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Secure WiFi frequently asked questions
Important Note: Secure WiFi is available on compatible modems leased from CenturyLink. Learn more here.
What is Secure WiFi?
Secure WiFi combines state-of-the-art security with convenient device management features (from your My CenturyLink account online or via the app) to put you in the driver’s seat of your home network.
Secure WiFi technology provides security against many online threats such as viruses, malware, botnet attacks, and other malicious content. It's built directly into specific compatible, leased CenturyLink modems, and helps to make sure all internet traffic passing through the modem to any device in a home network is safe.
When a Secure WiFi compatible modem is plugged in and activated with CenturyLink internet, is updated with current firmware, and is used as intended, the security features of Secure WiFi automatically help to protect all devices connected to that network from most online threats. This includes Internet of Things (IoT) devices like smart TVs or thermostats.
Download the My CenturyLink app.
How does Secure WiFi work?
Secure WiFi uses a technology powered by McAfee called Global Threat Intelligence (GTI). Thiscloud-based system with machine learning instantly scans messages, files and apps to block or quarantine malicious content like viruses, malware, ransomware, spyware and more on your compatible devices.
About Global Threat Intelligence:
It's cloud-based and communicates with your device. This means the heavy lifting is done in the cloud, keeping your devices running smooth and fast.
It collects and compares data on all kind of things, like files, websites, emails, and networks, meaning you get a broad range of protection.
McAfee GTI plays nicely with other layers of McAfee protection such as Firewall protection, McAfee WebAdvisor, and Anti-Spam. That means everything works together to help keep your devices and data safer.
It can run scans quickly and remember threats, meaning you get the most complete information — in real-time.
What does Secure WiFi protect against?
Secure WiFi actively detects and warns you when you attempt to navigate to risky websites that may contain viruses, malware, and other malicious content. By warning you against navigating to these risky sites, Secure WiFi reduces the risk of your or your family members' devices (e.g. PC, tablet, etc.) accidentally becoming infected.
For Smart Home devices, such as cameras, thermostats, etc., Secure WiFi monitors and blocks malicious traffic or unwanted remote access to those devices from unauthorized or malicious sources.
How do I know if I have Secure WiFi?
Secure WiFi is built into specific modems leased from CenturyLink. If you lease one of these modems, you will see an option to Manage Secure WiFi when you select your internet product from the My Products section of My CenturyLink or the My CenturyLink App.
Secure WiFi is currently limited to compatible CenturyLink modems leased directly from CenturyLink: models C1100, C3000A, C3000Z, and C4000.
If needed, compatible modems will receive a firmware update within 72 hours of completing installation and activation of the modem. The Secure WiFi features will not start until the modem is fully installed and the firmware update is successful.
Secure WiFi is currently available to all customers who lease a qualifying modem after August 14, 2020.
If you have questions about whether Secure WiFi is working for you, please contact us.
What devices does Secure WiFi protect?
Secure WiFi is built into the CenturyLink compatible modem which sits between the internet and all the devices on your home network.
Secure WiFi will help protect computers and mobile devices from accessing compromised websites:
Secure WiFi also protects other smart home devices that are connected to the internet. These are known as Internet of Things (IOT) devices, and might include the following:
Smart speakers and hubs
Smart TVs and set-top boxes
Appliances such as refrigerators/freezers/washers/dryers
And many more
How does Secure WiFi know which sites are risky?
Secure WiFi uses a technology called Global Threat Intelligence (GTI) to identify dangerous websites. GTI constantly monitors websites for malicious content. When malicious content is found on a particular website, GTI 'flags' the site as risky. When any of your devices attempt to visit a website, Secure WiFi checks that the website is not on the 'risky' list. If it is, Secure WiFi displays a warning screen.
GTI also identifies websites that have been attacked by botnets. A domain that has been attacked by botnets tries to infect the devices that visit, and to spread malware through the internet. When any of your devices attempt to visit an attacked website, Secure WiFi prevents it and displays a warning screen.
How does Secure WiFi protect me from viruses?
Secure WiFi actively protects the devices in your home from visiting risky websites. This includes websites known to contain viruses, malware, and other malicious content. By detecting these sites, Secure WiFi reduces the risk of you or your family members' computers accidentally becoming infected.
Is Secure WiFi the same as anti-virus software?
