Category Archives: Wi-Fi

What Is Wireless-AD? (FlashRouters FAQ)

wireless-ad

Wireless-AC has had a good run as the fastest wireless networking standard available, but it couldn’t last forever. In fact, it couldn’t even last more than a few years.

What we’re saying is there’s a new sheriff in town.

A Brief History of WiFi

Before we hear about advances in the wireless field, let’s take a look at its history. A good place to start is this FlashRouters post from last year. This post offers a comprehensive history of WiFi as well as an easy follow explanation.

One can also study the history of WiFi by going over the various transformations through the years. This FlashRouters post shows the difference between Wireless-G, Wireless-N, and Wireless-AC devices.

Introducing Wireless-AD

What comes after Wireless-AC? Well, Wireless-AD, naturally. On down the alphabet we go.

Per Network World: “TP-LINK, Qualcomm, and Acer have all just announced products that will take advantage of the latest, fast 802.11ad wireless standard.”

So what does that mean to you, the potential Wireless-AD user? TP-Link is promising full 4K movie downloads in 4 minutes. And with routers that run at 7200 Mbps (or 7 Gbps), that sounds conceivable to us.

Furthermore, Wireless-AD adds another frequency band to the 5.0 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands provided by Wireless-AC devices. If you’re wondering how a device can handle 7200 Mbps of traffic, the 60 GHz range band should answer your question.

As Network World points out though, that high level of frequency does not travel too far. These new routers circumvent that problem by offering that top band to devices in the room with the router, and the lower bands to devices that are too far away for the top band.

As for whether or not a Wireless-AD FlashRouter is in your future, we’d say to hold tight. FlashRouters has more than demonstrated a preternatural ability to offer the top routers available across all wireless networking standards. In short, Wireless-AD routers flashed with DD-WRT are almost certainly in all of our futures.

In the meantime, our Wireless-AC selection is vibrant and plentifully stocked with outstanding devices. Check out some in the table below. When Wireless-AD devices hit our line, believe us, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Linksys
Linksys WRT3200ACM AC3200 R7000 NighthawkLinksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2 AC1900
Wireless-AC3200 Mbps
1.8 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Ext Antennas
Top Gaming Router
Wireless-AC1900 Mbps
1 Ghz Broadcom Processor
3 Ext Antennas
One of our Most-Popular Routers
Wireless-AC1900 Mbps
1.6 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Ext Antennas
Use in Small-Medium Homes
$349.99$299.99$299.99

Wireless-AD Has Arrived

Wireless-AD is here and it comes in the form of the ultra powerful, high end Netgear Nighthawk R9000 X10 AD7200. With an ultra powerful 1.7 Ghz Quad Core Processor, 7 Gigabit Ethernet Ports, 4 high powered external antennas, and MU-MIMO support, this is easily our most high end router. Check out our featured Router Of The Day blog post to see a full breakdown of our most advanced FlashRouter ever.

What is a VPN Guest Network? – Alternative WiFi Setups (FlashRouters FAQ)

Try new WiFi setups like a VPN Guest Network

Alternative WiFi Setups: VPN Guest Network

One of the undersung virtues of owning a FlashRouter is the variety of WiFi setups you can utilize. This is particularly true in relation to VPN service provider integrations.

Today, we’ll explore a particular VPN router setup options that can make the process of switching back and forth between your VPN and non-VPN as simple as pie. For years, this has been one of most requested solutions, getting a VPN and non-VPN WiFi network usable but separated on the same router. Sounds complicated?

Well, if that is what you are looking for, you’ve found the perfect VPN router networking solution – the newly launched VPN Guest Network.

VPN Guest Network = 1 Router, 2 Segmented Networks

VPN Guest Network Setup

Not only can you set up two wireless networks within the same router, but you can make it so that one is a dedicated VPN and one a local network. Doing so simplifies the process of accessing your VPN which, let’s face it, makes it that much more likely that you’ll use it.

Giving yourself easier access to the safety that a VPN provides is the smart way to run a WiFi network. Furthermore, you can segment which of your Internet-capable devices run on your local network and your VPN. Keep your smartphone connected locally while your laptop is off geo-hopping to the UAE or China. Or vice-versa.

