Category Archives: Internet Privacy

IoT Vulnerabilities Associated with Top Holiday Gifts

The Holidays are over and 2019 is in full swing. Now that the family is gone, it’s time to get serious about tackling network security, specifically for new smart devices. Smart or Internet of Things (IoT) devices make life easier. However, many IoT devices have serious security vulnerabilities.

IoT Vulnerabilities Background

This holiday season saw an explosion in the purchase of IoT devices in the US. One of the largest areas of growth came from smart speakers, potentially this season’s hottest gift. According to recent estimates, during the 2018 holiday season, smart speakers saw an increase in sales of 78%, as compared to 2017. Currently, around one in every ten Americans has a smart speaker device. In fact, in the US alone, there are 101 million active smart speakers.

Like any other device that connects to the internet, IoT devices have vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, fancy new devices like AmazonBasics Microwaves with Alexa or Ember Smart Mugs with Apple Health Caffeine Intake Tracking most likely offer little in regards to security. In fact, the same can be said of all other types of Smart Home and IoT devices as well.

Last month, FlashRouters covered privacy concerns regarding Amazon Alexa and the potential for hackers to take advantage of its “listening mode”. Furthermore, just last Christmas, hackers managed to remotely access Bose and Sonos Speakers.

How Can I Protect My New Holiday Smart Home Gifts from IoT Vulnerabilities?

Taking advantage of a Virtual Private Network is the best way to ensure smart speaker security, prevent Alexa spying, and reduce IoT vulnerabilities. Here are some excellent providers for protecting your network:

NordVPN
ExpressVPN
IPVanish
As low as
$2.99/month
As low as
$8.32/month
As low as
$6.49/month
- Strict no logging policy
- Military grade encryption
- Award winning customer service
- 5000+ Servers in 60+ Countries
- Customized ExpressVPN firmware
- 30-day money back guarantee
- 24/7 customer service
- 2000+ Servers in 94 Countries
- Recommended for the Middle East
- No logs
- Owns and operates their own servers
- 1,100+ VPN servers in 60+ countries
Learn More
Learn More

Learn More

Unsure which VPN provider is best for you? Send us a message.

A Virtual Private Network encrypts connections by tunneling user traffic through a remote server and back. For example, any prying eyes, such as a snooping Internet Service Provider, will be able to see the VPN tunnel, but none of the traffic moving through it.

In order to use a smart device or IoT device through a VPN, you will have to use an Open Source router. IoT devices do not have native VPN support. However, connecting to an Open Source VPN-ready router will encrypt all devices on the network, including any Smart Wifi device.

Routers with factory firmware are frequently full of bugs and hacker-ready backdoors. Flashing a router with Open Source DD-WRT firmware eliminates these bugs and allows for a slew of previously unavailable feature sets, like the ability to use a connection to a VPN server on the device.

Using a FlashRouter to Prevent IoT Vulnerabilities

Best Netgear DD-WRT IoT Vulnerabilities

The Netgear Nighthawk X10 R9000 (pictured above) boasts a 1.7 GHz processor alongside 4 high powered external antennas. If you are looking for a device robust enough to handle a large amount of traffic through a VPN, look no further.

The Netgear Nighthawk R9000 is the perfect device for smart speakers security in any large home or for any situation involving heavy WiFi usage.

Some of our other high-end recommended routers include:

Netgear R6400V2 AC1750
Linksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2 AC1900
Netgear R7800 AC2600
Wireless-AC1750 Mbps
1 GHz Broadcom Processor
3 Ext Antennas
Top Economy Router
Wireless-AC1900 Mbps
1.6 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Ext Antennas
Great for Streaming
Wireless-AC2600 Mbps
1.7 GHz Qualcomm Processor
4 External Antennas
One of Our Most Powerful Routers
$199.99$299.99$349.99

FlashRouters Privacy App Solution to Tackle IoT Vulnerabilities

Every DD-WRT FlashRouter comes with the free FlashRouters Privacy App. The FlashRouters Privacy App revolutionizes and simplifies using a DD-WRT router with a VPN.

With the Privacy App, users can:

  • Switch between VPN locations with the tap of a button
  • Manage which devices go through the VPN and which don’t
  • Change VPN Providers with a few clicks on the same device

Want better support for your entire network? The FlashRouters Privacy App is here to help.

Unblock Porn Sites Using a VPN Router

30 percent of all data transferred across the Internet is porn related. Nevertheless, there are still many countries where viewing porn is illegal. The UAE, Russia, and the Philippines have blocked access to major porn sites.

As these governments continue to try to control online activity, it is quite likely that other countries will follow suit. In order to get around these deterrents and avoid legal issues, a Virtual Private Network is necessary. Encrypt your connection and unblock porn sites using a VPN.

