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Michael Horowitz 
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Routers for Dummies

From the beginning routers have been complex devices with more configuration options than anyone can possibly understand, myself included. On the whole, however, I view the complexity as a good thing, it offers many tweaks and options for better security. But, these dozens of options are often too much for ISPs and consumers to deal with.

This has led to a relatively new class of simplified routers. While the job of being a router has not changed, the interface has been simplified. Almost all the tweaking has been removed. The router manufacturer makes dozens of choices for you and you're stuck with them. Examples of, what I call, Routers For Dummies are the Google OnHub line and Eero.

A router that can't be tweaked will never be my first choice, but such a device is not my last choice either. Since both ISPs and consumers often (typically?) do a miserable job of security, then at least they don't have enough rope to hang themselves. If nothing else, these devices self-update their firmware which puts them ahead of many competing routers.

June 17, 2016. Luma also appears to fit into this category, it is managed exclusively via a mobile app. It just started shipping today, so I'm not yet sure if it self-updates its firmware. Also, the app may be a bit more complicated than Eero or OnHub because it offers parental controls.



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This page was last updated: June 17, 2016 3PM CT     
Created: April 25, 2016
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