Plug n Play Segmented VPN WiFi Network – A Simple VPN WiFi Solution

The number one feature of this is it’s plug and play setup capability. Unlike our popular Dual Gateway setup which requires individual website or device assignment, the VPN Guest Network can be done prior to shipping to you plus if you wish we can save a backup file for you in case you ever reset it and need to reload it. Try getting Best Buy or Amazon to do that!

Drawbacks

Now, before you create a VPN Guest Network, there are a few small deficiencies that you should be aware of.

First of all, some people enjoy having a setup that allows them to only use certain sites on their VPN. For example, some people only visit Hulu from a VPN because they’re outside the US, where Hulu isn’t available. The VPN guest network is one of those WiFi setups that doesn’t allow this. Not a major drawback, as you can still enjoy the same function with a little more effort. But still, it’s an inconvenience.

Second, and lastly, this setup doesn’t allow for permanent device assignment. This is, admittedly, a little more of an inconvenience, but we’re of the opinion that the benefits enumerated above far outweigh the downsides.

Note: The VPN Guest Network does not separate the bands of your network i.e. your single and dual band broadcasts. It is accomplished through the use of the Guest Network wireless setup features with Policy Based Routing rules.

VPN Guest Network FAQ

Some of this is mentioned above but we wanted to make sure you were doubly clear on your options with the VPN Guest Network!

Can FlashRouters Pre-configure a VPN Guest Network?

Yes this is one of the major advantages of this setup. While the Dual Gateway option is popular for many, it can not be pre-configured as it is device dependent.

The VPN Guest Network is the creation of a VPN network based on. That is why this VPN setup customization requires an upgrade to our premium support plan with your router purchase as it does take some additional time to configure.

The VPN Guest Network also requires additional setup guide time and testing by our configuration team prior to shipping so it may take additional time to ship.

Is VPN Guest Network Included in the FlashRouters Support Plans?

If you have your own router and would like FlashRouters to remotely flash it, we can do so via our Remote Support Plan. If you would like for us to integrate a VPN Guest Network, you will need to make sure and have a Premium Support Plan.

As part of this setup process, we also save a backup copy of this setup file if you ever should need it but we always recommend creating a backup of your FlashRouter setup just in case you ever have to reset.

If you wish to buy our router but configure this on your own, you can do that as well and save money by not buying the premium support plan. We’re flexible!

What Are The Best Routers for VPN Guest Network?

Netgear Nighthawk X6 R8000 AC3200 DD-WRT FlashRouter

As of yet, the VPN segmented WiFi setup has only been approved with DD-WRT routers. But that still leaves you with many fantastic options.

Netgear Nighthawk X8 R8000 DD-WRT – Certain basic WiFi tasks can consume a bit more bandwidth when performed through a VPN- encrypted security tunnel on the other side of the world. So an AC router that can offer speeds of 3200 Mbps powered by a dual core 1 GHz processor is precisely what you need to make up for the drag VPNs can cause on your network. That, and so much more, is what the Nighthawk X8 offers.

Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT – While we’re on the subject of powerful processors, which offer VPN users a considerably more fluid experience, perhaps its time you met the Linksys WRT1900ACS DD-WRT FlashRouter.

Why, you ask? Well, it boasts the fastest processor currently available in a FlashRouter: the 1.6 GHz Dual-Core ARM processor. Not only that,  the WRT1900ACS allows for built-in VPN connections with OpenVPN and PPTP, creating a secure tunnel for any device just by connecting to the router. Seems like a perfect fit for those looking to create a VPN guest network.

Asus RT-AC56U DD-WRT – Want all of the power and speed of the routers mentioned above but looking to spend under $250? Well, that works out perfectly because the Asus RT-AC56U DD-WRT FlashRouter perfectly fits the bill.

A supremely affordable Wireless-AC gem, the Asus RT-AC56U expertly handles the added work of a VPN network so you’d swear you were owned a router twice the price.

Question about FlashRouters or the VPN Guest Network?

That’s why we have a crack sales and support team expertly trained and specifically focused on advanced VPN and router related configurations. So if you have a question, make sure to send it over because they can’t wait to help you out!

