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How to secure your smart home and IoT devices


As homes are growing ever more connected, we ask the question - how smart are smart homes when it comes to security? Find out and read some tips on how you can stay safe.

What security tips would you add for those with smart home devices? Add your comments below.


Another action for IoT devices and routers is to turn them off fully at the powerpoint (not left in standby) when not in use (e.g. TVs, Smart Speakers etc). Not only does it save power, it limits the time available for someone to try and access the device without you knowledge.


Use MAC filtering ie only let the devices that have the allowed MAC addresses (these are easy to find to set up in your router and just remember to update when you add a new device), through on your secure home network. Let all others use your guest network (and again password protect this).


You should probably run your IoT devices on a separate network to your main devices. Set up a three router arrangement with the parent router passing traffic through to the appropriate child, and have all IoT devices on the untrusted child. This way they can’t access your important stuff.

I think I’ve posted a link to the three router setup elsewhere, but here it is again.


Guest networks work on almost the same principle as a separate router. They are a network on their own but using the facilities of the router, another router attached to the main one is still in a similar way a security hole if a party gains access to the main one. I do suggest that a separate router could/should have it’s own access to menu password to access it’s settings but traffic caught at the main one is still caught. To ideally keep IoT apart from your normal household network would be to have it’s own network access via a dedicated connection but for most of us this is not a possible reality to support two or more distinct internet packages…


Except that most (not all) routers do not have physical separation between their networks and thus it is possible for intruders to jump from one to the other. The Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X is one that does have physically separate networks, as does (I understand) the Netgate SG-1100. The former is apparently quite complex to set up (nerd-friendly), and Ubiquiti has been bitten by some bugs recently.

The first answer here mentions security as an issue when using a single router, but is not considering the hardware that I have mentioned in the previous paragraph. Other answers go into a little more detail about why to use separate routers - in short, most home routers are not designed to provide separate networks that are secure from each other.