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Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

kerblamit
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎30-06-2019

Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

Hi everyone. I'll try to keep this short

 

So, I'm looking into replacing my TP Link Archer VR400. I've heard of varying comments and concerns that it's not very secure as the firewall is very basic.

To cut a long story short, both myself and my partner have recently been scammed on more then one occasion regarding identity theft. Including bank transactions and other concerns too long to mention. It's left us feeling a little paranoid. I've signed up to a VPN to try and protect our data. My current VPN is running on my desktop computer, but ideally I'd like to have it running on my network so all our devices are protected.

However...

Trying to find the right router/modem for our connection is a technical nightmare! (I'll admit of recently returning one modem router as it only supports ADSL. It would work with VDSL2, but I'd need a dedicated modem for that. I'd end up having three devices running just for my network!) Not only that, but setting up a VPN on said device doesn't always seem as straight forward.

 

So basically

1: Which router/modem do I need for VDSL2?

2: Would it support Private Internet Access? (PIA)

3: Is there an option that I'm not seeing?

 

Or am I just being paranoid? I'm not sure what to do anymore. Any advice would be appreciated! 

14 REPLIES 14
VileReynard
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Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

I bought myself a TP Link Archer VR400 a few months ago - it works well with VDSL2 + (AFAIK) ADSL.

There are many ways to scam someone - either by attacking websites.

1. Do you use social networks such as facebook etc?

2. Do you use short cut methods to register to web sites by providing twitter/gmail etc credentials?

3. Do you use the same password on multiple sites - do you use the same password for your banking as any other site?

4. Do you use short passwords?

5. Do you reply to emails from people you don't know even if they look interesting?

6. Do you you use the cloud - especially where the server knows the encryption keys?

Why do you blame your routers firewall as the most likely weak point?

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

kerblamit
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎30-06-2019

Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

All very good points.

I consider myself to be well informed when it comes to keeping myself safe online.

I never reply to suspicious emails. If something looks too good to be true, then it's obviously a scam. Some e-mails are very good in disguising their fraudulent intent, but I look for the tell tale signs. Usually when I'm addressed as "Dear Customer" or more obviously when the email address is labelled as something other then Paypal contact e-mail. If I'm concerned, I'll head directly to the website to check, but never through supplied links.  

I do use Facebook, but only rarely. And even then I'm careful of what put on there.

I've had multiple log in attempts on old accounts I've forgotten about. On some they have even been successful in gaining access. A while a go my Hotmail account has been compromised, but thankfully I was quick to stop it. I've checked to make sure none of my mail was been redirected. However, I'm not sure if anything had been done. I've changed all my passwords to be safe, and have added authenticators to my accounts.

I'll be honest and admit that I have been guilty of using the same password in my early days, but not for my hotmail. Which is what concerns me the most. That is why I suspect someone had possibly been intercepting my network traffic. If such a thing was possible. 

I've scanned for any viruses and spyware on multiple occasions, as I suspected some sort of key logger, but nothing was found. 

I found this post on Amazon from someone who had returned his purchase

18 September 2018

Style: Good (N300)Verified Purchase

 

VileReynard
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Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

Your advice appears to be incorrectThumbs Up

The SIP ALG can be disabled:-

Screenshot from 2019-06-30 20-57-35.png

 

In any case unless you have a service listening on port 5060, then any data sent will be disregarded.

If you don't use VOIP then this option is easily disabled.

If you do use VOIP, then get a better application - if it leaks your data it must have been a program that you downloaded from an insecure site.

BTW Are you running Windows?

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

kerblamit
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎30-06-2019

Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

Windows 10, all up to date.
Stuff I tend to download is either from Steam, or Microsoft and the occasional driver updates. I don't tend to do mods, but I suppose all it takes is one program to cause havoc. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

There's a possibility I might be working from home. So I wanted to make sure I had something reliable in place to protect my data.

