Your router is one of the most essential pieces of tech in your home and office. If something goes wrong with it, your internet connection will most likely be lost. In a best-case scenario, you might experience a slow-down.
So, keeping your router in good shape is a critical step to making sure your devices are safe from intrusion or malware. It is often your first line of defense against hackers or someone who wants to steal your Wi-Fi. Tap or click here for a free check to see if your router has been hacked by criminals.
That has unfortunately been highlighted again with the discovery of a flaw in several Netgear routers. Here’s what the vulnerability is about and what you can do to fix it.
Here’s what you need to know the routers
Netgear recently revealed that a handful of its router models have a security flaw that could allow hackers access to your network. The affected models are:
The company described the issue as a “remote code execution security vulnerability.” Meaning anyone who manages to breach your network can assume control of it. The flaw has been exposed through an optional parental-control feature.
What you can do about it
Before you go into a mild panic about the possibility of being hacked, there are several things that you can do right now to make sure that you are safe. The first course of action is to update your Netgear router’s firmware. Here’s how:
- Check your router’s model number at the bottom of the device. It should be on a sticker together with the default username and password.
- Go to Netgear’s support page.
- Start typing your model number in the search box, then select your model from the drop-down menu as soon as it appears. If you do not see a drop-down menu, make sure that you entered your model number correctly, or select a product category to browse for your product model.
- Click Downloads.
- Under Current Versions, select the first download whose title begins with Firmware Version.
- Tap Release Notes.
- Follow the instructions in the firmware release notes to download and install the new firmware.
This will download the latest firmware, and you must install it for your router to be patched. But this isn’t as simple as double-clicking on it. Instead, open your web browser and go to the router’s administration page.
The web address for your router is most likely http://192.168.1.1. If you’re having trouble finding your router’s IP, consult your user manual, or you can check online for lists such as routeripaddress.com.
Once you have logged in, click the Advanced tab and select Administration. Then tap Router Update. From here, you’ll be able to upload the file to the router.
If your router supports it, you can also download the latest firmware update through its dashboard. Select the Check for Updates button. This should automatically check and install any firmware updates.