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FlashRouters Blog - The Latest Information on DD-WRT Routers, Wireless Security, and VPN Benefits.

Is DD-WRT or TomatoUSB Affected By the Shellshock Bug?

Shellshock Bug

The Shellshock Bug: Does it Affect DD-WRT & Tomato?

Another day, another threat to your online security, this one coming in the form of a bug named “Shellshock” by Security Researchers.

Naturally, we want to give our users a comprehensive sense of this new threat and provide some information and assurances about our software. So please read on to learn more about Shellshock and why FlashRouters are as safe as ever.

What Is the Shellshock Bug?

Expectedly, the explanation for the bug is dry and technical, so we’ll direct you to this invaluable Engadget article for a more specific answer and give you the important details:

Shellshock, presumably so named because it affects shells, is a bug that, well, affects shells. Shells are software that helps your computers and assorted devices interpret text so that you can understand the text and actually use the device the software is on.

And here’s where the dangerous part comes in: if an attacker requests any information from your router, security camera, or smart device that is using a BASH (Bourne Again SHell) shell, then the attacker can then add malware, allowing them to access sensitive files, activate your devices, use them, delete things, basically anything you can do on your own, and certainly things you wouldn’t want a stranger doing.

So yes, the Shellshock bug is a bit scary, so of course we take it very seriously.

Are FlashRouters Affected By the Shellshock Bug?

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FlashRouters Tomato & DD-WRT Routers

Short answer: No.

Okay, maybe you deserve a little more: according to our in-house testing and multiple DD-WRT & TomatoUSB community reports, we have found that the Shellshock vulnerability will not work on a DD-WRT or TomatoUSB installed router.

As we mentioned above, the vulnerability is based on the Bourne Again Shell (or BASH), but DD-WRT & Tomato firmware use BusyBox which is confirmed to not have this issue.

That said, if you’re using Optware on your DD-WRT router,  it is recommended you turn that feature off, as that implementation is BASH based. Other than that, take comfort, FlashRouters users: as ever, our devices stand up to the test where others fail.

Want more news and information about online security? Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Best VPN Routers & VPN Service Providers of September 2014

FlashRouters Best Selling VPN Routers - Cisco LInksys, Asus, Netgear

FlashRouters Best Selling VPN Routers and VPN Setup Requests – September 2014

There are plenty of good reasons to upgrade your router these days: there’s streaming NCAA football, baseball, and even new iPhones, all of which would be unbelievably frustrating to experience through a tired old router.

FlashRouters is here to help. We’ve got plenty of top-of-the-line devices, certain to future-proof your network and give you wireless service you never dreamed of, and we’re affiliated with the best VPNs around, ensuring your security in these uncertain times.

Benefits of a DD-WRT or Tomato Upgrade

 

As our title indicates, we take high-performance routers and improve upon their firmware by “flashing” them with superior firmware.

Our firmwares of choice are DD-WRT and Tomato. With a DD-WRT or Tomato router, the speed, power, and versatility of your router is increased immeasurably. Here’s a few of the many new features you’ll find on a router flashed with DD-WRT or Tomato:

  • Built-in OpenVPN, PPTP, & L2TP Settings which allows you to utilize your VPN subscription with multiple devices as well as popular streaming players like Rokus while saving you the trouble of installing the VPN connection on each single device!
  • Dual WAN and 3g/4G USb Failover options.
  • Major security holes removed like WDS and manufacturer backdoors.
  • Advanced Networking Modes for WDS, Repeaters & Client Bridges
  • Advanced QoS (Quality of Service) which lets you take over the process of allocating your bandwidth for VOIP, streaming service & popular websites.
  • Extendable wireless range

Like we said, that’s just a small sample of the features of DD-WRT and Tomato! If you want a router over which you have absolute control to do anything you might dream of, a FlashRouter is the way to go!

Most Popular Wireless VPN Routers of September 2014

The Dark Knight FlashRouter

The Asus RT-N66U Dark Knight

An old favorite reclaimed the top spot this month. Maybe it’s the debut of “Gotham” that’s got folks in a Batman mood, but the ol’ Dark Knight has once again claimed the hearts and minds of FlashRouters users, with the similarly intensely powerful Netgear Nighthawk staying strong at number 2.

And we may see some shakeups next month, now that we’re introducing our new budget Wireless-AC model, perfect for users looking for AC upgrade on a medium budget. With Wireless-AC speeds and a USB 3.0 port, rest assured, we’re expecting to see the Asus RT-AC56U DD-WRT on this list next time.

