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Don’t Use Your Carrier’s Router

 

Today we are answering a common question. Is it a good idea to use the router provided by an Internet service provider? Well, there are a few different reasons why it is actually not ideal to use the provided router. The main reason is because Internet providers don’t have top quality, performance or security in mind when they buy routers from manufactures in bulk. Provided routers will most likely be an unpopular brand and they may be detuned. Let’s explore in more detail why business and residential customers should avoid provided routers (especially businesses).

Setting are Easily Lost

Firstly, it is very easy for a provider-issued router’s custom setting to be overwritten or erased. Let’s say a provider decides to push out a firmware update to all their modems. There is a possibility that, during that firmware update, all of the custom setting and features that were added to the rented device could be deleted. Port forwarding rules, static routes, DMZ hosts, non-standard IP changes or other changes can be completely lost. Servers, surveillance and other devices may also be affected if these settings are wiped out. Picture coming into work, nothing works, you call the Internet company, everything looks good on their end, the Internet is up and running. Then, you call the IT person, you go through basic steps, and again – everything looks like it’s working fine. One can see how losing custom router settings could cause confusion until someone (hopefully) realizes that the router settings have been lost.

Not Enough Security

Next, let’s talk about security. The firewall that comes with a provider’s router is fairly simple. There aren’t a lot of rules and it certainly doesn’t have any IPS (intrusion prevention system) or IDS (intrusion detection system) rules. It’s typically going to have SYN attack or DoS (denial-of-service) or something of that nature.  Very, very basic security. Not something sufficient for protecting a business, especially if businesses deal with HIPPA, CPI, PCI or other sensitive data. It would be better to look into a managed firewall service that has IPS that can support a managed DNS service. A managed firewall also provides better reporting about what is coming in and going out. Now, this solution isn’t going to stop major, nation state attacks, like the recent hacks that we’ve seen in the news. However, a managed firewall solution is a key ingredient in any cybersecurity scenario for protecting against malware and ransomware attacks. Having a defense solution that is more robust provides added security and peace of mind.

Inefficiency and Low Performance

Lastly, rented routers from Internet companies don’t have the ability to process high amounts of data efficiently. Especially when businesses scale above 5-10 devices on a network. You’re going to see performance decrease as the number of devices increases. Essentially, there is a basic processor that can only address so many functions at once. With these provider-issued all-in-one routers, the DHCP server, the DNS server and the WiFi are all sharing the same processing resources. The larger the network is the more messages that are being sent within the network and to places outside of the network, like to websites. And, what goes on behind the scenes of a router is so much more than just using WiFi to go to a website. There are constantly messages being sent back and forth between the user and the public Internet. For example, Microsoft Windows has what’s called telemetry data. Data is sent to their servers, whether users know it or not, that communicates information about a user’s system. This information includes details such as updates, status of the system, location data, demographics, and other info that allows Microsoft to monitor Windows specific data.  So, there is often a need for a higher performance router than what is provided by an Internet company because of high demand.

Need Some Help?

Wrapping up, these are just a few reasons why a basic, provider-issued router isn’t the best choice based on quality, performance and efficiency. It may benefit customers to look into alternative routers and equipment, especially when used for business. Need an upgrade or a second opinion? Intechtel offers managed and unmanaged networking solutions and would be more than happy to come by and give a free quote. A technician can assess what is needed for a more robust and protected solution that can best support a business for years to come. Call Intechtel today to learn more (208) 635-4400.

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