Category Archives: Router Firmware Flaws

Top 3 Reasons For A Wireless Router Upgrade

 

Assuming that a wireless router is a set-it-and-forget-it device is an increasingly bigger security risk. If you are truly interested in the best performance and maximum privacy, vigilant monitoring of your home network is a must.

Older wireless routers are often the culprit when network security or WiFi performance problems arise due to unfixed manufacturer flaws or outdated hardware performance.

When issues are consistently occurring, a wireless router upgrade can be the cure!

The Importance of A Wireless Router

A wireless router is the centerpiece of any home network. Every device that uses a connection to the Internet takes advantage of the network created by the router to get online. For more information, FlashRouters has a comprehensive overview of what a routers actually does.

Single Router Setup

A powerful wireless router provides connected devices with the speed and performance to keep activities, like Netflix streaming and online gaming, working optimally.

The speed of a wireless connection is based on a variety of factors, starting with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) package. ISPs offer various subscription packages which are differentiated by bandwidth limitations. Economy subscription packages offer slower connectivity, as ISPs incentivize subscribers to purchase advanced plans for greater bandwidth.

The second factor affecting the speed of the wireless connection of devices is the distance from the router. Simply put, devices that are closer to the router will have a stronger connection to the router’s wireless network.

Furthermore, the make and model of the router affect how fast data is processed. The number and size of antennas, the speed of the internal processing unit (CPU), and the amount of flash memory embedded in the router all affect performance.

Still unconvinced? Here are the top reasons to upgrade:

More Devices Covered

According to research, the number of devices connected to the Internet of Things will jump from nearly 27 billion in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030. Having the proper wireless network infrastructure to support more devices is critical.

Enter MU-MIMO. MU-MIMO technology (Multiple User Multiple Input Multiple Output) reduces competition between devices on the WiFi network. With a MU-MIMO router such as the Netgear R7800 DD-WRT or the Linksys WRT3200ACM, multiple devices communicate with the network at the same time.

Before the introduction of MU-MIMO, routers used SU-MIMO technology (Single User Multiple Input Multiple Output). Devices connecting to networks using SU-MIMO technology compete for connectivity, as the network processes requests on a first-come, first served basis (as shown above).

In other words, devices form a line, like people entering a theater through one door. No one can enter the theater before the previous person enters. Likewise, device requests are processed only once the router processes the preceding device’s request. Consequently, if a network has many bandwidth-hogging devices, congestion can occur. This can lead to slow speeds and subpar performance.

A router using MU-MIMO technology, meanwhile, fixes this problem by breaking up bandwidth into streams. The router processes individual streams simultaneously, allowing for more devices to connect concurrently, thereby decreasing congestion. It is as if the theater above opened two, three, or four doors, instead of one. That allows for greater speeds and better connections.

Upgraded WiFi Standards

A wireless router upgrade can help your network stay up to date with the latest wireless standards. Check out the chart below to see how some of the older wireless standards compare.

 Wireless-GWireless-NWireless-ACWireless-AD
Max Throughput (Speeds):54 Mbps900 Mbps5300 Mbps7200 Mbps
Max Wireless Range (Radius):75 Ft200 Ft500 Ft500 Ft
Wireless Channel Widths:20 Mhz20/40 Mhz20/40/80/160 Mhz5/10/20 Mhz
Wireless Bands:One 2.4 Ghz (Single Band)One 2.4Ghz & One 5 Ghz (Dual Band)One 2.4 Ghz & Two 5 Ghz (Tri-Band)One 2.4 Ghz, Two 5 GHz Bands, & 60 GHz Bands (Quad-Stream)

As shown above, newer wireless standards allow for more device connections thanks to additional wireless bands. Wireless-AD expands on Wireless-AC by adding another wireless band. The new 60 GHz band allows for short range, powerful connections, reducing the load on other bands. Less load means that devices have a longer lifespan, saving you money.

Upgrading to a router with a newer wireless standard will extend wireless range considerably. Newer wireless routers come with more external antennas for better range and connectivity. Case in point, the Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT VPN FlashRouter. This customized Open Source router takes the top spot for range with eight external antennas, ensuring that any house can be covered by the network.

Better Security

Upgrading your wireless network also helps deal with the number one issue: security. Older routers are less likely to have updates and therefore have more vulnerabilities. Newer routers are more commonly updated and have better security protocols. However, even they are not free from trouble.

Recent router attacks like VPNFilter have shown that regular routers and stock router firmware are still full of security flaws and vulnerable to hacks. Plus, manufacturers are slow to respond to known flaws. So where does that leave you?

