To start with, let’s clarify what I mean by a “bad router”. It’s not one that physically doesn’t work, or has issues ( all routers both good and
bad have issues) it it more to do with security (keeping you network protected from the outside world) and making sure any software
bugs that do come up have a chance to be resolved. So, you might ask, why is security so important in a home router? Isn’t it just plug in and get browsing? Well, theoretically yes, that should be the case. It isn’t the case with the vast majority of routers though.
Bad routers have two main issues that seperate them from the good ones. Lack of security software updates and how proactive the
company behind the router is at managing security in general on the devices.
So why do i need a secure router?
Every minute of every day there are hackers (sometimes using automated tools, sometimes manually) trying to hack into routers and
take over them all over the world. Why do they do this?
Money, power, fame, leverage.
Why should you care?
Do you have any docuements or files on any of your phones, devices or games machines? Passwords? Credit card details? Bank account information? Photos of your loved ones? Holiday snaps that show you in clothing you may want to keep private?
Hackers are interested in all of that and more. The only way to put up a fight is by going with a router that puts your data and security at
the forefront of its mission.
The second thing that makes a bad router is a lack of software updates. Most of the bad routers on the list have initial software updates,
then they either stop after a few months or only go on for a maximum of 6 to 12 months. If you keep your router longer than this (which most do as they can be expensive) then this just isn’t good enough.
Apart from the securtiy updates, routers have flaws that need software updates. Bug fixes and then new features. If you don’t get updates…then you don’t get any of this.
And so here is my site. It’s a work in progress for a few reasons — router manufacteres come and go. They morph into bigger companies or the leadership can change. With these things the routers may become a question mark over time, so I have taken it upon myself to help you to choose wisely.
I encourange you to double check the information contained here at bad router list. If there is something you don’t undertstand or aren’t sure then Google, or even better, Duckduckgo.com, makes an answer just a search away.
Disclaimer – I have a section of the site that include what I feel based on research are good router choices. If you view this information and follow these links and buy I may receive a commision which helps to run the site. It doesn’t cost you a penny, is completely safe and only lets me earn a little money for clicking my link and buying.
Bad list. Don’t buy
A chinese router manufacturer. They are quite solid devices from a signal perspective (good wifi speeds) and the entry levels can be bought for very cheap amounts of money. You pay for this with a manufacturer that supports some devices, not others for a month or maybe six months of updates if you’re lucky.
Their security “posture” (a fancy word for the manufacturer attitude towards security) is poor.
Hard to find the updates on the website.
Broken sites that don’t list correct information.
No download checks to veruify the router update hasn’t been tampered with (so no automatic software updates.)
A US router manufacturer. This is a dfficult one to put on the bad list bacuse Linksys do some things right.
They have router models that embrace open source technology for advanced users. The website is (fairly) well documented and the search function to find downloads is quite good. Some devices even have automatic updates. Too bad that the updates stop for their routers way too soon. Some have only had one update in the year after release. Not good enough by my reckoning.
A US manufacturer. So many flaw have been found in this brand of router. They often don’t have updates at all after release. Website is confusing. Company doesn’t seem to care very much and just releases new hardware every six months.
score: very poor
A very popular taiwanese manufacturer of computer hardware. They make good hardware, with lots of features and solid specs. Some models are supported for 1 year + whereas others get 3 months or just a few updates. They have a questionable stance on privacy which includes software on their routers which could have implications depending on your leanings with who you do or don’t trust.
They seem very inconsistent with their application of which models get updates and how long they’re supported for. Website information to find software and manuals is good. They even provide a security checksum for donwloads.
IF and only IF you choose your model carefully with lots of research then they can be an ok purchase. No better than ok. I wouldn’t advise.
Big manufacturer from the US. I’m conflicted about this one, bacuse for some models and model lines (Orbi) the updates are frequent and they do things the right way. Good updates. Take security at least semi-seriously.
Website is good and they even have a bug bounty program!
Sadly, the cheaper routers and lower end models don’t get the same attention. Inconsistent updates that don’t last longer than 6 months in some cases.
Poor practices by not enforcing (or giving users the option for) encryption to log into your router to change settings is also a big issue.
Still confused? Which router avoids these problems?
Onto the next section – Good router list