What you need to know
- A vulnerability was found and reported to Netgear back in January 2020, but patches are just starting to roll out.
- Out of the 80 routers that were vulnerable to attack, only 35 are being patched.
- This vulnerability lets hackers bypass the username and password that's supposed to protect your router, exposing the entire home or office network.
These days, it's easy to become numb to the seemingly daily news of security vulnerabilities, malware, and data breaches. While many of them feel far off, this latest one could be in your living room, and the threat is more imminent than usual. 80 Netgear routers have been found to be vulnerable to an attack that allows the attacker to completely bypass the username and password that's supposed to secure your router. Thankfully, Netgear is patching 35 of these routers with a fix. Unfortunately, that means 45 router models won't ever be patched, so it's time to unplug them and get something that still gets updated.
Tom's Guide spoke to Netgear, who then confirmed that 45 router models will not receive a patch for this vulnerability since they are out of support range. Despite what you may think, however, these aren't necessarily older routers. Netgear cites that its criteria for dropping support included routers that were as new as three years old, meaning you definitely need to check that sticker on the bottom of your router and make sure it's not on the list of unsupported devices.
If you have a Netgear router at home or in your small office, head to this page (opens in new tab) immediately and see if your router is on the list of unsupported devices. Look for your model number and see if it says "None; outside security support period" under the fix status column. If it does, these are the best Wi-Fi routers to replace it with.
This vulnerability was reported way back in January to the Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), and Netgear was subsequently notified. It was made public in June in accordance with ZDI's 120-day policy. If you want to see the exact details on how the exploit is played out, the full analysis is located here. Long story short, though, it's bad and that old router's got to go.
Get a truly smart router
With a truly smart router like Nest Wifi, there's no need to worry about updates since it all happens automatically. Get an easy network with Google smarts.
Don't forget, if you turn off remote management, it should be ok.
Almost a third of your "recommended" replacement routers are Netgear. Why would I buy another Netgear router when they have made the 3 year old one I have a paper weight? Not gonna happen, they can pound sand. I know we live in a throw away world but I expect any hardware product, from a washing machine to a thumb drive to last more than 3 years. Seems like a good time to upgrade to a mesh network....
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