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I'd like to connect a pc directly to a dsl modem. I know that routers can be hacked and e.g. DNS requests can be redirected. But what can be done to hack a modem (without a router!) and what can I do to prevent these attacks? I also read (though without any references) that a router provides more security compared to a modem because of NATing. Are there any more security benefits of a router? And does this outweigh the additional attack surface from the router firmware? If I go without a router do I need to invest more in the security of the directly attached computer instead?

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    There is a lot of material on this exact topic on the Internet. Have you done any reading or research? As it stands, answers will simply point you to external resources.
    – schroeder
    Oct 17, 2015 at 14:48

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Believe it or not the modem isn't usually the attack vector because they often need physical access to be hacked. A wireless router is usually the attack vector because it opens itself up. If you're going to be the safest you can, you'd get a router(either wireless or wired) and put it between you and the computer. These extra jump steps make it harder for people t find your computer without knowing the exact configuration and often make you safer. To make it the safest you can get though I'd suggest a firewalled router, and if it is wireless and you don't need the wireless, turning off wireless. This is usually the best practice to protect a single wired connection in a residential environment.

Of course you could also go the extra mile and set up your own PF-sense box and just connect to that from your modem to your computer. But at that point you're literally building a router.

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