I'm getting the feeling that maybe I'm going overboard. I still like the idea of going with a VPN running on my network instead of just my PC. However if there's major headache involved, then maybe not.
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VileReynard
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Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

A VPN can be tricky to set up properly - for example if you are sending your DNS lookups to Plusnet (instead of VIA your VPN connection) then you've lost a lot of anonymity.

A VPN is useful for anonymity purposes, or to extend the security of a work site out to your home.

I'd suggest that a lot of "leakage" of data is via mobile phones...

Probably a good idea to set-up a second email account with a totally different provider that you can use as a "backup account" for those suppliers that allow this.

You can get a free 500MB of encrypted email data at protonmail.com, more if you are prepared to pay for it.

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

kerblamit
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎30-06-2019

Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

So the biggest risk is data being leaked is via Wifi? 

 

My desktop is connected via ethernet cable, but everything else is Wifi. I live in a small community, and with the exception of one, everyone else doesn't fit the profile of a cyber thief. 

I was watching something on TV about bank details being leaked from the inside! As well as people using something as simple as a mobile phone to clone your bank card. And peoples banking details for sale on the black market. All scary stuff.

I think I'm just gonna have to accept the fact that I won't know what did it. Both myself and my wife have taken steps to better protect ourselves. Hopefully we won't get stung again. 

Thank you for your time. I appreciate your advice.

 

 

VileReynard
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Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

Not if your WiFi is encrypted via WPA and you don't hand out the WiFi password to anyone who can't be trusted with it.

There's a lot to be said for using Cash instead of bank cards.

There are so many ways to steal your data that no one would go to the trouble of making house calls to try and break your wifi encryption anyway.

Go to this site to find which websites may have revealed your passwords:- https://haveibeenpwned.com/

You will need to enter your email address, but not any passwords.

[ It says that up to 11 websites leaked my password details ]

 

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

Baldrick1
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Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router


@VileReynard wrote:
Go to this site to find which websites may have revealed your passwords:- https://haveibeenpwned.com/

[ It says that up to 11 websites leaked my password details ]

Don't tell me that you still use that address? I now check mine fairly regularly using this website and also whenever I have suspicious emails. I use several addresses for different functions and had the one I use for online activity such as shopping pwned. I noticed after receiving an important messages from 'Natwest', I think it was (i don't bank with them). I changed this address and about a year later it happened again. My current addresses are all reported as clean and I am not receiving any dodgy emails.

I know it's a pain changing registered email addresses but to me this seems to be a very sensible preventative measure if you know that the bad guys have got hold of the address.

When you consider that the bad guys probably also have password as well as email address information it brings it home how important it is to never use the same password for more than one organisation.

VileReynard
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Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

I used that email address (a Gmail address) for about the last 12 years, the majority of that time without using serious ad-blockers and allowing the use of tracking search engines (Google).

I didn't even block 3rd party cookies.

Didn't even block trackers on web sites...

I've managed to stop almost of all of that.

I now use https://duckduckgo.com/ for web searches + banning 3rd party cookies + a tracker blocker + a ad blocker.

Having seen the amount of stuff that Gmail stores (you can ask Google to give you a download of all data they hold on you), I've switched to an encrypted email account that doesn't sell your data: https://protonmail.com/security-details

Any emails claiming to come from banks that you don't have an account with are either adverts or spam or both.

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

kerblamit
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎30-06-2019

Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

Well that's disturbing. I've been "Pwnd" on 10 different sites

 

I wanted to originally change my e-mail account, but I'm worried about what sites I registered with. My main concern is that I'll not be able to gain access to something important. But with 10 bloody sites, I might just need to bite the bullet and do it anyway! 

VileReynard
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Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

Just signup to a new mail provider - there are many free ones.

Hopefully, you current email can be setup to automatically forward all emails to your new email account.

As they arrive you can choose to go to your old email and:-

1. Block - if its a bit spammy

2. Unsubscribe - if you don't want it any more

3. Change the email address - this can be tricky as not all websites realise that email addresses can change.

Transferring contacts and archives can be a challenge though.