No. However, because Secure WiFi detects malicious sites and warns you before you attempt to visit them, it can prevent you from downloading a virus from such a site. In addition, all Secure WiFi customers can download CenturyLink Security by McAfee on up to 20 devices.
It is important to remember that Secure WiFi does not protect you from viruses that may have infected devices before the feature was activated, or viruses on sites where you have chosen to visit despite receiving a warning from Secure WiFi. You are only protected from viruses you may encounter when your device is connected to another network that is not protected by Secure WiFi if you also download McAfee anti-virus on your device.
Does Secure WiFi require additional anti-virus software to work?
Secure WiFi protects devices connected to the network of a protected modem. All Secure WiFi customers can also get anti-virus software from McAfee on up to 20 devices at no extra charge, so your devices can be protected at home or away from home. Learn more about McAfee security.
What if I use my own modem or other 3rd party networking equipment?
Secure WiFi is built into specific, leased, CenturyLink modems. For Secure WiFi to work as designed, you must use the supplied CenturyLink compatible modem.
If a third-party WiFi router or other networking equipment is used in conjunction with or instead of the CenturyLink modem, Secure WiFi may not work. In this case, it is highly recommended that you assess your security vulnerability and take the appropriate action.
Are my devices protected when I take them out of my home?
Secure WiFi protects devices when they are connected to your protected modem's network. All Secure WiFi customers also get security protection from McAfee on up to 20 devices, so your devices can be protected no matter where you are. Learn more about McAfee security.
Do I need any separate equipment for Secure WiFi?
Secure WiFi is built into the compatible CenturyLink modem itself, protecting your devices at the network modem, so there is no need for additional boxes or hardware.
How often will I have to update Secure WiFi?
Secure WiFi is always up-to-date automatically. It is powered by cloud-based McAfee GTI which contains information about the latest malware and cyberthreats, so there’s no need for manual updates. Leave your modem plugged in so it can receive these updates.
What if I have guests — are their devices protected too?
Any device that joins your home network using the CenturyLink modem with Secure WiFi is automatically protected, including those of visiting friends and family.
It's important to remember that Secure WiFi does not remove viruses from devices that may have already been infected before connecting to your network.
We recommended you only allow devices you're sure are safe to gain access to your network.
How do I know that Secure WiFi is protecting my home network?
If you attempt to visit a risky website, Secure WiFi will protect you by displaying a warning page advising not to proceed to the suspicious site.
Why am I seeing a message warning me a site I am trying to visit is malicious?
If a website you are about to visit has been identified as suspicious by the Secure WiFi technology, you will get a warning message.The Global Threat Intelligence continuously monitors websites for malicious and dangerous content, helping to protect against online threats. For more details, please see "How does Secure WiFi know which sites are risky?" above.
What do I do when I get a warning?
To stay safe, we recommend you do not visit the website and instead choose one of these options:
Click the green "Return to safety" button
Click the browser "Back" button
Navigate to a new destination
Close your browser
Although risky and not recommended, you may choose to ignore the warning and click the white "Continue anyway" button to continue to the suspected site.
You also have the option to check the box to "Permanently trust this website" if you know it's a safe site. Checking this box will whitelist the site on all devices currently connected to your modem so you won't receive the warning in the future.
How do I confirm Secure WiFi is active on the modem?
You can check if Secure WiFi is active by visiting this website: testsecurewifi.com (copy and paste or type this URL into a new browser window)
Important: Make sure you are conducting this quick test from a device that is currently connected to your leased CenturyLink modem (wired or wireless). This test will not work if you are not connected to the internet through your CenturyLink modem.
How the test works:
1. Open a new browser window and enter this website address: testsecurewifi.com
2. If Secure WiFi is active, a ‘Congratulations!’ window will open (see example). This confirms that Secure WiFi is active. You may now close the window as the test is complete.
3. If Secure WiFi is not active, a website with an explanation on what to do next will open.
What if I no longer want this type of protection?
Secure WiFi is designed to keep your network and all your devices safe from most online threats and cyber-attacks. Secure WiFi is always on and always up-to-date and provides automatic protection without user intervention. To take full advantage of the protection that Secure WiFi provides, we highly recommend that it remains continually active and is not turned off. If you no longer want to keep Secure WiFi active to protect your home network, contact us.