Like any device that works through the internet, routers can be hacked remotely if they aren’t properly secured.
I am a long-time internet user who has years of experience with all different types of routers. As such, I know how they work, their weak points, and the best way to protect them.
This guide takes a deep dive into routers and their security vulnerabilities by analyzing the way hackers can get into the devices, what to do if such a situation occurs, as well as how to prevent any attacks in the first place.
- Hackers can remotely get into just about any router as they would a computer or other electronic.
- If you can’t log into your router, are constantly redirected when using the internet, or see unexpected slowdowns, someone could be accessing your router.
- The best way to protect your router is to use a strong password, keep your software updated, and monitor who’s using your WiFi.
How Hackers Remotely Access a Router
Routers, for all of their impressive traits and inherent functionality, are electronic devices. That means they can be hacked, especially if remote management is enabled in your router’s settings or if you have a weak password that isn’t too hard to crack.
Remote attacks occur when a hacker finds vulnerable points in a security system. While rare, such situations can occur if you aren’t taking the proper steps to prevent them. It’s all about getting the right security.
Every router comes with specific protections, but they are connected to the internet. That opens them up to a range of different cyber attacks.
It always pays to be diligent and to understand how malicious individuals can access your home network.
How to Tell If Your Routers Have Been Hacked
Knowing your router can be hacked is important, but that doesn’t help you much unless you know what the signs of such an attack look like. There are a few things you need to always keep in mind.
First, be suspicious if you aren’t able to log into your router. You should always be able to get into your home devices easily. If you suddenly can’t, it could likely be because a hacker got into the network and changed your password.
Another red flag is if your internet searches are all leading to the same website. Browser hijacking is a common sign of a hacked router, and it can lead to someone stealing your information. If this happens, scan all of your devices with antivirus software immediately.
Strange software that appears on multiple devices should set off alarm bells as well. Unfamiliar software, especially one that you didn’t download directly, should immediately be cause for concern. Sometimes it’s not a concern, but not if you see it across multiple devices.
Check for things like fake antivirus clients, new browser toolbars that come out of nowhere, or any programs that seem to create random, uninvited popups. When you come across any of those, scan every device that uses the network to try and get rid of it right away.
Internet speed may be a sign of a hacked router too. There are many aspects that influence connectivity. A slowdown does not necessarily indicate that your network is under attack, but if a reliable connection suddenly slows to a crawl, it’s worth investigating.
How To Best Protect Your Router
While security threats are scary, there are many ways to make sure your router is better protected from external threats. Boosting router security is a simple process that any user can perform in just a few easy steps.
One of the simplest ways to get more peace of mind is to turn on automatic updates. Router manufacturers often release software that addresses bugs, performance, and security loopholes. Keeping updated shuts down any potential issues, and you won’t have to do a thing.
Another important step is to make sure you have a strong password. While most users like to use the same one across multiple devices, or they just put in the first thing that pops into their head, taking the time to create something a little more intricate goes a long way.
You can also monitor who’s accessing your router through online tools (like this one if you’re a Windows user and this one if you use a Mac) or by opening your router’s management page, typing in its IP address into the browser bar, and looking at attached devices.
If you see anything you don’t recognize, take a deeper look. It even helps to change the default name of your WiFi network. That’s not as important as having a tough password, but it can leave your router’s make and model vulnerable to anyone trying to get in.
Here, I look at and answer a few of the top questions about hacked routers.
Can Someone Hack My Router Through My Phone?
Any device, mobile or otherwise, that connects through your router presents a security risk. That means hackers can get in through your phone.
Can Someone Hack My Router Without a Password?
Unfortunately, yes. There are a few methods that truly stubborn hackers can employ in order to get around your password.
Can I Check If Someone’s Using My WiFi?
Yes. Besides taking the security measures listed above, there are a series of reliable WiFi detective apps that will let you easily monitor who’s accessing your network.
It’s unlikely that someone will remotely hack into your router, but it can happen. There are several security loopholes, and several ways a malicious person can get in. However, once you know what activity to look for and how to up your security, you should be safe.
Has your router ever been hacked? What security measures do you have in place to make sure that doesn’t happen? Let us know below!