Best VPN to Unblock Porn for 2019

According to the Huffington Post, 70% of men and 30% of women watch online porn. While social stigmas surrounding porn have lessened, viewing adult content is something many would like to keep private. On the other hand, as mentioned above, viewing pornography is illegal in various countries around the world. Taking advantage of a VPN will unblock porn sites and ensure your privacy against snooping governments.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A VPN tunnels your connection to a remote server and back. This not only encrypts your web traffic but allows you to change your geo-location. If you are located in a country that has banned porn, such as Russia, connecting to a VPN server in the United States will open the door to accessing blocked adult content.

Private Internet Access to Unblock Porn with VPN
NordVPN
Private Internet Access
IPVanish
As low as
$2.99/month
As low as
$2.91/month
As low as
$6.49/month
- Strict no logging policy
- Military grade encryption
- Award winning customer service
- 5000+ Servers in 60+ Countries
- Utilizes high-grade encryption based on the secure CBC Algorithm
- Most popular economy service VPN
- Great for traveling abroad
- 3180 Servers in 33 Countries
- Recommended for the Middle East
- No logs
- Owns and operates their own servers
- 1,100+ VPN servers in 60+ countries
Learn More
Learn More

Learn More

Subscribing to one of these services grants users access to servers around the world. Connecting to one of these VPN servers will encrypt your connection and unblock porn sites.

Unblock Porn Using a VPN Router

At any rate, while a using a VPN will open access to blocked porn sites, not all devices are VPN-ready. In fact, many of the devices used to access porn, like Smart TVs and gaming consoles, have no native VPN support.

The only way to take advantage of a VPN on a device without native support is to use an Open Source router. Flashing a router with Open Source firmware not only removes bugs and factory installed backdoors but also enables the router to create a VPN network. With this, any connected device will be encrypted by the VPN. This is the case whether or not the device has native VPN support.

Best VPN Routers for Streaming Adult Content

AC 5300 best routers for ublock porn sites with a VPN
Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT FlashRouter

FlashRouters sells pre-flashed VPN-ready routers. The pictured-above Asus RT-AC5300 is one of our most powerful devices. Boasting eight external antennas, a 1.4 GHz processor and a sleek design, the AC5300 is the perfect router for any large home. With its impressive range, the AC5300 can comfortably reach your upstairs bedroom. As a result, the RT-AC5300 is the perfect router to unblock porn sites using a VPN.

Looking for a router that is a bit less of a behemoth? Here are some of our most popular economy options:

Netgear R6400V2 AC1750
Linksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2 AC1900
Netgear R7800 AC2600
Wireless-AC1750 Mbps
1 GHz Broadcom Processor
3 Ext Antennas
Top Economy Router
Wireless-AC1900 Mbps
1.6 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Ext Antennas
Great for Streaming
Wireless-AC2600 Mbps
1.7 GHz Qualcomm Processor
4 External Antennas
One of Our Most Powerful Routers
$199.99$299.99$349.99

Unblocking Adult Content With the FlashRouters Privacy App

Intimidated by the world of VPN routers? FlashRouters has made encryption worry-free with the FlashRouters Privacy App. The FlashRouters Privacy App can be accessed with any web browser. Logging on to the app makes VPN features like switching servers more user-friendly than ever. Here is a brief overview of some of the features available:

The FlashRouters Privacy App also makes it easier for users to sort and manage devices. Worried about your connection being exposed during a VPN drop? With the FR Privacy App, enabling Kill Switch by device commands your Internet connection to drop immediately if the VPN cuts out. This feature will be especially helpful for viewing adult content in countries where it is blocked.

Have any additional questions? Send us a message.

How To Use Tails And VPN To Increase Privacy

If you’re concerned about your Internet privacy, you’ve probably heard about Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) and Virtual Private Networks.

Here is a rundown on how to use these tools to help protect your data.

What Is Tails OS?

tails-and-vpn

Tails is a Linux-based, live operating system that you can boot up on almost any computer from a USB drive or DVD. Tails runs independently of the computer’s operating system, leaving no trace unless you explicitly ask it to.

The goal of Tails is to preserve your privacy and anonymity and to help circumvent censorship. It includes several applications pre-configured with security in mind. These include but are not limited to: web browser, instant messaging client, email client, office suite, and many more.

Tails uses the Tor anonymity network to protect your online privacy. Tor works by bouncing your connection around a volunteer-based network of relays around the world.

Using Tails And VPN To Increase Privacy

The best way to use Tails and VPN in unison is by placing the VPN connection before the connection to Tor. This setup yields the most benefits, including but not limited to:

  1. The Tor network thinking you are the VPN server.
  2. If the Tor network is compromised, they must also get past the VPN server.
  3. If your ISP blocks the Tor network, the VPN allows access to the Tor network.

