Fortinet security researchers have recently discovered vulnerabilities in some D-Link routers. Many of these routers are still sold online, but D-Link does not make them anymore and can not patch them. How can you tell if your router is still supported?
Why router firmware updates are important
Router updates are especially important. Your wireless router is generally the only device that connects you directly to the Internet. It acts as a firewall and protects all other devices from inbound traffic thanks to Network Address Translation (NAT).
Vulnerabilities in routers can cause them to be infected by malware and join a botnet. Disabling remote access to your router is an important safety tip as it shields the administration interface of your router from the Internet. However, installing the latest security updates is critical.
Unfortunately, many routers do not automatically install security updates and require the manual installation of security updates. You can install it through the router's web interface or through a mobile app when the router offers an app.
RELATED: How To Make Sure Your Home Router Has The Latest Security Updates
Why Are Manufacturers So Bad With Updates?
If a security vulnerability is found – whether by security researchers or criminals who want to infect and integrate your router into a botnet – you want your router to have security updates. However, they are not always available.
Manufacturers are not forced to update routers forever, or for a period of time. Many router manufacturers produce a variety of different router models. If a gap is found, it can take some effort to patch them on all different routers running different firmware (software).
Worse, many router manufacturers are in quite a competitive position in price competition. When people buy the cheapest routers, the router manufacturer has to cut corners somewhere to survive on the market. Long term support is a simple way to reduce costs – how many people will buy a router because the manufacturer promises advanced security updates, or avoid a router because the manufacturer has no set guidelines for doing so?
How to Verify Your Router Is Still Supported
Is your router still supported? The only way to know for sure is to check the website of the manufacturer of your router. First, look at your router and make a note of the manufacturer and model number so that you can verify that it is listed in the end-of-life list.
- Apple : Apple's AirPort base stations are apparently still having firmware updates, even though the company no longer manufactures them.
- Asus : Check the list of legacy products on the Asus website. According to official information, the firmware of the router is not updated after the end of its life.
- Cisco : Cisco lists a number of products that are available at the end of life or at the end of the sale site.
- D-Link : Consult the official list of older products on the D-Link website. Routers on this list do not receive security updates.
- Netgear : Netgear does not seem to have a list of products that is no longer valid. Yes, that's pretty absurd. Here is a list of third party providers that is probably incomplete.
- Linksys : Linksys offers a list of obsolete products. This is just the first page – also read page 2 and page 3 of the list.
- Google : The Wi-Fi routers from Google are new and are all supported with updates. However, Google seems to have given up keeping an up-to-date list of firmware updates on its website.
- Synology : Synology provides a product support status web site listing the devices and their support.
If your manufacturer is not on this list, visit the website for a list of legacy products or a list of supported devices. You can also visit the official support page for your specific router model and search for support information.
Is your router no longer supported? It's time to replace it. When you upgrade to a new router, you get faster Wi-Fi and a more reliable connection in addition to increasing security.
CONNECTION: How to Check Your Router for Malware