FlashRouters Cybersecurity News Roundup – November 2016

Cybersecurity News Roundup

FlashRouters Cybersecurity News Roundup for November 2016

Hacked emails have been a centerpiece news item during the American Presidential election, as you surely realize. Consequently, we’ve seen a lot more cyber-security items in the news than is typical.

Cybersecurity is certainly a topic worthy of highlighting. A Presidential candidate’s hacked emails get the most attention, but there’s a lot more going on under the radar. So FlashRouters has gathered up some of the most interesting cybersecurity news stories of the recent past.

These troubling stories reinvigorate our sense of purpose.  We flash our routers with security-enhancing firmwares like DD-WRT and Tomato for this very reason. FlashRouters partners with top VPN service providers and make our routers VPN-friendly. Doing so safeguards our users WiFi networks from these threats.

Take a look at our recent bestseller list. Discover the ways FlashRouters and our VPN friends can safeguard your network against the dangers described in the news stories below. And keep reading up on cybersecurity news. An informed populace is the best defense.

Cybersecurity News for November 2016

Online International Intrigue

Israel Blocks Online Pornography – The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation is united in their approval of a bill to block online pornography by default. This means that, if you live in Israel and wish to view pornography, you will have to directly contact your ISP and ask them to unblock it. Disincentivizing through humiliation is the name of the game.

Indonesia Is the First Asian Country with “The Right to Be Forgotten” –  Laws passed regarding “the right to be forgotten” allow people to ask search engines to remove stories about them that are either “old, irrelevant or infringes on their privacy.” The laws are intended to shield people from lifelong embarrassment. The European Union passed such a law in 2014, and now Indonesia has become the first Asian country to do so. Naturally, this “right” raises concerns about freedom of the press and censorship.

International Espionage

Wikileaks Denies Receiving Clinton Emails from Russia – Let’s start with the big cybersecurity news of the year. Julian Assange and Wikileaks are slowly rolling out emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief John Podesta, in a seeming effort to embarrass the Clinton campaign for President. Journalists worldwide have accused of Assange of publishing emails obtained by Russian hackers and working to undermine the Clinton campaign. Assange has finally denied that the emails came from Russian hackers. Believe that or don’t.

Ukrainian Group Hacks Emails of Top Putin Aide – Some say Russia has been unduly exercising influence on the American Presidential election? Well, enjoy a little comeuppance for our meddling friends in the Kremlin. Cyber Hunta, a Ukrainian group of hackers, released over a gigabyte of hacked emails from Vladislav Surkov, one of Vladimir Putin’s top aides. The emails reveal Russian influence over the separatist movement in Ukraine, which the Kremlin had previously denied.

Shadow Brokers Reveal Groups Targeted By the NSA – Let’s stick with the theme, “just desserts.” A group or person called “Shadow Brokers” has leaked data that purports to show hundreds of organizations that have been targeted by the NSA over the past decade. Boy, is it satisfying to report on NSA’s compromised data.

VoIPS

Morocco Unblocks VoIPs Ahead of Climate Conference – The Moroccan government blocks VoIP apps like Skype and WhatsAPP, until recently. The block was quietly lifted, without explanation, on October 24th. Why, you ask? Users speculate the block was lifted in anticipation of the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP22). The COP22 is due to take place in Marrakesh between November 7th and 18th. The ban may very well be reinstated right afterwards. We will also know that soon enough.

WhatsApp Blocked in Yemen – The tragic ongoing civil war in Yemen makes the necessity of VoIP apps like WhatsApp all the more necessary. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the popular service has been blocked in Yemen for the past month. MTN, one of the main telecom services in Yemen, claims the interruption in service is due to a technical error. More likely, this is a deliberate interruption, orchestrated by the government, meant to stymie political opposition.

WhatsApp Criticized for Sharing User Data with Facebook – Many rightly praise WhatsApp for their free VoIP services. WhatsApp allows global users to communicate with each other, even in impoverished areas. Therefore, it is disappointing to learn WhatsApp is sharing data with its parent company, Facebook. Don’t worry, though. Data protection groups around the world are making their displeasure known.