This configuration enables Tails to operate exactly as designed but with a VPN server between your computer and the Internet. This can be easily achieved with a VPN FlashRouter.

What Makes a FlashRouter Different?

A FlashRouter is a custom wireless router with VPN capabilities, allowing for easy connection to your favorite VPN provider. This set up allows for perfect connection from your Tails computer, to your VPN provider, to the Tor network, enabling multiple layers of security.Best DD-WRT Wireless-AD Compatible Netgear Router - R9000 Nighthawk AD7200

Have any questions on which FlashRouter to choose? Check out our most popular models or contact our support team for more assistance!

EU Copyright Directive Approved: Catastrophic Results Ahead?

The European Parliament has voted in favor of the EU Copyright Directive. This controversial piece of legislation could lead to catastrophic results for Internet users in the EU. Two articles within the EU Copyright Directive – Article 11 and Article 13 – have been referred to as the “link tax” and the “meme ban.” While defenders of the legislation state the Directive will help stop digital piracy, many fear the effects of these new laws will be nothing short of Orwellian.

Nevertheless, the Copyright Directive is not yet law. The European Council, Commission, and Parliament still need to decide on a final wording, a process that will likely last until December 2018. Once that happens, the Directive will need to be approved one more time by the European Parliament in January 2019. However, Internet users in the EU should still focus on protecting their home networks from even more totalitarian legislation.

First and foremost, the EU Copyright Directive is a form of legislation limiting the use of copyrighted content on online platforms. Proponents of the Directive say that this will help content creators as users will no longer be able to share copyrighted materials. As a result, these proponents believe that content creators will be properly paid for the use of their copyrighted material.

However, the Directive’s opponents see a much darker scenario. Article 13 of the Directive, referred to above as the “meme ban”, states “online content sharing service providers and right holders shall cooperate in good faith in order to ensure that unauthorized protected works or other subject matter are not available on their services.”

The Best VPNs To Prevent The Government From Viewing Your Data

What can EU Internet users do? While using a Virtual Private Network will not prevent the “link tax” or “meme ban” from going into effect, it will protect your network from any snooping intruders, be they of the government or unlawful citizenry. Here are some of the most popular and trust worthy providers:

  • NordVPN – Use over 5156 servers from 62 countries around the world. Pay using bitcoin for maximum security. No logging and military grade AES 256-bit encryption!
  • ExpressVPN – Over 2,000 VPN servers in 148 server locations in 94 countries. Unlimited bandwidth, speed, and server switches. Recommended VPN service for China.
  • IPVanish – No logs! Own and operate their own servers. Over 40,000 IPs on 1,000+ servers in more than 60 countries! Recommended VPN service for the Middle East, including UAE & Dubai.
  • HideMyAss – Connect to a VPN server in seconds. Automatically chooses the least loaded server in a location to ensure top speeds.

Article 11: The Link Tax

Now, back to the specifics of the EU Copyright Directive.

Article 11 has been referred to as the “link tax.” Concerning Article 11, “information society service providers” (news aggregators like Google News) must provide “remuneration” for the “digital use” of “press publications.”

In other words, if a news aggregator site posts a portion of a news article, they will have to pay the publisher of the original article. Article 11 is not clear on just how much of the original article will have to be posted before the initial publisher must be paid. The most recent version of the bill does provide an exemption for “legitimate private and non-commercial use of press publications by individual users”. However, the idea of having to pay for posting a portion of an article should be disturbing for anyone who believes in a free and open Internet.

Article 13: The Meme Ban

Article 13 states that “information society service providers,” sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, which rely heavily on user-generated content, will be responsible for taking down content that infringes on copyright. A preceding version of the article mentioned the use of “content recognition technologies,” referring to a potential “upload filter”.

Furthermore, Article 13 has been referred to as the “meme ban” as many memes use copyrighted images. Defenders of the Directive believe that memes will be protected by parody laws. However, many believe the “upload filters” will not be able to distinguish between memes and other material.

Protecting Your Network From Draconian Governments

Best DD-WRT Wireless-AD Compatible Netgear Router - R9000 Nighthawk AD7200

There is not much that EU Internet users will be able to do to protect themselves from the Copyright Directive. Facebook, YouTube, Google, and other giants of the Internet will be forced to comply with the legislation if it passes. With this, users will be forced to comply as well.

However, this does not mean that EU citizens need to fall prey to any and all draconian Internet rules. Using a Virtual Private Network from a service like IPVanish or NordVPN on a FlashRouter (like the R9000 pictured above) will allow you to encrypt your entire network. While encryption will not be able to protect you from having content blocked by “upload filters”, it will be able to protect your network from any outside intruders, like the a snooping government or individuals with prying eyes.

