WiFi Routers Riddled With Holes: Report

2018.02.09 03

Most WiFi router vendors have not patched numerous firmware vulnerabilities discovered more than two years ago, according to a report Insignary released on Tuesday.

OEM firmware built into WiFi routers use open source components that contain numerous known security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers, it notes.

Insignary, a startup security firm based in South Korea, conducted comprehensive binary code scans for known security vulnerabilities in WiFi routers. The company conducted scans across a spectrum of the firmware used by the most popular home, small and mid-sized business and enterprise-class WiFi routers.

Insignary conducted the scans during the last two weeks of November 2017. Its research and development team scanned 32 pieces of WiFi router firmware offered in the U.S., Europe and Asia by more than 10 of the most popular home, SMB and enterprise-class WiFi router manufacturers: Asus, Belkin, Buffalo, Cisco, D-Link, EFM, Huawei, Linksys, Netis and TP-Link.


WiFi Routers Riddled With Holes: Report

Google Device Bug Chokes Home WiFi Networks

2018.01.29 01

A bug in the software used by Google Cast devices such as Chromecast and Home can slow down or crash WiFi networks.

The problem — initially believed to be isolated to a particular router model made by TP-Link — appears to affect models made by other manufacturers, including Asus, Linksys, Netgear and Synology.

The Cast feature on Google’s home devices is the culprit behind the WiFi problems, according to a post on the TP-Link website. Cast sends MDNS multicast discovery packets in order to discover and keep a live connection with Google products such as Home. These packets normally are sent in 20-second intervals.

However, after a device wakes up from sleep mode, it sometimes broadcasts a large amount of the packets — more than 100,000 on some occasions — at a very high speed in a short amount of time. The longer the device is asleep, the larger the packet burst will be.

Google Device Bug Chokes Home WiFi Networks

How to improve your wireless signal


Is anyone actually happy with their Wi-Fi?

Whether it’s dead spots, or access that just won’t reach the den or backyard, as we rely on more internet connected devices and services, there are plenty of ways that wireless signals come up a little bit short.

The big problem is that most of us treat Wi-Fi as a “set and forget it” technology — until there’s a problem. And let’s be real: the main solution for most of us is to simply unplug the device, hoping that a reset will fix the issue.

Unlike other technologies where we are on the hunt for an upgrade, most of us also don’t really look for ways to improve it.

I was recently confounded by weird wireless issues that required me to do a deep dive in my home situation.

Here are a few tips that might help improve your wireless:

How to improve your wireless signal

MIT scientists develop groundbreaking new WiFi that’s three-times faster

Scientists at MIT claim to have created a new wireless technology that can triple Wi-Fi data speeds while also doubling the range of the signal. Dubbed MegaMIMO 2.0, the system will shortly enter commercialisation and could ease the strain on our increasingly crowded wireless networks.

Spectrum crunch is a huge problem for network operators, caused by a growing number of smartphones, laptops and other internet-enabled devices combined with a limited amount of space on the networks they’re connected to.

Multiple-input-multiple-output technology, or MIMO, helps networked devices perform better by combining multiple transmitters and receivers that work simultaneously, allowing then to send and receive more than one data signal at the same time. MIT’s MegaMIMO 2.0 works by allowing several routers to work in harmony, transmitting data over the same piece of spectrum.

“In today’s wireless world, you can’t solve spectrum crunch by throwing more transmitters at the problem, because they will all still be interfering with one another,” Ezzeldin Hamed, lead author on a paper on the topic, told MIT News. “The answer is to have all those access points work with each other simultaneously to efficiently use the available spectrum.”

MIT scientists develop groundbreaking new WiFi that’s three-times faster

Netgear’s plan to solve awful Wi-Fi is a second router

2016.08.24 06

For as long as there have been Wi-Fi routers, setting up Wi-Fi has been pretty much the same. You buy a router at the store, plug it into your modem, and that’s it. Wi-Fi may even be built into your modem in the first place.

But increasingly, it’s looking like the future of Wi-Fi involves not one, but two or more routers scattered around your home as a way to provide a better signal. The idea has been catching on over the past year, and today, one of the biggest names in home routers is jumping into the game.

That’s Netgear, which is introducing a multi-unit router called Orbi. Netgear likes to call Orbi a “Wi-Fi system,” rather than a router, because it’s technically a combination of router, range extender, and some software that makes it all work seamlessly together. Whatever you call it, the end result is a single Wi-Fi network that’s supposed to be capable of blanketing 4,000 square feet of space and providing a strong and fast Wi-Fi signal to every corner of it.

Orbi consists of two units. There’s the main router, which, as always, gets plugged into your modem. And then there’s the secondary unit, which Netgear asks you to place somewhere “central” in your home. It even hopes that you’ll leave it out in the open on a table or a shelf, since that’s likely to provide better signal than if you stash it in a corner or a closet. It’s this second unit that’s supposed to let your Wi-Fi signal get to the far corners of your house that it’s never been able to reach before. Netgear says it even expects people to get Wi-Fi out in the yard.

Netgear’s plan to solve awful Wi-Fi is a second router

Plume Podifies Home WiFi

2016.06.21 01

Plume last week introduced its eponymous self-optimizing WiFi system for the home.

Plume adapts in real life to the different network demands made by various devices and ensures that each gets the fastest speeds possible, according to the company.

In essence, Plume is “treating WiFi as a cellular network, where each pod is kind of like a mini-cell site,” he explained. “That’s what’s clever about this.”

The traffic dynamics are different from those of cell networks, but allowing pods to collaborate on channel assignment to moving devices “starts to look like cell site hopping,” Jude said.

Plume Podifies Home WiFi