The FBI says reboot your router now—here's how to do it

This warning is no joke

Credit: Getty Images
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Last Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a public service announcement warning consumers of a malware threat called VPNFilter. This nasty little bugger can collect personal information and even render your router inoperable.

So, if you're the owner of a home router, you'll want to listen up. Rebooting your router not only intercept the malware in its tracks, it also helps identify affected devices. Not sure how to do that? Don't worry, we're here to help.

So, what's this "hack" all about?

Last week, the FBI discovered a piece of malware called VPNFilter. It's capable of doing a great deal of harm. From collecting personal data to disabling your router, this malware is a real barrel of laughs. It has about three stages, but you can disrupt stage two and higher by rebooting your router. This sets the malware back to stage one.

Wireless Router
Credit: Getty Images

Reset or reboot? What's the difference?

Should you reset or reboot your router? Is there a difference? Resetting your router wipes all custom settings, meaning it goes back to its default mode. You can do this by holding down the reset button on the router. Rebooting your router (aka yanking the plug out of the wall) intercepts malware attacks by flushing out the short-term memory.

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How do I reboot my router?

In addition to using complex passwords and updating your firmware, it's good practice to reboot your router every month. From slow Wi-Fi to a buggy PC, it's a harmless procedure that solves a wide array of problems. Not sure how to reboot your router? Don't worry, it's super easy to do.

  1. Step 1: Unplug the router
  2. Step 2: Wait ten to fifteen seconds
  3. Step 3: Plug it back in

Seriously, that's....that's it. Once your modem and/or router comes back online you should be all set. Just note that if you also reset your router you may need to go back in and change any customized settings you set up.

How do I know if my router is affected?

The thing about malware is that it's a wolf in sheep's clothing; there's really no way to tell if your router is being attacked. Thankfully, we've procured a list of affected routers.

  • Linksys E1200
  • Linksys E2500
  • Linksys WRVS4400N
  • Mikrotik RouterOS for Cloud Core Routers: Versions 1016, 1036, and 1072
  • Netgear DGN2200
  • Netgear R6400
  • Netgear R7000
  • Netgear R8000
  • Netgear WNR1000
  • Netgear WNR2000
  • QNAP TS251
  • QNAP TS439 Pro
  • Other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software
  • TP-Link R600VPN
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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