Keeping your home WiFi router updated is a crucial part of staying secure and safe. Shellshock affected a number of WiFi routers, and we have also seen WiFi routers getting hacked and turned into botnets. Home router security is generally poor.
You should make sure that your WiFi router is getting regular updates of security, too. Depending on your WiFi router, you may have to do this by hand, set up automatic updates or not do anything at all.
Your WiFi router runs a firmware, which is essentially its operating system. Quite a few WiFi routers are actually built on top of the Linux, and that means security vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel or related software program like the Shellshock bug in the Bash shell could affect your WiFi router. Issues can also occur due to poor WiFi Router firmware update design in general, such as the backdoors which have been discovered in WiFi routers produced by Netgear, Linksys, and other massive companies.
Home WiFi routers are particularly vulnerable because they are exposed directly to the Internet. Every other device you own is shielded behind the WiFi router and is not publicly addressable. Your WiFi router essentially functions as a firewall, shielding your other devices like laptop or smartphones from inbound connections by keeping them all to itself. But, by design, your WiFi router is the one point in your home network that is exposed directly to the Internet. As an attacker could contact your WiFi router, it is crucial your WiFi router is secure.
Manufacturers release new versions of the software program for your WiFi router, just as they do for the software on your phone, tablet, game console, computer, and other devices. Depending on your WiFi router, you may have to install these by yourself.
To install the firmware updates, you will need to access your WiFi router’s web interface in a web browser. You will often be able to find the information of firmware-updating under System Update, Router Upgrade, Firmware Upgrade, Software or a similarly named option.
On home WiFi routers provided by your Internet service provider, there is a good chance your WiFi router is set to receive automatic updates of firmware provided by your internet service provider. We have personally noticed this in every ISP-provided WiFi router. As on our current Comcast Xfinity WiFi router, there is no way to upgrade it yourself. On the positive side, this means that your WiFi router will update automatically and you would not need to do anything about this by yourself.
Modern-day advance WiFi routers often offer automatic updates, and you will want to leave this option enabled or enable it if it is not already. For example, Linksys Smart wireless Routers offer automatic WiFi router firmware updates, which are enabled by default as part of the first-time process of setup. Linksys router also provides instructions for enabling the automatic updates later.
Older WiFi routers may just offer a page where you can upload a file of firmware. You will have to check the version of the firmware installed on your WiFi router, possibly from a separate Status page and then visit the WiFi router’s official website manufacturer, find the Downloads or Support page for your specific model of a WiFi router, and check for and download the latest firmware upgrades manually.
You can speed up the search for your WiFi router’s firmware updating options by performing a web search for your specific model of WiFi router and a firmware update to find the right instructions. But you should get a pretty decent idea of what your WiFi router requires after browsing through its web interface.
WiFi router security updates are not something to panic about, but they are sometimes to bear in mind. Make sure your WiFi router is automatically updating its firmware, if possible. If it is not, be sure to check for the occasional firmware updates. If your WiFi router has years-old firmware updates you have not installed yet as many WiFi routers surely do, you will want to install the latest one as soon as possible.