How It Works
After you've purchased FoxyProxy VPN/Proxy Service, purchase a wifi router from FlashRouters. After checkout, you'll be prompted to provide your FoxyProxy username, password, and server. FlashRouters configures your new router with your FoxyProxy account, then mails the router to you. Then, all you do is plug it in and choose a wifi network name. With zero setup, all devices that use that wifi connection are now "FoxyProxy-ified."
What is Flashing?
All devices sold by FlashRouters are flashed with new software. When you buy a device, whether it be a wifi router or say a new TV, that device has factory-installed software ("firmware") running on it. To switch to a TV for a moment, that TV software does things like display the on-screen menus, switches the channels, allows you adjust volume, color, contrast, etc. It decodes the TV signal coming from the cable company into video and meta-data (names/descriptions of programs, etc). That's just the tip of the iceberg. It does a lot of stuff. All of that software ("firmware") was written by Samsung or whoever made your TV, and installed into the TV circuitry at the factory.
But there's no reason that software can't be replaced with something else, something custom. Replacing that software is calling "flashing". And that is precisely what FlashRouters does. They buy off-the-shelf wifi routers, then "flash" them with 1 of 2 open-source alternatives: Tomato Shibby or DD-WRT.
Why Should I Flash?
Why replace the manufacturer's firmware with Tomato or DD-WRT? A few reasons:
- Manufacturer firmware is usually just powerful enough to let you do simple things. Tomato and DD-WRT are much more feature-packed, and support things like like VPN (some manufacturer's firmware might also support VPN).
- DD-WRT and Tomato are open-source. So you know exactly what they're doing. Thousands of eyes have written and reviewed the software, unlike the proprietary software that comes with wifi routers. There have been many cases of governments (US, China) planting back-doors into router, networking, and PC firmware. In some cases, the company may be cooperating with its government, but in other cases the government physically intercepts and tampers with networking devices before that device makes it to the customer. Here are some examples:
Open-source software is not going to suffer from these problems, generally, since you can verify exactly what is running on your device.
- Modifying a router to use DD-WRT lifts restrictions built in to the default firmware, providing advanced capabilities to make your Internet and Home Network more controllable and versatile.
- Manufacturers develop routers for non-technical users in mind, making them simple and easy to use while limiting their effectiveness as a web-access gateway. DD-WRT transforms a personal-class router with limited functionality into a powerful, multi-use, business-class router. With DD-WRT, a router's enterprise potential can be unlocked at a home user's price.
- Benefits range from superior network stability/performance to being able to encrypt your entire network by tunneling all traffic through a VPN connection, as well as the ability to create completely multiple segmented WiFi networks and much, much more.