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I have a router provided by my ISP physically connected to the internet access point. It has basic security (WPA2-PSK) and broadcasts its SSID.

I have a second router bridged wirelessly to the first to access the internet. It has hidden SSIDs, MAC filtering (as well as WPA2-PSK) and the latest firmware. One of the allowed MACs is that of the ISP host router. It has the ability to configure firewall rules but I don't know what rules (if any) I would need to configure.

Is the ISP host router considered the weak link? If I connect to the bridged router in order to access the internet will I benefit from this extra security?

I am trying to mitigate wireless attacks and internet attacks. I was considering attaching a NAS (with no sensitive data) to this router. The basic router cannot use MAC filtering.

  • what do you want to defend against? – schroeder Nov 25 '15 at 21:16
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    I think there are a few incorrect assumptions in your setup. The first being hidden SSIDs are more secure than broadcasted SSIDs (See blogs.technet.com/b/networking/archive/2008/02/08/…). The second being that MAC filtering trumps WPA2-PSK (or maybe I'm assuming you're not using WPA2-PSK). MAC filtering is pretty trivial to bypass if you know what you're doing. Also, as @schroeder said, what are you trying to defend against? Wireless attacks? Internet attacks? ISP snooping? etc. – Nadeem Douba Nov 26 '15 at 3:12
  • @Nadeem Douba - I am curious as to how you you stop ISP snooping. Assuming you were using Tor or a VPN client of sorts, the weak link is the exit node. – Motivated Nov 26 '15 at 7:52
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    @Motivated if you're using the ISP's modem/router as the gateway for your internal network then the ISP can remotely access your internal network. One way of circumventing that is by placing a router/firewall between the ISP's modem/gateway and the internal lan which restricts traffic. My comment was more in terms of self-defence. Not anonymization. – Nadeem Douba Dec 3 '15 at 16:52
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    @Motivated the best thing you can do is block all inbound traffic originating from the internet/ISP modem and only allow outbound traffic from your LAN. If you need to host a server then you will have to setup a DMZ and properly isolate the server from the rest of the network. Furthermore, I'd restrict outbound traffic to ports 80, 443, and 53. – Nadeem Douba Dec 16 '15 at 21:57

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