At this point, you’re probably used to the idea that if we’re talking about WiFi routers, it’s probably for the purpose of warning you about security risks. We don’t like sounding like a broken record on the subject either, for what it’s worth.
But once again, there’s a whole new round of brand-name WiFi routers that have been shown to have serious vulnerabilities, according to CNET. And this is not the first time, even in recent memory, that Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) have taken a long hard look at some of the more popular routers on the market and found them severely lacking in terms of online security. You can read the full report here, but some of the highlights on the compromised WiFi routers list include the D-Link DIR-865L, the Linksys EA6500, and the Asus RT-AC66U, all showing common vulnerabilities and exposures.
VPNs For Advanced Router Privacy
That last one may sound a bit familiar to those who know their way around this site, as we’ve touted the tremendous speeds that the Wireless-AC provides, and the remarkable level of personal security that can be achieved when one uses an Asus RT-AC66U router that’s been flashed with DD-WRT firmware with various other security-hole-preventing measures (such as the removal of WPS) and built-in VPN connectivity.
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are a major force in the fight against hackers and identity thieves looking to your sensitive online information to rob you, track you, or in some other way negatively affect your life. By tunneling your data through encrypted servers throughout the world, stalwart VPN service providers like PrivateInternetAccess, IPVanish, Overplay, HideMyAss, EarthVPN, and many others are offering the type of online security that is rare to achieve these days. Check out our VPN comparison list to find out which service provider is best suited for your needs.
Find A Safer Router
If you have one of the afflicted routers and are concerned about your network privacy and security, you may just want to upgrade to a more safe and secure device with DD-WRT or Tomato Installed. Here’s a quick list of our most popular routers with advanced security measures and upgraded firmware to avoid any exploits and issues with stock manufacturer firmware:
- Asus RT-N66U TomatoUSB Router – The Dark Knight, possibly the most powerful VPN processing router on our line.
- Cisco Linksys E4200 DD-WRT Router – Our most popular DD-WRT router, and one of the fastest personal class routers on the market today.
- Asus RT-N16 TomatoUSB Router – One of the most requested and widely used, open-source firmware routers.
- Netgear WNDR3700 DD-WRT Router – 600 Mbps, Wireless-N and processing speed to burn.
- Cisco Linksys E1200 DD-WRT Router – An excellent and incredibly affordable choice.
Other Quick Fixes For Networking Security and Privacy
So with the help of DD-WRT & Tomato firmware and an army of VPN service providers at the ready, we’re not about to write off the Asus RT-AC66U DD-WRT FlashRouter just yet. What’s more, there are other, simpler options you can undertake if you want to stay secure.
- Be more diligent about varying your passwords. We know it’s tempting to just keep reusing the same password again and again, rather than having an endless list of different passwords for the many, many online services that require one, but as we’ve explained before, it’s not a good idea. Using the same password is an invitation to having multiple accounts hacked at the same time.
- Watch the WiFi Hotspots: Attackers could still access swaths of online information by taking advantage of router vulnerabilities in WiFi hotspots such as coffeehouses, thus endangering that network and all who use it. “Small-business and home Wi-Fi router administration often employs weak passwords, or static passwords that are the same across multiple stores, like a Starbucks,” explains CNET. As far as that’s concerned, we’d recommend being a bit more selective about which public WiFi networks y0u choose to join, and again, a VPN service provider is an invaluable resource in these situations
In the meantime, the onus is upon these router manufacturers to take heed of the recommendations of the ISE, fix these exploits, and be more diligent about testing new devices, lest these same issues keep arising month after month. Until they do, we’ll keep reporting on these oversights so you can stay well-informed about how to stay safe and keep providing safer wireless routers with better firmware.