Belgian Court Fines Skype for Failing to Intercept Criminal Calls – A Belgian court has fined Skype 30,000 Euros for failing to provide more than metadata about a criminal organization. Skype’s defense – that providing the user’s conversations is technically impossible due to the technological architecture behind their service – seems pretty reasonable to us. Belgian courts disagree. Also, this Belgian ruling sets a precedent for massive privacy invasions.

Now, Deep Breaths

Cybersecurity Firm CEO Encourages Calmer Approach to Cybersecurity – By now, we’ve surely convinced you that the world of cybersecurity is in a dire state. Don’t freak out too much. Lares CEO Chris Nickerson encourages us all to calm down. As Nickerson says, the best decisions regarding how to proceed are not made in an agitated state. Don’t be bullied into making aggressive, irrational decisions about cybersecurity. Take a deep breath. Analyze the data. Then make your decision. Naturally, we recommend a VPN-friendly FlashRouter.

Stay updated on all of the latest cybersecurity news. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook

How To Secure Any Internet of Things Devices By Default

iot-internet-of-things

Take a quick look around your apartment or house. How many things are running on WiFi or are connected to something running on WiFi?

The answer is “a lot”, isn’t it? The days of just running your computer off of your wireless network are long over. Now your smartphone, your sound bar, your waterproof shower radio, that Fitbit on your wrist, and everything on your entertainment center and more require some wireless communication to work properly.

This phenomenon commonly referred to as “The Internet of Things” or “IoT” has inarguably made some things much easier. But with any major technological improvement, there are always drawbacks. Namely, the security of your data.

Internet of Things Hacking & Privacy Issues

One IoT or smart device after another has been hacked in recent years. Smart cars, smart guns, even smart baby monitors… all of these things and more have been shown to be easily compromised.

In addition to these examples, the terrifying Ransomware trend finds Internet-capable devices held hostage by hackers. Hospitals, police departments, and in some cases, small towns have paid out large sums of Bitcoins in order to regain access to their files and IoT devices. Over one billion dollars in Ransomware has been paid out this year alone, according to ZDNet. Moreover, Ransomware delivery vehicles are found in nearly half of all cloud-based malware, per CSO Online.

Even seemingly mundane IoT devices are susceptible to hacks that can create major problems for users. You’d be reasonable to think a “smart fridge” can’t give up too much pertinent data, even if it’s hacked. You’d be wrong, as this Samsung smart fridge that accidentally gave up users’ Gmail credentials evinces.

In conclusion, if it needs the Internet to function, it’s hackable. If it’s hackable, it’s a danger to the security of your private information. So the real question is are these these IoT or smart gadgets really smart enough? Maybe they need a little more help then they thought in being fully secured for now and into the future.

How To Secure Internet of Things Devices By Default

The Internet of Things will always be dangerous, according to some. There are those in powerful positions losing sleep over the issue. And it’s certainly easy to see their point. Hacked cars and rifles are no one’s idea of safe, and you’re making your home more hackable by increasing the amount of hackable items in it.

But you’re not about to swear off Internet-capable devices. Therefore, we must learn to live with the safety issues raised by the IoT or smart devices. And for that, you’re going to need VPN encryption on all devices as a default.

For those who are already familiar with VPN service providers, this simply means making VPN your default wired of wireless network. For the unfamiliar, it’s past time to get to know VPNs.

VPN, or Virtual Private Networks, are subscription-based services that provide an additional layer of cybersecurity protection. Connect a device through a VPN and all of your online data is tunneled through encrypted servers set up around the world. This process makes your data untraceable, and therefore effectively secures it from hackers eyes.

That’s why you need VPN encryption by default on your entire network. If you’re going to run an increasing number of devices off your WiFi, it better be secure WiFi. It better be a VPN.

VPNRecommendation
ExpressVPNPopular premium VPN provider with top performance in Asia and Australia.
NordVPNAn increasingly popular service for users in the EU.
IPVanishOffers some of the fastest Level 1 server speeds worldwide & popular in countries like Saudi Arabia & the UAE.

Support Your VPN and IoT Devices With a FlashRouter

Meet the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk DD-WRT FlashRouter

Netgear R7000 AC1900 Nighthawk DD-WRT FlashRouter

Your VPN supports your online security, just as one of our FlashRouters will provide the support your VPN requires.

