It was recently reported by ZDnet (https://www.zdnet.com/article/unpatched-vulnerability-identified-in-79-netgear-router-models/) that 79 Netgear routers from as far back at 2007 and across 758 different firmware versions had an unpatched vulnerability that would let a hacker take over the device remotely.
We rely on routers as our literal gateway to the internet – so how can you be sure the one you’re using is safe? Also, how can you keep it that way?
As the above article has shown one of the ways is just to be cognizant of news regarding the devices you use. An emergency patch was issued, and a more permanent patch is planned for later this month. Even if you normally shy away from the nitty gritty technical aspects of any news cycle it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for news regarding your specific devices.
It’s always a good idea to keep up to date on patches for all your devices. In the case of routers these normally come in the form of firmware updates.
This may seem intimidating but here are the steps for making sure your routers firmware is up to date.
- Type your routers IP address into the search bar of your preferred web browser to access it’s web portal. It’s usually on the box or even on the router itself, it can also be found here (http://whatsmyrouterip.com).
- Enter your username and password. If this is your first-time logging in again the information can usually be found on the router itself. This is also a good time to change the password!
- Locate the firmware or update tab. The location may vary depending on which model router you have, referring to the instructions of your router is probably a good idea.
- Go to your router manufacture’s website to find the firmware update file. You can usually find it by searching for your routers model on their site.
- Download the update and apply it through the router’s web portal. Again, the router’s web portal is found by it’s IP address.
- Reboot the router to ensure the update is applied.
By following these steps, you can be sure your router has the most up to date software version and is the most protected from bugs and malware.
What if you can’t find a firmware update for your router? If it’s a newer model there may not be one out yet, however if your router is on the older side it may have reached it’s end of life. Every brand is different, Cisco for example has a policy of supporting routers on the software side for 3 years and the hardware side for 5 years.
Most technical companies will provide advance notice if they have a product reaching end of life. It’s a good idea to keep track of this information for all your devices, as a device that’s not receiving regular updates may be less safe to use on the internet.
This article was powered by Valley TechLogic, an IT provider in Atwater, CA. You can find more information at https://www.valleytechlogic.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/valleytechlogic/ . Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/valleytechlogic.
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