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My ISP's security strikes me as... somewhat alarming to my admittedly non-expert eyes. They store wifi passwords in plaintext on their website and allow changing it there - this is apparently meant to be the only way to change password/network name, too. They provided a router which I assume they want to be administering, as they didn't give me the password... except it was something I could guess in a minute. Their response to my phone starting to bug me about security settings (after a recent wobble where the router supposedly reset to the saved-in-plaintext-on-their-website settings but I couldn't access it with these, to boot) was a plain "eh, ignore it" without explanation, and a claim that I had "the latest security (WPA2)".

However, they're also the only ISP in the area.

What can I mitigate, security-wise, and how, broadly? (Or am I just being paranoid?)
Specifically for the router I've seen an answer about using the ISP-provided router as a bridge to a router of one's own, but I'm not sure how much that will actually remedy - e.g. in terms of being able to use WPA3 on the non-ISP router,... I know there's been a question about that as well, but the details seem different.
I also assume the task of securing the network is not done with just plugging my router into the ISP's (and subsequently leaning back and ignoring the ISP and their issues exist) - what else can/should I do so I don't end up leaving something else wide open?

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    Why not buy your own router and have it sit behind the ISP provided router? That way, even if that one is compromised, your own network is still safe.
    – user163495
    Oct 28, 2021 at 13:15

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Follow the answer you linked to. To complement it for your specific concerns:

Connect your router with a RJ45 cable (an "ethernet" cable) to your ISP router. This way you do not have to worry about the ISP router's wifi and its lack of proper security.

Then you can build a permanent VPN tunnel between your router and a server you rent in another country. That way you secure all your connections through your ISP's network.

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  • Just for clarity - is that the "technically you can plug the new one into the old one without changing anything" portion of that answer, then? Oct 28, 2021 at 13:26
  • @KeyboardCat Yes. I do not think you can install OpenWRT on the ISP router (the option #2). However you might want to do it on your router, if it supports it, to extend its functionalities.
    – A. Hersean
    Oct 28, 2021 at 15:08
  • Ah, I meant more the "plug new into old, don't change settings" part of option #1 vs "set the ISP router as a bridge" - I'm a bit uncertain about my chances of anything that requires the ISP actively cooperating, which I understand the "set the ISP router as a bridge" approach does and the "plug the new into the old" doesn't - did I understand that right? Oct 29, 2021 at 6:01
  • @KeyboardCat If you set your router as a bridge, your router will have direct access to internet, and everything will work fine, but but have to configure the ISP router. If you do not change anything on it, you will be in a "double NAT" configuration and everything should work fine too, but you might be limited in how you configure your VPN. Once a VPN is in place to connect you router directly to an outside router, the few limitations coming from a "double NAT" configuration will be bypassed. To summarize: just put your router behind you ISP's one without configuring your ISP's router.
    – A. Hersean
    Oct 29, 2021 at 8:24

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