Valued Contributor

Router and its Software

Being the gateway to the Internet, router is the key component of our home network. But do we pay enough attention to a router, its hardware or software, as we do, for example, in upgrading our devices? Is it just a black (whatever color is yours) box sitting next to the modem, doing its 'thing'?

Maybe a discussion around choosing, customizing, securing and upgrading routers will be helpful. Thank you all in advance for participating.

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Proven Sharer

Re: Router and its Software


@HelloWorld wrote:

Being the gateway to the Internet, router is the key component of our home network. But do we pay enough attention to a router, its hardware or software, as we do, for example, in upgrading our devices? Is it just a black (whatever color is yours) box sitting next to the modem, doing its 'thing'?

Maybe a discussion around choosing, customizing, securing and upgrading routers will be helpful. Thank you all in advance for participating.


I don't know whom you refer to when you ask (if) "WE pay enough attention to a router..." but it certainly ought not be the contributing customers who voluntarily staff the Spectrum peer-to-peer Forums.  And we do know that a router is NOT the gateway to the internet, partly because it's located on the customer (isolated) side of the data modem. 

Selecting, customizing, securing, and upgrading routers is NOT a necessary part of delivering the video programming content or internet connection to Spectrum's subscribers.  It requires someone to bear substantial added costs for educating a relatively low percentage of internet subscribers who want to use a strictly optional standalone router device about internet operation, principles, and practices on their home networks.  Spectrum does not furnish or maintain any of that equipment.  Therefore, shouldn't that task and cost fall to the router manufacturers themselves?  If not, why not?  I certainly don't want to pay it as part of MY ever-rising monthly Spectrum service charges.

Valued Contributor

Re: Router and its Software [Edited]

Device: Linksys EA4500 V2, reason Flash/RAM 128MB/128MB, dual band WiFi, OpenWrt compatibility

Customization: Adblocker,  DNA cache, Dynamic-DNS option, SQM QoS, Network sharing capability, Usage and LAN Connection Statistics log in USB Flash Drive.

Security: All ports in stealth mode, Separate Guest WiFi with client isolation, DNSCrypt-Proxy, iptables RBL blocking (sub2rbl), Custom firewall rules (to block Cable Haunt Attack, common DNS bypass through non-standard ports, DNS Meta-exploit Attack, DNS Amplification Attack, DNS Spoofing, DDOS Attack, Xmas scan, Traceroute and Portscan) Log Mirroring to a PC, OpenVPN client and server capability, Wireguard server capability, Custom SSH port, Disable Root login through SSH, WPA2-AES WiFi with KRACK protection, DHCP limited to device commonly connected, Block analyics or phone-home connections from smart TV, printers and IoTs, Capability of mirror traffic to Snort Sensor in a Linux.

Upgrade: Hardware  - using it for last 5 years, any suggestion?; Software - OpenWrt 19.07.1, regular update, custom compilation

 

OT (?): Modem is in bridge mode, so the router gets a public IP address.

 

More OT (??):

"...it certainly ought not be the contributing customers who voluntarily staff the Spectrum peer-to-peer Forums."

By "we", I meant everybody here and elsewhere, internet being so indispensable and a black box at the same time. To me what is important is participation rather than contribution. And personally I do not "staff" Spectrum, I do it to share my experiences with others, to educate myself and troubleshoot each others' issues.

 

"And we do know that a router is NOT the gateway to the internet, partly because it's located on the customer (isolated) side of the data modem."

Love to be elaborated on that one, I am being an average customer whose internet connections funnel down through that router, and the modem being in the bridge mode.

 

"Selecting, customizing, securing, and upgrading routers is NOT a necessary part of delivering the video programming content or internet connection to Spectrum's subscribers."

Respectfully disagree. That kind of apathy leads to the fact that we, the average internet users willing to trust all app and os defaults, ultimately become the product.

 

"It requires someone to bear substantial added costs for educating a relatively low percentage of internet subscribers who want to use a strictly optional standalone router device about internet operation, principles, and practices on their home networks. Spectrum does not furnish or maintain any of that equipment.  Therefore, shouldn't that task and cost fall to the router manufacturers themselves?  If not, why not?  I certainly don't want to pay it as part of MY ever-rising monthly Spectrum service charges."

No reason to keep that percentage low by monopolizing or having a price/IQ tag on knowledge. IMHO our discussion can go beyond troubleshooting modems signal levels, for example, simply because internet is much more than that. As for the cost, please refer to the example above (and I am looking forward to more below) and it did not cost ME an extra penny. BTW, I am far from being a security expert.

 

Apologies for the long post.

Helper

Re: Router and its Software

I'm currently using an Apple Time Capsule with most everything set to default except for having separate names for the 2.4 and 5ghz bands to force devices to one or the other and, obviously, WPA2 enabled.

 

I've used the Spectrum Wave 2 router in the past and was impressed with its performance. I finally returned it and went back to the TC because it doesn't have a guest network option and I didn't want to pay the $5 monthly wifi fee. 

Valued Contributor

Re: Router and its Software


@reds91185 wrote:

I'm currently using an Apple Time Capsule with most everything set to default except for having separate names for the 2.4 and 5ghz bands to force devices to one or the other and, obviously, WPA2 enabled.

 

I've used the Spectrum Wave 2 router in the past and was impressed with its performance. I finally returned it and went back to the TC because it doesn't have a guest network option and I didn't want to pay the $5 monthly wifi fee. 


That's an interesting choice. Do you use it as NAS or backup frequently?

Thank you for mentioning the saving on the monthly charge by choosing our own router.

Highlighted
Helper

Re: Router and its Software

I use the Time Capsule in conjunction with Apple Time Machine to back up a Mac Mini that is my primary computer for anything important.  Time Machine creates a daily backup and I rarely notice it while it's happening.  I don't use it as if it's a traditional NAS device to have direct access to files.

 

The routing functions of the TC are exactly the same as the Airport Extreme and it serves my needs for now even though it's getting old. Eventually I'll replace the TC with a new router and NAS but for now I have no reason to change it.