Can a router get a virus?

With (Thanks to Avast Academy)

Short answer; yes. You probably guessed that since somebody went through the trouble to write n article about it. A router can indeed be infected by a virus, and it can be a menace. Router malware can change your settings, redirect you to unsafe corners of the internet, and infect your entire network. We’re going to talk about how to scan your router to remove viruses, and how using free antivirus software can help you avoid router malware to begin with.

How can a router get a virus?

It can happen if alware gets through the router’s login to modify settings, or if it bypasses the router’s firmware to modify software. Vulnerabilities and unsafe practices — like having outdated firmware or using poor passwords — make routers more vulnerable to malware.

And, after bypassing the router login or firmware, cybercriminals can take over your network with a range of techniques. For example, they can change the DNS (Domain Name System) settings. Once this happens, a virus can make a legitimate site’s name appear in your address bar — meanwhile, you’ve been sent to a spoofed site.

Another technique is phishing. This is when hackers lure your private details by pretending to be someone you trust in emails, texts, or social media posts. After clicking on an infected link (in a fake email or message), the virus or router malware can then attempt to replicate itself on any wireless router it’s connected to.

Trojan Attacks

There’s also trojan attacks, which trick you into downloading malware hiding a virus that then compromises your phone, tablet, or computer. A router virus can ride inside a trojan, waiting to sniff out vulnerable public or home WiFi networks to infect.

Another is SSL-Stripping attacks, which many people have not herd of. This is when a router virus strips a website of it’s SSL certificates. These are digital certificates that verify a website’s identity. Router viruses can change a website from providing a secure connection (HTTPS) to an unsecured connection (HTTP) without you noticing a thing.

Router viruses are a popular method for attackers precisely because most people don’t think a router can get a virus.

Can a WiFi router get a virus?

Sure can. WiFi routers are a bridge from your computer or phone to the internet. They’re lucrative targets for cybercriminals. Malware on a router can spread to any device connected to the router.

For example, if your phone, tablet, or computer is infected by a virus, the virus can spread past your router’s login screen. From there it can modify the router settings to redirect anyone on the network to servers under the virus creator’s control.

Or, a WiFi router virus can park itself on your router and collect files or data from any device that connects to it — and then run commands on those devices. public WiFi routers are big targets since they offer a wide net of potential victims. Whether you own a home or public WiFi router, turn on wifi encryption in your router settings. It’ll provide an extra line of defense.

Also make sure your router has the latest firmware installed to shore up any vulnerabilities. You’ll also want to do a WiFi virus check with the best free antivirus software you can find.

Can a modem get a virus?

Of course. But at least they’re more secure than WiFi routers. Your router connects you to any device on your Local Area Network. But your modem connects your LAN to the internet at large. Modems can get viruses directly through the internet, from a connected device, or by manual manipulation.

Modem malware begins the same way as router malware — it comes into contact with an infected source and becomes infected itself. Though modems are generally stronger than routers or local devices, modem virus infection is on the rise.

Modems have become more complicated over the years — and more vulnerable. Many modern modems offer embedded routers, WiFi access points, telephone adapters, and other points of attack for viruses and malware.

A modem is enticing for hackers because it’s an entry point to a huge number of potential victims. Modems filter all the information you access on your internet, so potentially dangerous traffic will eventually pass through. Use a virus scanner and remover to make sure your devices stay clean.

Check your router for malware

Is your router infected? There are common router virus symptoms you can check for. Then check your router with a dedicated malware scanner.

Malware on a router can go undetected for months if the effects are subtle or attributed to other causes such as a hard drive failing. Check your router for malware attacks every so often, or use antivirus software that can automatically scan your router for malware.


Crashing apps or programs, slow or spotty internet connection, passwords that don’t work, slow computer, fake virus messages or pop-ups and strange browser toolbars are just a few. Some others are redirected internet searches, unfamiliar programs, and missing lock icons in the URL field.

Perform a router virus scan

Lastly, you can use a router checker tool to scan for malware. If the router check finds malware, you can usually quarantine or remove it from your system. Some nasty bugs need stronger tools to remove them.

A good virus removal tool can watch for viruses in real-time and warn you if one comes sniffing around. Avast has a good free one. And new threats constantly emerge, so scan your router for malware periodically.

How to remove a virus from a router

First, you need to reboot your router. Then, try updating your firmware by going to the manufacturer’s website and downloading and installing the latest firmware for your router. If all else fails, you can perform a factory reset. This should wipe out any router viruses.

After updating your firmware or resetting your router, update your router password and get real-time antivirus software to monitor your router for you. That’s the most effective way to remove a virus from a wifi router and keep it out.

Perform a factory reset

Do this by pressing down the reset button on the back of your router with a pin, paper clip, or similar object. For about 30 seconds. Wait for the router to power back on and light up as usual.

Doing a full factory reset wipes all your settings — including passwords, security keys, and forwarded ports — and returns your router to its default factory settings. The current version of your firmware will remain.

After this, you will probably want to update your password and start using antivirus software. This can scan your router for viruses and identify the source of the malware.

And, if you have any questions, please call Corporate Armor at 877-449-0458, or email us with any questions or comments. We have a huge selection of security and networking hardware and software, and 5-star service to go along with it. Thanks for reading!

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