If you’re wondering just how secure your home network is, here’s an easy way to find out. Pure Networks, makers of the popular Network Magic management tool for home networks, has a free diagnostic scan that will deliver a scorecard on your network’s security status.
The Pure Networks Security Scan tool, which works only with Internet Explorer 6 or later, is clearly bait for Network Magic. But it’s a fun download that can provide insight into your network security in just a few minutes.
Run the scan, and the resulting scorecard provides a summary status of network devices, the router and network, wireless security, and the computer on which you ran the scan. It advises you of the number of issues tested for each category, alerts you to any worrisome issues found. Click View and it gives you a detailed look within each category.
Some of the items it tests under Router and Network include whether you are running a hardware firewall, if your password is strong (and, of course, changed from the factory default), and whether your router firmware is up to date. Under the Wireless Security tab, the scan checks to ensure that you have changed the factory SSID, tells you what kind of wireless security you’re using, and whether there are any SSID name conflicts.
The Network Devices tab lists all devices connected to your WLAN, while the This Computer tab tells you whether your PC contains malware that redirects Web sites, as well as whether file and printer sharing are correctly activated, what kind of software firewall (if any) you’re running, and if your antivirus software is up to date.
I tested my home network and scored 98 percent. (Whew!) The only issue the program found was that my router firmware might be out of date.
It’s a fun test to run, as long as you ignore all the suggestions to download Network Magic. But if you like the interface, you might consider the downloading the networking tool. I’ve played with it a bit and the software seems intuitive and helpful. It’s a free download for a seven-day trial period, and the full version of Network Magic Pro will cost you $49.99. If you have Macs mixed in with Windows PCs, opt for the $64.99 Network Magic Pro 4.7 & Network Magic for Mac, which enables you to easily share printers and files between Windows machines and Macs.