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Michael Horowitz 
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When it comes to Router Security and/or Privacy, Consumer Reports is as wrong as wrong gets. I am referring to this August 2019 article: Many Wireless Routers Lack Basic Security Protections, Consumer Reports' Testing Finds which says:

CR's router testing includes the companies' privacy policies, because so much sensitive data flows through the devices. Our privacy experts analyzed every router manufacturer’s documentation. We gave better scores to routers—including some models from Eero, Google, and Netgear—that spell out what information their manufacturers might collect from users, such as network speeds, the name of the internet service provider, and how much data you're transmitting to the web.

This is as wrong as wrong gets. For one thing, it assumes all router vendors spy on you, which is NOT true. There are routers that can be used without the router company knowing a damn thing about your network. And, without having to create an account with the router manufacturer. My favorite router company, Peplink/Pepwave is one such company. So too is Ubiquiti which makes the AmpliFi. Each can be used with total privacy.

That said, to use AmpliFi privately means giving up remote access to the system. AmpliFi only allows remote control using a Gmail or Facebook account. Peplink offers two systems for remote access to their routers, one system goes through them (InControl2), the other does not. Specifically, thet still offer remote access via an open port. The port can be anything, access can be limited to HTTPS and you get to change the userid too, so it is as secure as this type of system can be.

In contrast, there is no opting out of Eero/Amazon or Google with their routers. Each requires you to have an account. But worse, they are the last two router companies anyone concerned with privacy should use. Yet, Consumer Reports gives them high marks for privacy. Lunacy. Both companies want to spy on you and a router is a perfect place for this spying.

Another indication that Consumer Reports is clueless, comes from the last few words in the quote above. A router offers access to much more than just "the web".

My final indication of their incompetence comes from their approach - reading privacy policies. If a router is phoning home, this can be detected. But, that requires technical competence.

This page was last updated: August 13, 2019 8PM CT     
Created: January 20, 2019
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