abbreviation of “Internet Router Discovery Protocol”, this is the protocol which allows your computer to access the internet through router.
These days, many routers are also coming which using the NAT ( Network Address Translation ), a method of networking.
What is NAT and How It is Helpful ?
This is an unique method of mapping an IP address which creates the same IP address for all the computers on the LAN. The benefit of NAT is offering same IP address to all devices. For Example, one family member streaming YouTube videos and other family member playing online games, the router will show as there is only one IP address which streaming videos and playing online games.
This technique was actually developed to deceive a hacker who then would not be interested in hacking such LAN connected by only one device as this is less appealing for the hacker.
Why Would I Use WAN Blocking ?
The one big main advantage of WAN blocking feature is improves the security and hacker would not be able stealing your personal precious data which may be viral on Internet.
One who is running such a business requires its external traffic to give access on server data should disable WAN blocking; otherwise no one wants to disable this feature. Everyone wants security of own personal data and no wants to get an external traffic on server without any commercial motive.
What is WAN Ping Blocking ?
A hacker use the pinging method to test whether your WAN IP address maintains a network, so hacker can steal useful data and make successful attempt. This is a technique in which hacker gets the success, when in return your router responses the hacker back.
When user blocks the WAN Ping, there would be no response to the hacker and he / she is most likely to go back as hacker does not see the potential of stealing useful data.
Why Should We Enable “WAN Ping Blocking” Feature ?
It is recommended to perform this setting and enable WAN Ping Blocking feature on your router. It will enhance the security and make the hacker unable to locate your LAN.
To understand the things in easy words, take this example as it’s like one has switched-off all lights so guests would take it as there is no one at home and they would go back instead of keep ringing the door bell. Similarly, when hacker do not see any LAN there, why would be wasting any more time instead try to find other networks to penetrate into.
How Hackers Can Harm Once Join Your LAN ?
Once hackers have penetrated your LAN and now they can harm in several ways. They can have access on financial data and use it for online shopping by using your credit / debit cards.
They can perform illegal downloading to use this information for fraudulent activities and use the IP address to support any terrorist activity.
3 Signs Your LAN Has Been Hacked
There are three main signs which indicate someone has hacked your LAN and once you come to know this, must take all precautionary measures.
Router Settings Have Been Changed
You must go and check the router settings on random basis, if it has been changed. If it changes without permission or knowledge, most likely hackers did this.
Strange Messages Popping Up
You will start seeing the strange messages popping up on the window which needs to be ignored and do not open the file anyway.
The Presence of Unknown Devices on LAN
LAN connects limited number of devices at home and admin is most likely to notice any unknown device connected with LAN. This shows hacker is currently connected with the LAN and stealing the personal data.