VPNs encrypt and decrypt a lot of data in real time, which is what it takes to keep you safe. Due to this constant flood of activity, VPNs require a lot of bandwidth to work properly. As a result, you need a powerful router to process all of that bandwidth, and therefore you need a FlashRouter.

FlashRouters revolutionize wireless networks. Routers typically come burdened with stock firmware that are loaded with inadequacies and flaws. At FlashRouters, we ditch the stock firmware in favor of third party replacements like DD-WRT and Tomato. DD-WRT and Tomato are open source, which consequently means the open source community are continuously updating them.

What’s more, FlashRouters designs our devices to be VPN-friendly. We’ve partnered with some of the best VPNs around the world to ensure our devices are as secure as possible. Furthermore, subscribe to any VPN on our supported provider list, and we’ll send your router with your VPN subscription fully installed.

Check out our alternative VPN setups, and find out some of the ways you can create a unique and simple to set up to make your VPN usage that much more effective.

How to Choose the Right FlashRouter

FlashRouters create devices like the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk Tomato to handle more online activity than any 10 people can produce. These routers guarantee power, speed, and versatility. Here is the R7000 alongside some other recommended devices…

Linksys
Linksys WRT3200ACM AC3200 R7000 NighthawkLinksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2 AC1900
Wireless-AC3200 Mbps
1.8 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Ext Antennas
Top Gaming Router
Wireless-AC1900 Mbps
1 Ghz Broadcom Processor
3 Ext Antennas
One of our Most-Popular Routers
Wireless-AC1900 Mbps
1.6 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Ext Antennas
Use in Small-Medium Homes
$349.99$299.99$299.99

How to Access My Router (WiFi Router FAQ)

flashrouters

FlashRouters fields a lot of deeply specific questions about assorted router setups and troubleshooting methods. It is always a little surprising to receive questions that are considerably more broad. For all of our blog posts loaded up with wireless network advice, we’ve never done a FAQ about some of the most rudimentary issues. Therefore, today FlashRouters covers a topic that every router owner needs to know, “How do I access my router?”

Seems obvious, right? How did we never get around to this before?

Well, let’s stop wasting time with this self-flagellation and get right into it.

How Do I Access My Router?

So maybe you’ve decided to take advantage of some of the advanced features you can access on your FlashRouter, or maybe you just need to tweak the settings a bit. Either way, you need to access your router, and we’re going to walk you through it.

1. Make sure you are connected to your router

Seems to go without saying, but if you’re going to access your router, you need to be connected to your router. This can be accomplished by using a wired connection to the Ethernet port with a laptop or desktop computer, or connecting to the wireless network with any Internet-capable device with a web browser on the network.

2. Find your router’s IP address

In order to do this on a Windows computer open up your search bar and type in “Control Panel.” Once, you are here, click on “Network and Sharing Center.”

control-panel2

Once you are here, click on your network name next to “Connections.”

wireless

Then click on “Details”

details

Your router’s IP address (IPv4 Default Gateway) will typically be a string of numbers starting with “192”. For example, “192.168.11.1” is the IP address at which you can find your FlashRouter.

ipvgateway

 

3. Open a web browser and type your IP address into the URL bar

This is your router IP address and accessing it through your web browser will bring you to your router settings. In order to do this, FlashRouters recommends using Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.

4. Login to your Router

Sometimes the username and password are both “admin”. Sometimes the username is “admin” and the password is “password”. If neither of those work, we recommend searching for the login info for your router brand and model. The information should be accessible through a simple search.

Now you’re in your router’s setup screen and can make any necessary adjustment to the router settings.

Here’s mine, which should give you an idea of what it should look like:

chrome

But before you get too carried away…

Connection Troubleshooting Tips:

TIP #1: While it is possible to access the router settings through a wireless connection if needed, we recommend using a wired connection for initial setup and/or if you experience any access issues

TIP #2: In addition, you’ll want to wire from a numbered/LAN port on the router to your computer’s Ethernet port.

DO NOT wire in from your computer to the router Internet/WAN port for router access.