Man on phone with laptop

How Our Engineers Secure Their Home Networks

What happens when your office becomes your dining room table, Timmy is playing video games with who knows, and little Becky has decided a Disney+ marathon trumps any outside activities?  How do you protect your professional work life from your family (hey—it really can be that dramatic), ensure you have the bandwidth to do your job, and also make sure all of the family computers are operating as safely as possible?

Don’t fret—the Dad’s are here!  We spoke with some of the BEI dads about how they lock things down at home while working side-by-side with the kiddos.  And this Mom has a tip or two, as well (little Becky is real and she lives with me)! You’ll notice some technical measures and a few who use the dad-voice.  The names have been changed to protect the Dads from retaliation😉.

Leonardo, father of one teenage girl: “The only thing I have is a separate wireless guest network. Work related laptops and desktops are part of a private home LAN. The guest network is for everything else including visiting family and friends as well as devices such as Alexa and Google Home.  The broadband router is also configured to use the Cloudflare DNS servers for faster DNS resolution as well as malicious content filtering. This helps protect the devices that don’t have native antivirus.  Files and documents are hosted in cloud shares such as OneDrive with photos/videos in both OneDrive and Google.  Beyond that PCs have antivirus/malware protection.”

Raphael, father of two elementary aged girls: “I’ve given my PC prioritization on my router, but I have CornNet internet [he lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere] so it really doesn’t matter all that much. I limit bandwidth usage while I am working, mostly manually by restricting the kids from streaming any shows on TV. The weather is great, they can go outside!”

Michelangelo, father of four teenagers: “I have a guest network for any friends who come over.  I don’t control bandwidth since we don’t really have any issues with that—we’ve got a pretty solid Internet plan.  I also use the same Cloudflare FREE DNS entries Jose does. It is good AND FREE—what dad doesn’t love that?!  My son wanted a DMZ setup on our home network to play games in, but I didn’t want to allow that. Maybe if it was just an Xbox I would set up something special.  I don’t know why I never thought about putting Alexa on a separate network, but that’s a good idea.”

Donatello, cool uncle: “I use OpenDNS and I’ve set up a guest wifi. Bandwidth is pretty good nowadays and I’m not noticing a significant impact on usage with multiple devices online.”

Me, mom to two iPad addicts and daughter to two more: “My parents live with us and they are streaming constantly.  We have really great internet, so it’s been more about making sure the wifi is reachable across the house and outside on the patio.  I have three wifi SSIDs (technical term for a separate wifi network).  One is for guests.  A second one has all the home-based Internet-of-Things items on it like Alexa, the thermostat and even the fridge!  The third is for everything else like computers, iPads, and Amazon Fire Stick.  All three wifi networks are password protected with encryption.  Right now I’m not having any quality issues.  My main struggles are the background noises of dogs barking and lawns being mowed.  My work laptop has layers of security and encryption across the few services we use.  So I’m thankful I can transition easily between the office and home.”

Well there you have it!  The parents have spoken.  With enough Internet bandwidth and securing your home network, most are working just fine.  One thing that helps BEI immensely is our dependence on the cloud.  We have most things up there and utilize multi-factor authentication across everything in addition to encryption on our local machines and anywhere information passes from the cloud down to our machine.  It makes us very versatile.  All we need is reliable Internet.

If your current work/IT situation is stressful or you’re having any issues accessing files or applications from home, we can help!  Contact us today and we’ll do a free audit of your setup.  We can’t help get your kids to go enjoy fresh air, but we can help limit your work stress.

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