Wondering if Wi-Fi routers have memory? If yes, what information gets stored in the memory and how much memory should they have?
Wi-Fi routers have 64-512 MB (or more) of built-in memory. The different types of memory found in routers are ROM (Read Only Memory), RAM (Random Access Memory), NVRAM (Non-volatile Random Access Memory), and flash RAM. The various types of memory are explained below:
RAM is the working memory of a Wi-Fi router and is used to store cache entries, IP packets buffer, routing tables, etc. It is very fast at retrieving data, however, the data stored in it is lost once you reboot or shut down the router.
ROM is the permanent storage memory of your Wi-Fi router and is used to store the router’s Bootstrap startup program as well as POST (Power on Self-Test) instructions. However, unlike RAM, it does not lose information when the router is powered down.
NVRAM is a very fast type of memory that is capable of storing data even when power to the router is switched off, but, unlike ROM, information stored here can be erased if required. In routers, it is used to store startup configuration files, backup files, and configuration files.
Flash RAM/memory is a special type of memory chip that is capable of being electronically erased and reprogrammed. Normally, it holds the router’s IOS (Internetwork Operating System) and allows you to upgrade the IOS without having to switch chips.
Wi-Fi Routers And Recording History
Wi-Fi routers keep logs of your internet history. Therefore, unless you use a VPN(Virtual Private Network) a Wi-Fi owner can see your browsing history if they have the router’s logging feature enabled. For instance, the Netgear Nighthawk router is able to store up to 256 entries in its activity log.
When using public Wi-Fi, you can protect your data and keep it secure from cyber snoops and external attacks by directing internet traffic through a VPN. Some popular VPNs include express VPN, Nord VPN, and SurfShark.
What Information Is Stored In A Wi-Fi Router
Information stored in a Wi-Fi router’s memory includes its operating system, routing tables, PPPoE credentials, admin passwords, and configuration files. Also, depending on how the router has been programmed, it can also store data that passes through it such as the URLs visited by a user.
How Long Wi-Fi Records Are Kept In A Router
Depending on the vendor and configurations they’ve set, your router can keep logs for a few minutes to several months if the router has enough storage space. Most regular home routers store Wi-Fi records indefinitely (long enough to maintain a given connection or for as long as a certain threshold is not exceeded (size on disk, number of logged messages, etc.))
Amount of Memory Needed By A Router
A home router typically requires 128-256 MB of RAM. However, if you plan to install third-party apps and packages, for example, torrent clients and ad blockers, having at least 512 MB of RAM is ideal.
Upgrading Memory On A Wi-Fi Router
Unlike in computers, memory on a Wi-Fi router is not designed to be easily upgraded. However, it is still possible to upgrade memory on a router provided you find a compatible memory chip and have some soldering skills. The video below shows how memory on a router can be upgraded:
Does The Wi-Fi Router History Reset Every Month?
Wi-Fi history does not automatically reset every month. Depending on the vendor and how they’ve configured their router, Wi-Fi history may be deleted immediately after power is cut off, after a reset, or if a set threshold is exceeded (for example, the number of entries in the activity log or after reaching a certain size on disk).
Unplugging A Router To Delete History
Unless your router has a logging feature and you have it enabled there’s no need to unplug it to delete history because, by default, routers do not log your actual browsing history the same way browsers like Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome do.
In fact, most routers don’t have the storage capacity to store your browsing history but they do record information that can help you troubleshoot network problems. If you are concerned with your router tracking your browsing history, use a VPN.
How To Check Your Router History
To check your router history your router must have a logging feature and have this feature enabled. Logs list all the IP addresses connected to your router and it’s also where internet browsing history is stored. To view the history you must know the target IP address and then look at the destinations or domains visited through that IP address.
Wireless routers have different types of memory that they use to store information/keep logs. The size of memory can range from 64MB to 1GB depending on the manufacturer, price range, and configurations of the router.
Most wireless routers store information indefinitely while others are capable of keeping logs longer depending on the vendor, storage capacity, and how they’ve been configured.
While most routers do not keep browsing history, some routers have a logging feature that can allow the Wi-Fi admin to view the destinations visited by users on the network. Therefore, if online privacy is something you are concerned about directing your traffic through a VPN is a sure way to keep sensitive information safe.