  1. Asus RT-N66U N900 Dark Knight Tomato WiFi Router – Most popular Tomato VPN Router.
  2. Netgear R7000 Nighthawk DD-WRT Router - Our highest powered router, best router for gaming.
  3. Netgear WNDR4000 Rangemax N750 – The “throughput thoroughbred of the 5GHz brand” according to PCMag. We concur.
  4. Asus RT-AC66U Tomato OpenVPN Router - For those looking for next generation Wireless-AC support with full OpenVPN support, meet the lone Wireless-AC Tomato router
  5. Linksys E1200 N300 DD-WRT Router - Our economy, do-it-all model. Popular as a wireless repeater or client bridge.

Most Popular VPN Service Providers of September 2014 – By User Request

Top VPN of September 2014

Private Internet Access

Once again, the great PrivateInternetAccess held on to the top spot, fending off hugely popular VPNs like HideMyAss and Overplay, and even up-and-coming upstarts like CyberGhost.

But things may change soon, especially when you find out that IPVanish is offering 3 months free when you sign up for a 3 month or 12 month subscription and you use the purchase coupon code “FLASH90″. Overplay, never one to be outshined when it comes to great service and great deals,  is offering a yearly special 20% off coupon, which is emailed to you when you purchase an Overplay Router.

Anyway, on to the VPNs!

  1. PrivateInternetAccess – Best budget VPN service.
  2. IPVanish - Offers some of the fastest L1 server speeds worldwide, & popular in the Middle East.
  3. HideMyAss – Top overall US & UK server choices.
  4. Overplay – Easiest setup for your DD-WRT router and utilizing OpenVPN.
  5. CyberGhost – A premiere EU-based VPN service that takes your privacy and security extremely seriously.

The FlashRouters Difference

The FlashRouters Guarantee

The FlashRouters Guarantee

Since our routers are so feature-heavy, getting the most out of your FlashRouter isn’t necessarily the easiest thing in the world. But whether you’re a tech-novice or an expert, we want you to experience every last iota of the network-boosting power a FlashRouter provides. That’s why every FlashRouter comes with:

  • An extensively tested version of DD-WRT or Tomato firmware will be flashed on your router.
  • Personalized Custom Configuration & Setup Guide: A FlashRouter configuration specialist will personally contact you to tailor your new router to your networking plans if you don’t tell us in your order comments.
  • Dual VPN Router Network Setup - Your router will be configured to work by itself or in tandem with your current service provider modem/router out-of-the-box so that you can establish a VPN dedicated router/access point.
  • Free VPN Service Integration: We offer setup guides for just about every VPN service, including: OverPlayVPNHide MyAss, IPVanish, PrivateInternetAccess,  CyberGhost, ExpressVPN,VyprVPN, plus many more.
  • Fast, affordable worldwide shipping via USPS. That includes overnight and international express shipping.

Contact us by opening a support ticket or e-mailing us any time, no matter how big or small the issue. We pride ourselves on our friendly support staff, which is always there to answer any and all of your questions.

For more DD-WRT & Tomato VPN routers, as well as VPN Service Provider updates, product updates, and limited-time specials, follow us (@flashrouters) or like us on Facebook.

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Comcast & Pop-Up Ads: The Price of Open Wi-Fi Hotspots

Comcast & Pop-Up Ads

Comcast Wi-Fi Hotspots Come With Pop-Up Ads

The dangers of open Wi-Fi hotspots are legion, and we at FlashRouters have done our best to keep you informed about these dangers and how they can affect your security.

Compared to the usual threats that attend hotspot usage (the vulnerability of your online activities, including e-mails and credit card numbers), the issue we’re raising today is admittedly mild, but it’s worth knowing about nonetheless.

Comcast Pop-Up Ads for Wi-Fi Hotspots

According to PC World, Comcast has been adding pop-up ads to your internet experience, should you happen to connect an Xfinity public Wi-Fi hotspot.

Comcast claims the purpose of these pop-ups are to assure users that they’re connected to a legitimate Comcast hotspot, and not some malevolent local Wi-Fi connection designed to look like a hotspot.

That’s all well and good, in theory, but it does seem awfully convenient that Comcast sees the need to ramp up the security around their hotspots with ads for Xfinity mobile apps. Plus, these pop-up ads can create further security issues for public Wi-Fi users by adding Javascript to websites where that code isn’t typically involved, something that a hacker can exploit if they so choose.

How to Avoid Comcast’s Open Wi-Fi Hotspot Pop-Ups

As usual, FlashRouters advocates using VPNs whenever you’re connected to a public network (or any time you want extra security around your home network. Check out our list of officially supported providers if you want to get a sense of the right VPN service for you.

