Router updates: when was the last time you updated the most important part of your network?
What is the router?
The router is a box that connects your office devices to the Internet. It’s connected to the modem provided by your Internet Service Provider (aka ISP). The router provides the wifi service as well as the connectivity for your devices. It manages the traffic and provides a firewall between your office and the evils of the Internet. The router does all this via firmware which is a kind of operating system. And like operating systems, firmware needs updates.
Lifespan of router
How long do routers last? Usually about 4 or 5 years if they’re updated regularly.
There are exceptions.
How do you know if you’re having router problems? Internet keeps dropping out or is slow. Wifi is unreliable. Your VOIP phones sound crappy. You keep getting redirected to the wrong web page. And your Internet Service Provider says it’s not their problem.
If you’ve got a D-Link router, you’ve got a problem. The FCC is suing D-Link right now over their router security problems.
Netgear is also on the bad list. Most of their routers are vulnerable to a hack that is actively being exploited. And there is no patch for most of their models.
If it’s older than 4 years, if it’s D-Link or Netgear, I recommend you replace it right away.
And don’t use the router offered by your ISP. First, the routers from the ISP usually have very limited functionality for managing traffic (important for VOIP and VPNs and file shares accessible from the Internet). Second, the ISP doesn’t usually run the updates or even let you know their equipment needs security updates. Third, it makes it easier for them to monitor your network traffic for marketing purposes.