Is your router collects data on your network?
Netgear last week pushed out a firmware update for its wireless router model NightHawk R7000 with a remote data collection feature that collects router’s analytics data and sends it to the company’s server.
For now, the company has rolled out the firmware update for its NightHawk R7000, but probably other router models would receive the update in upcoming days.
The Netgear’s alleged router analytics data collects information regarding:
- Total number of devices connected to the router
- IP address
- MAC addresses
- Serial number
- Router’s running status
- Types of connections
- LAN/WAN status
- Wi-Fi bands and channels
- Technical details about the use and functioning of the router and the WiFi network.
The company said it is collecting the data for routine diagnostic to know how its products are used and how its routers behave.
“Technical data about the functioning and use of our routers and their WiFi network can help us to more quickly isolate and debug general technical issues, improve router features and functionality, and improve the performance and usability of our routers,” Netgear said on its website.
How to Disable your Router Analytics Data Collection Feature
But if you are privacy conscious and don’t want Netgear to collect details on you, you can disable this feature.
The company has provided an option in the router’s configuration panel to turn the router analytics data collection feature off. Follow the instructions:
- Launch a web browser from your PC or smartphone that is connected to the network.
- Open the router login window by entering http://www.routerlogin.net.
- Type the router username and password. If you haven’t changed the default settings, your username is admin, and password is password.
- Select Advanced → Administration → Router Update on the Home page.
- Scroll down to the Router Analytics Data Collection section and select the Disable button to disable router analytics data collections.
- Click the Apply button to save your settings.
That’s it. You’re done.
Boost And Secure Your Routers With DD-WRT
Alternatively, you can replace your device firmware with DD-WRT – a Linux-based open source firmware that is designed to enhance security and performance of wireless Internet routers.
Security conscious people always prefer DD-WRT firmware over their factory default firmware, which is compatible with many router models from popular manufacturers such as LinkSys, Cisco, Netgear, Asus, TP-Link, D-Link and more.
DD-WRT has a ton of features – it improves your wireless signal, as well as unlocks your router’s potential to manage network traffic, static routing, VPN, repeating functions and more.
To check if your router is compatible with DD-WRT, head on to ‘DD-WRT database‘ and search for your router model number.
If it’s there and supported, then download it and follow below-mentioned general steps to install it:
- Log into your router’s admin page (usually at http://192.168.1.1/).
- Go to the Admin section and choose “Firmware Upgrade.”
- Choose “Select File” and find your DD-WRT firmware.
- Upload it and do not unplug or do anything to the router until it finishes updating.
Note: Changing your router’s firmware with a non-compatible firmware can brick your router. So be very careful.