Otherwise, we recommend taking the suggestion of PC World, which involves “forcing your browser to connect to websites using HTTPS via a browser extension such as The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s HTTPS Everywhere for Chrome and Firefox. This removes the opportunity for Comcast to slip its ads into the web content you’re viewing midstream, though not all websites support encrypted connections.”

Want more news and information about Wi-Fi security issues? Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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Wireless-AC Enters the Mainstream with the iPhone 6

Using the new iPhone 6 with Wireless-AC

iPhone 6 & Wireless-AC

Hey, did you hear about the iPhone 6 & iPhone 6 Plus? We’re guessing you did. Maybe you’ve waited in line already to be the first one you know to get it.

But, aside from trembling with anticipation, there are important preparations you can make in the meantime to ensure that, when you do get your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, it runs at the top of its performance power. We’ll tell you all about the ways Wireless-AC can help your Apple iPhone 6 experience in the sections below, but first…

The New Apple iPhone 6

So what’s in store for you as a prospective owner of an iPhone 6? What would possess you to dramatically throw your old iPhone into the sea (don’t do this) in favor of the latest version?

  • Well, for starters, and as is seemingly the case anytime a new iPhone is released, the newest one is faster. Apple’s iPhone 6 promises more LTE bands than any other smartphone on the market, and can consequently offer faster download speeds (up to 150 Mbps) over mobile data.
  • Moreover, expect clearer phone conversations now that Apple is implementing VoLTE (Voice over LTE), which is supposedly the gold standard for the moment.

Apple iPhone 6 & Wireless-AC

Most importantly though, the Apple iPhone 6 now offers support for 802.11ac or Wireless-AC meaning that with the right WiFi setup in your home, you can drastically increase WiFi capabilities in your home, up to 3x faster than the best 802.11n routers and 6x the standard Single band N300 router. For a full comparison read What is the difference between Wireless-AC, Wireless-N & Wireless-G?

This news has been particularly well-received at FlashRouters, where we’ve been loudly proclaiming the benefits of Wireless-AC technology for well over a year now. We’ll tell you again though: there’s simply no beating Wireless-AC for sheer, lightning-quick WiFi wireless speed.

Mass adoption of new wireless standards can take a while since one manufacturer has to make it standard and the others will follow. Now that Apple has cracked the seal across their entire product, we expect any new gadgetry from now on though the 2014 holiday season to have Wireless-AC Gigabit Wireless capability a standard.

So make your old ratty router doesn’t effect the performance of your new gadgets. Sadly, this boring old network hub is just expected to do the task forever but with quick moving technological advances and speeds, our upgrade cycle recommendation is when upgrade to a new phone or tablet, you should be considering a router upgrade as well. How often is that? For most that is every 2-3 years with that window increasingly tightening.

You haven’t upgraded your router in over 2 years? Than have we got some treats for you to overhaul the handling of all your new-fangled gadgets along with your Apple TVs, Rokus, SmartTVs, Nest Thermostats, VOIP, Sonos Music Systems & much more. The list of things that hammer your router and require performance increases everyday.

Best Wireless-AC Routers for the Apple iPhone 6

Best Wireless-AC Apple iPhone 6 Plus Router - Netgear R7000 Nighthawk OpenVPN DD-WRT - More Secure

Fortunately, for you, the (future) iPhone 6 owner, we’ve got a selection of top performing Wireless-AC routers that will blow your mind. Choose any of these superior routers, enhanced with feature rich open-source firmware pre-installed to ensure that you get the most out of your brand new Apple smartphone. Let’s meet ‘em.

Netgear R7000 AC1900 DD-WRT FlashRouter

We’re going to lead off with our pride and joy, just because we can’t resist. Simply put, there’s no other open-source compatible Wireless router on the market that can perform for you the way the Nighthawk can. Watch as your new iPhone 6 takes on networking task after task with dizzying speed thanks to the Nighthawk’s incomparable Dual Core 1 GHz (1000 MHz) Broadcom CPU. That’s not even to mention the best-in-class RAM (256) and unbeatable Wireless-AC speeds (1900 Mbps across dual-bands). Your iPhone 6 Plus will thank you for it.

Asus RT-AC66U AC1750 Tomato FlashRouter

Asus RT-AC68U DD-WRT Best Wireless WiFi Router for iPhone 6 Plus

ARM Routers – Asus RT-AC68U FlashRouter

From the Tomato department, we bring you the Asus RT-AC66U AC1750 FlashRouter, a stunning device that future-proofs the network of anyone who owns it. With its three adjustable antennae, 256 MB RAM, and superior Tomato firmware upgrade, your iPhone 6 will positively zip from app to app and page to page with the immeasurable assist from this Wireless-AC gem.