In a world of ubiquitous Internet use, it is important to make sure your connections are secure and encrypted. Just as we remember to lock the door to our homes at night, we should do the same for our WiFi networks. While we may not be able to stop every totalitarian action placed by governments in order to limit our Internet use, we can still protect ourselves using a VPN.

What Can I Do With A FlashRouter?

What Can I Do With A FlashRouter?

What exactly is a FlashRouter? What makes it different from a store bought router? What can it do for you?

In short, a FlashRouter is an open-source, all-in-one privacy solution for your home networking needs. So, why do you need one? Read on to find out!

What Exactly Is A FlashRouter?

What Makes a FlashRouter Different?

A FlashRouter is a powerful wireless router that comes pre-installed with open-source firmware called DD-WRT. The DD-WRT firmware enhances and upgrades performance and features of wireless routers. The firmware lifts restrictions that are built into the default stock firmware that comes with store-bought routers.

DD-WRT Upgrades And Enhancements

DD-WRT firmware comes with a slew of upgrades to stock firmware. Some of these upgrades include, but are not limited to:

  • Firmware bug fixes to stock firmware
  • Improved network stability & network status information
  • VLAN (Virtual LAN) support
  • Advanced wireless modes such as access point, wireless client bridge, & repeater mode
  • Advanced DNS forwarding
  • Processor overclocking
  • Increased wireless signal strength
  • OpenVPN, PPTP, & L2TP support
  • VPN server and client integration and support

What Does A FlashRouter Do?

With DD-WRT pre-installed on a router like the popular, reliable Linksys WRT3200ACM, possibilities for network security nearly endless. With VPN support built into our devices, users can easily integrate their VPN service straight into their wireless router.

This enables users to protect their entire home network with a secure VPN connection, creating a wireless home VPN network. Here are some other advantages:

Counts as only one VPN connection

  • VPN providers typically only offer a limited number of connections to their VPN service.
  • A FlashRouter counts as just one connection, allowing for all devices connected to the FlashRouter to count as one connection as well.
  • This nullifies the VPN providers’ connection limit, freeing up the other available connections for other devices.

Protects all devices under your VPN subscription

  • Any device connected to the FlashRouter will go through the VPN connection.
  • This goes for wired or wirelessly connected devices.
  • Devices that don’t natively support VPN connections will be encrypted to the VPN.

Comes with our new VPN Privacy App

  • The FlashRouters VPN Privacy App allows for easy setup and configuration of your wireless network.
  • Access your FlashRouter simply by entering FlashRoutersApp.com.
  • An optimized UI enables users to set up their router via any browser or mobile phone.
  • Easy access to login to your VPN account
  • The app also includes easy-to-use server switching (seen in the screenshot below).

 

Now that you see what a FlashRouter does, you may be asking, what can I do with it?

What A FlashRouter Can Do For You

In the age of Internet streaming, data breaches, and of course a restrictive government, a FlashRouter is an all-in-one solution. With seamless setup, US-based support, and our new FlashRouters Privacy App, taking the Internet back into your hands has never been easier.

1. Easily get around restricted content and geo-blocking

Some services, such as Netflix or Hulu, only offer certain shows and movies in different areas of the world. Using a VPN connection allows you to change their IP to a different location, allowing you to stream whatever you want, wherever you want.

The FlashRouters VPN Privacy App features a seamless way to easily switch VPN servers at your leisure, enabling you to appear as if you are anywhere in the world.

2. Prevent data breaches and potential hackers

Unfortunately, data breaches and hacking is becoming the norm. Protecting your home network with a VPN encrypts your sensitive data and information by routing it to a secure VPN server.

Using a FlashRouter effectively shrouds your entire home network and any connected device with the VPN service of your choice.

3. Securely circumvent government censorship

With countries such as China and Russia cracking down on Internet censorship, true Internet freedom is slipping away. A VPN enabled FlashRouter allows for an easy way to get around new laws and regulations restricting access to the Internet.

Not only does a FlashRouter allow for a secure VPN connection on all your devices, it encrypts and routes your data to bypass any government censorship.

FlashRouters: The All-In-One Solution

Premium performing VPN Router for HideMyAss - HMA 2017-2018

As you can see, there are many advantages to using a FlashRouter (like the WRT3200ACM pictured above) for your home network. The DD-WRT firmware pre-installed on our devices upgrade and enhance the stability, security, and functionality of a standard wireless router.

With that being said, the added VPN support on our FlashRouters allows for unprecedented security and privacy on any and all connected devices.

So what are you waiting for? Upgrade and secure your network today!

Have any questions or concerns? Contact our support team for more information.