Luckily there is a open-source firmware solution like DD-WRT. It is constantly updated, ensuring that there are minimal issues and if issues do arise, they are resolved quickly. However, installing DD-WRT is difficult, time-consuming, and could leave your brand-new router nonfunctional. That’s where FlashRouters comes in! We’ll take the hassle out of upgrading your wireless network and let you enjoy your upgraded wireless network experience.

Upgrading To A FlashRouter For Maximum Performance

A wireless router upgrade is a great start, but upgrading to a FlashRouter is a more complete solution. A FlashRouter is a customized wireless router upgraded with highly customized open-source firmware. Upgrading to a FlashRouter provides added network stability and performance, increased range, and upgraded security.

Our router experts continually check routers for the newest builds, test them, and configure them onto your unique product. We then help you configure the router to ensure the optimal configuration for your environment. Check out some of our Wireless-AC FlashRouters below:

Linksys
Linksys WRT32X AC3200 Netgear R6400V2 AC1750 Asus RT-AC5300 AC5300
Wireless-AC3200 Mbps
1.8 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Ext Antennas
Top Gaming Router
Wireless-AC1750 Mbps
1 Ghz Broadcom Processor
3 Ext Antennas
Top Economy Router
Wireless-AC5300 Mbps
1.4 GHz Broadcom Processor
8 Ext Antennas
Great For Large Homes
$349.99$199.99$499.99

Interested in upgrading to the ultimate home networking centerpiece? Check out the Netgear Nighthawk R9000 X10 AD7200. It boasts a powerful 1.7 GHz Quad Core Processor and 4 high powered external antennas will provide a powerful bedrock for any wireless network.

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

Bonus: VPN Protection

Upgrading to a FlashRouter allows for additional capabilities and upgrades to an already powerful wireless router, such as making it compatible for a VPN.

Furthermore, each one of our DD-WRT FlashRouters comes with our 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 locations with the tap of a button (as seen below using IPVanish)
  • 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.

Any questions or concerns? Feel free to send us a message!

DD-WRT & OpenWRT Repairs KRACK Attack Vulnerabilities

This past week, researchers have found a devastating flaw in the WPA2 WiFi encryption protocol. This exploit allows hackers to intercept and read network traffic between devices and wireless access points, otherwise known as routers.

The flaw, called “Key Reinstallation Attacks,” or KRACK Attacks, work against all modern WiFi protected networks. This technique can be used to steal and read credit card numbers, passwords, chat messages, emails, photos, and more.

The KRACK attack works by first finding a vulnerable WiFi network that utilizes WPA2 encryption, which is virtually every network. The attacker then duplicates the network by spoofing the MAC address essentially making a fake WiFi network. This is a form of the popular technique known as a “man in the middle” attack.

The fake network that is deployed by the hacker is then connected to by the victim.

A Bigger Problem For Android And Linux

Cell phones with Android 6.0 and above as well as Linux devices are more vulnerable to the KRACK attack, making 41% of Android phones more susceptible to a more devastating variant of the KRACK attack. A bug found in the operating system makes it possible for hackers to inject ransomware or malware into websites.

Researchers found a vulnerability in a 4-way security “handshake” within the WPA2 encryption protocol. This “handshake” ensures that the client and access points have the same password in order to join the WiFi network.

Google is aware of the issue and will be patching any affected devices in the coming weeks.

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

Repair Krack Attack with DD-WRT

With the flaw affecting the WPA2 encryption protocol, expect to update your client devices as well as your router firmware.

It may take days or weeks for large companies such as D-Link and Netgear to patch the KRACK attack vulnerability, leaving your devices and network open for hackers.

Luckily enough, open-source firmware DD-WRT has quickly updated the WPA2 encryption protocol against the KRACK attack. Additionally, FlashRouters is testing various builds of DD-WRT. Stay tuned into this post for updates.

The ExpressVPN OpenWRT firmware currently available on several FlashRouters has offered a repair for the KRACK attack.

However, as this attack has affected specific devices, it is important to remember to patch all of your phone, tablet, and all Internet of Things products. Updating your device software to the most recent build will serve as a patch.

Open-Source To Keep Your Network Secure

Of the many benefits of using an open-source firmware such as DD-WRT or Tomato, the most important one is how quickly vulnerabilities are patched.

Open-source firmware allows the source code to be viewed by and maintained by the community, allowing for updates and changes to be made much faster than larger companies.

FlashRouters come pre-installed with the latest stable release of DD-WRT or Tomato, allowing for updates to be available to our customers in a timely manner.

Have questions about patching KRACK vulnerabilities on your devices? Send us a message.