Asus RT-AC68U AC1900 DD-WRT FlashRouter

And once again, we return to those top 1900 Mbps speeds with the Asus RT-AC68U DD-WRT FlashRouter. You won’t believe the way your iPhone 6 functions with a router as powerful as this on your side. Of course, it being a FlashRouter, your whole network will greatly improve with the added benefits of a 800 MHz dual-core processor, USB 3.0 port and, lest we forget, the vastly improved DD-WRT firmware that we so helpfully flash on our routers.

Want more news and information about the latest technology and security issues? Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 

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Watch Netflix France from Anywhere With a VPN

The Netflix European invasion is underway, and even if you’re in the US, there are still plenty of reasons to get excited about it.

The Newly Launched Netflix France

Watch Fargo on Netflix France

Fargo – Available on Netflix France

As of Monday, September 15th, 2014, the streaming giant known as Netflix is offering their inimitable services to all of our friends and relatives in France.

Good news for the French, but good news for those of us living stateside as well. There are certain shows, movies, and other programs that are just too expensive for Netflix to license for streaming in the USA. Shows like FX’s critically acclaimed crime drama Fargo, or Showtime’s horror series Penny Dreadful, and huge family hits like Modern Family and The Big Bang Theory are all available on Netflix France, not Netflix US.

It’s not so expensive to license those shows for overseas streaming, and that’s exactly what Netflix has done. Now, you might be thinking, what good does overseas streaming do for me in the US? Well, despite geographical internet restrictions, accessing overseas streaming material is easier than you may be aware…

How to Watch Netflix France with a VPN

Best VPN Service Providers for Netflix France

FlashRouter-Ready VPNs for Netflix France

The first and most important thing you’re going to need is a VPN subscription.

What’s a VPN, you say? Glad you asked. A VPN service, or Virtual Private Network service, is a subscription-based service with a dual purpose. First, it secures your network from the many malevolent forces that exist on the internet these days. One need only think of the NSA PRISM scandal, and the recent Heartbleed bug to realize just how many dangers linger out there for us internet-based lifeforms.

When you log into your VPN service, all of your online information is tunneled through encrypted servers set up all over the world, thus keeping your sensitive data (e-mails, credit card numbers) safe.

The second thing a VPN does – and this is where you overseas streamers may want to really pay attention – is allows you to circumvent geographical internet restrictions. When your VPN service tunnels your info through their encrypted servers, you’re assigned a new IP address in the country of your encrypted server, which makes your internet-capable device think that it’s in an all new country. And since you’re allowed to pick the country of your encrypted server, you can make your device behave like it’s in any country you want. Want to stream Fargo off of Netflix France (we know we do)? Log in to your VPN service and pick a France-based server. Voila (as they say)!

Any and all VPN services on our official supported provider list are recommended by FlashRouters, but the very best VPN service providers for France-based IP addresses are IPVanish (4 servers), Earth VPN (6 servers), and HideMyAss (6 servers).

Enjoy Netflix France with a FlashRouter

Okay, now you’ve got your VPN service and you can stream Netflix France anytime you want, but is your router strong enough to handle overseas streaming?

That’s the type of thing you won’t have to worry about if you’ve got a FlashRouter. As the above video demonstrates, we offer superior routers at FlashRouters, the kind guaranteed to boost your wireless performance immeasurably and future-proof your network.

How do we ensure that? By taking already powerful routers and flashing them with DD-WRT and Tomato. These replacement firmwares open up a whole world of networking possibilities for users, such as the ability to extend your wireless range, access advanced security options, and even control how your bandwidth is allocated (something overseas streamers of Netflix will want to take advantage of).

If you’re not convinced yet, you should know that a FlashRouter even improves your VPN experience. If you’re subscribed to a VPN service on our supported provider list, we’ll send your FlashRouter ready to work with your VPN right out of the box! Better yet, hold on to your old router, and try out our popular dual router setup, which allows you to have one dedicated local router, and one dedicated VPN router, allowing you to switch back and forth with ease.

Picking a FlashRouter is no easy task, as they all have plenty to offer, but we’d recommend looking at our best of 2014 list to get started. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk DD-WRT FlashRouter, the knockdown MVP of our line, with unbeatable power and speed on its side. If you’re looking for a more modest upgrade, then sleek, excellent options like the Linksys E2500 Tomato FlashRouter and the Linksys E1200 DD-WRT FlashRouter are the perfect choice.

Want more news and information about streaming movies & television and internet freedom? Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 

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