"In The Beginning Was The Word, And The Word Was Aardvark."

idonno
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Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router


@Baldrick1 wrote:

@VileReynard wrote:
Go to this site to find which websites may have revealed your passwords:- https://haveibeenpwned.com/

[ It says that up to 11 websites leaked my password details ]

Don't tell me that you still use that address?

Same here and yes, I do still use the email address. It's an hotmail address but its been in use now since 2007 (given it used for a lot of things, I'd have been surprised if it hadn't been leaked somewhere (its.been pawned fora few years now). One site supposedly leaked the email address. Unless you use the same password for every site then security isn't going to be a real issue. As an hacker I am going to waste time trying to gain access to someone (via WiFi) who probably doesn't have a lot of money in the first place? There isn't any mileage in it.

 

For my hotmail account(s) I just use the MS app. 2 step authentication for devices not already used. I tend to use the MS generated passwords (via live.com) for Thunderbird, Gmail on the phone etc. To date even my old email address hasn't been messed around. But then I don't use the same password for each site. Banking log ins rely on the card readers/mobile phone now.

 

You could always get your own domain. I've had one since 2007 and to date (cost about £10 / yr), the amount of spam into the inbox has been extremely small (less than one a year). I noticed the other day I can now have 10000 sub domains, so an email address with each sub domain. I've found 2 to be more than enough. And that is the key, if my email address started to receive lots of spam I would simply ditch that subdomain and create a new one. One thing I do have set up is my accounts are exclusive. If you are not in my contact list or whitelist, into the spam box you go. It cuts spam into your inbox drastically. Unless I am expecting an email from some one new, I don't bother looking at the spam box. I have thought about giving each company their own email address but currently not worth the hassle. But it easy to get into security over drive. As I read not that long ago, most hacks would be stopped in their tracks if everyone used 2 stage authentication.

 

As for routers and modems, I've got the Vigor 130, unfortunately the router is now getting on a bit, being a TP-link Archer. But it does me. One thing I do is use a whitelist for connection. Even if someone knows the password to connect to the network, they then run into the whitelist. If the mac number isn't on it, they don't connect. I might add the connection has been rock solid, can't recall the last time it failed. I don't use VOIP though, unless you count Viber as being a part of it. I don't even have a landline any more. Mobile all the way.

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
kerblamit
Hooked
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎30-06-2019

Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router

Interesting read, thanks for your input.

 

When we moved into our new property, we both agreed that we don't need a landline phone. Personally I find the damn things a nuisance now. The amount of times my parents where constantly hounded was ridiculous. I ended up getting them the BT call guardian. I have to say it was very effective, and stopped 99% of sales calls. 

 

I thought getting your own domain name was if you're setting up your own website? I'm curious to see what that's all about so I'll have a read up on that.

All of my accounts are now covered on a 2 step authentication. Which has given up some peace of mind. I've still yet to change my e-mail. I'm going to do what VileReynard suggested. I'm even using duckduckgo as my default search engine.

I've learnt a lot from everyone. Thanks all for taking the time to reply.

 

Baldrick1
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Re: Need Advice in choosing correct modem/router


@kerblamit wrote:

I thought getting your own domain name was if you're setting up your own website? I'm curious to see what that's all about so I'll have a read up on that.

I have a personal domain but no website it costs me under £10 per year with NamesCo. This comes with a free email address plus up to another four proxy addresses. The free version is only 100MB but that is plenty for me as I use POP3 to regularly download all my emails onto my PC and have my email client to delete all emails on NamesCo's server after 2 weeks.

It gives me a personalised email address that is not locked to an ISP. The downside is that the free email address does not include the secure sending facility. I can still set the 'from' field correctly to match my personal email address so it's transparent as far as recipients are aware, but I have to send through either the unencrypted Plusnet servers or one of the big boy 'gimme your data to look at' organisations.