Yes is the most straightforward response. It is, however, a little more complicated than that. It’s the same as asking, “Can automobiles go 250 mph?” The most straightforward response is -YES. Some cars can reach speeds of 250 mph, but not all of them can and not in all circumstances. The same is true here.
Some routers with sufficient memory storage are pre-configured to track and log all user activity, while others merely serve as an internet access point and do not store logs.
At the very least, not longer than the previous 24 hours. Finally, there are several models in between that can track and report user activity but require setup and configuration.
You’ll need to google the capabilities of the exact router you’re interested in to learn more about it. However, if you’re curious about how it works, what is logged, who has access to those records, and how to protect your privacy, read on.
What are their methods?
Wi-Fi routers, as previously noted, have memory storage capability to preserve logs of online user actions. When you connect to the network, your device gives its unique ID – MAC address – and the router responds with an IP address for that session.
Assume the router has built-in tracking capabilities that are turned on. In that instance, that is pretty much all the data it need to distinguish users and follow their activities on a per-user basis.
Routers serve as a hub for all traffic entering and exiting the network. As a result, the router processes every request for an internet page, photo, or video.
What do they monitor?
The particular answer is also dependent on the brand and type of the computer as well as how you access the internet. Even if you don’t use specialised browsers or VPN software, a router can log pretty much everything if you’re an ordinary user.
- When you first connected to the internet, how long you were online, and when you went offline are all recorded.
- What websites did you visit, which pages did you open, and how long did you spend on each page?
- All of the photographs, movies, and other multimedia you’ve viewed.
Keep in mind, though, that routers track gadgets rather than people. As a result, if you share a computer with someone else, the router will have no idea who used it.
What device was online at the moment, and what data did that device receive? Additionally, websites with SSL certificates will provide less information to the router. These are the websites that begin with https://. They will record your visit, but owing to the encryption, they will not be able to track the contents of the pages.
Who has access to the logs of the router?
The logs are accessible to anyone with administrator credentials. If it’s a home network, the person in charge is usually the household’s owner. Some people prefer not to be bothered, so they hire network administrators who are tech-savvy.
To access the router’s control panel, you’ll need the router’s default IP address and administrator credentials. Everything will be accessible from there if the router has the features required to keep track of the user’s actions and those functions are enabled.
How Can You Protect Your Browsing History From Routers?
You may protect your privacy in a variety of ways, but using incognito mode in your browser is not one of them. The browser’s incognito mode will only prevent the browser from saving the logs on the device you’re using. It will have no effect on the router’s ability to keep track.
VPN software and specialist browsers with built-in VPN functionality are two of the most popular secret browsing solutions.
The term VPN refers to a virtual private network. You may look up all the details and advantages of utilising a VPN when you’re online on the internet, but in this case, all it provides is privacy.
When you go online, the data you send and receive from the internet is usually not secured, and the router can record everything. Using a VPN, on the other hand, establishes a secure connection between your computer and the device on the other end.
In this instance, the router will merely record the fact that you are connected to the VPN server. Everything will be encrypted, making the router invisible.
Using the TOR browser is another less widespread means of keeping your personal information private. All data is encrypted and routed through the TOR network, rendering it untraceable. Keep in mind, though, that the TOR infrastructure isn’t as advanced as the public internet, so you won’t be able to browse as quickly as you would with other browsers or VPN software.
The most straightforward response to whether the Wi-Fi router collects internet history is — it’s feasible.
Wireless routers may incorporate memory storage and facilities for tracking internet activities for specific users, depending on the manufacturer and type. The router can log a lot of information about your online activities if the features are supported and enabled.
These logs contain information such as the exact moment you connected and disconnected, the websites you visited, the pages you opened, the length of time you spent there, and, in some situations, the precise text of the page. The individual with administrative credentials can access those bits of data using the router’s control panel.
Use VPN software or an internet browser with a built-in VPN capability to protect your privacy. Between you and the VPN server, an encrypted connection is established.
In this instance, the router’s memory will only contain the information that you connected to the VPN server. You can also utilise the TOR browser and network, but be aware that the TOR network is not as developed as the internet, so expect to lose some functionality and speed.