Can a DDoS attack fry a router?(A comprehensive review)

This blog post will answer the question, Can DDoS attack fry a router? It will also cover what DDoS attacks are and how a router can be DDoSed. It outlines how a DDoS attack can affect routers and how to detect if your router is under an attack. It also discusses the methods to keep your routers safe from such an attack.

Can a DDoS attack fry your router?

Yes, a DDoS attack can fry your router. A hacker could perform a DDoS attack on your WiFi router and overwhelm the router’s maximum bandwidth capacity, eventually resulting in its overheating, which is colloquially referred to as “fry”. Routers are an attractive target for two reasons, once compromised they can act as a target for DDoS attack or be used as a bot to launch an attack.

The most significant reason that routers are being targeted very frequently is because they are a lot easier to compromise than other sophisticated devices. 

Most of the  internet-connected households use a wifi router for their smart devices. They’re a necessity of this digital era, and usually provided as a basic part of most internet packages.

A DDoS attack on a router can be devastating considering the kind of damage it can cause to your router. Typically a DDoS attack can exhaust your router’s resources. Additionally it can damage the router’s ability to make new connections. It also overheats the router and renders it inoperable.

A simple DDoS attack means that you’ll not be able to connect to the internet until it stops and your router is reset.  

When your router is under a DDoS attack, no other devices will be able to connect to it because the router is overwhelmed with malicious connection requests causing a denial-of-service to the legitimate users.

It is very hard to distinguish illegitimate traffic requests from legitimate, which allows the hackers to flood the router with colossal amounts of traffic, ultimately forcing the router to accept all connection requests until its maximum capacity exceeds, resulting in overheating.  

Now the question arises, How can a hacker perform a DDoS attack on your router? The answer is very simple. 

Many routers, especially the ones with an outdated firmware, contain some kind of vulnerability that cyber criminals use to exploit. This will result in either the malfunctioning of the router, or it can also be used as a device to launch an attack.

Wireless routers, when exploited by some sophisticated malware, can play a  part of zombies in botnets that are used by cybercriminals to perform distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Router is a  network device or a hub which directly handles the internet traffic of a local area network, these routers are very well suited to be the vulnerable opening that gives hackers the access to the devices connected to the router,  for a DDoS attack which can overwhelm the target server with requests. 

If a cyber criminal gets hold of the IP address of your router, he can easily flood the router by sending unwanted connection requests to it. The router, with the inability to distinguish fake traffic and legitimate traffic, will accept all the traffic that is incoming until it reaches its maximum capacity. 

During this process, the processing unit of your router works very hard to accommodate all the requests that are made, eventually overheating itself. 

Since routers facilitate the internet connections to all the devices present, they are considered as the vulnerable openings that can be used to compromise all the devices connected to that specific router. 

In general, whenever a router receives a sudden influx of traffic, It will use buffer control mechanisms to buffer the incoming data. It also uses a flow control mechanism in an attempt to stop repeated inflow of traffic.

The router will keep doing this to its maximum capacity, until the traffic abides and or until its processing unit crashes. So when there is an  overloaded router whose memory and other resources have been depleted, it will temporarily buffer/process an incoming packet, and it will likely simply ignore it.

The hardest part about a DDoS attack is that there are no warnings and you won’t be able to detect it until it’s too late. A router usually doesn’t overheat unless it is receiving a monstruos inflow of traffic. 

So now we need to know how to detect such an attack and the methods that can be used to mitigate these attacks. Detecting a DDoS attack and mitigating such an attack are very important to limit the damage that your router or local area network can potentially have.

How to Detect a DDoS attack on your router?

There are several simple steps to identify if your router is under a DDoS attack.

Firstly you can monitor your router’s logs. Monitoring the logs will give you an idea about the type of incoming traffic and the source that it is coming from. If you detect too much similar type of traffic from a single IP address that can be an indication of a DDoS attack. 

Tracking your network activity carefully will enable you to recognize if anything is amiss. This will help you identify traffic spikes and if a DDoS attack might be occurring.

Using the firewall logs can be helpful in monitoring the TCP connections that are made and detecting repetitive connection requests.

How to prevent your router from DDoS attack?

Using a VPN service is one of the important methods to be safe from a DDoS attack because, a cyber criminal cannot perform a DDoS attack if he doesn’t know your IP address. 

A virtual private network has the ability to hide your IP address by routing all your internet traffic through the internet provider’s network. Any hacker who’s trying to find your IP address would only find the address of the VPN servers. Data Traffic from a DDoS attack will be rerouted to the VPN’s servers first, where they can filter the packets before they hit your home network.

Using a firewall is the next method. A firewall is a good first line of defense against a DDoS attack. It prevents cybercriminals from trying to detect your IP address which they can use to launch an attack on your router.

Using an antivirus is a good practice but antivirus software on its own does not have the ability to prevent DDoS attack, but it can definitely stop your device from being a victim of a larger DDoS attack without your knowledge.Always keep your devices upto date.

Unplugging your modem and router is one of the most significant steps to stop a DDoS attack. When you unplug your router, your internet service provider may assign a new IP address.

You can also change your IP using the router’s Admin console. Type the router’s IP address in a web browser (usually and log in as an admin. You should be able to find the appropriate settings to change your IP address under “Network Settings” or something similar. 

Consult your router’s user manual for information on how to access the admin console and change your IP address for your specific router mode. 

These are a few methods to prevent your router from coming under a DDoS attack. Apart from these you must be aware of these attacks and keep your devices updated and secure.


This blog post addressed the question, can DDoS attack fry a router? We understood how a  DDoS attack affects the router and the damage it causes. It outlines how such attacks can be performed on a router. We also talked about the different methods that can be used to detect a DDoS attack. 

The article also discussed in detail about the steps to be taken in order to track and prevent DDoS attacks and increase the security posture of your router and home network. 

Please feel free to raise questions or express your opinions about the article in the comments section below. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can a DDoS attack fry a router?

Can DDoS attacks damage your router?

Yes. Unfortunately a DDoS attack can damage your router. A typical DDoS attack affects the router’s ability to allow new connections from legitimate users. Such an attack makes the router inoperable. A sudden influx of data traffic can damage the processing unit of a router and cause overheating.

Can you DDoS a wifi router?

Yes. A DDoS attack can be performed on a wifi router. Since routers are hubs which directly handle a household’s internet traffic, they are very well suited to be the vulnerable opening that gives hackers the access to the devices connected to the router,  for a DDoS attack which can overwhelm the target server with requests. 

Does restarting your router stop a DDoS?

No. Restarting your router does not stop a DDoS attack. The DDoS will continue on the host it is targeted. Even if you have a new IP address, if you are using a dynamic DNS service and the attack is targeted at your hostname, then you are still the target of the attack. Or if the target is an IP range and your new IP is still within the range, then you will still be a target of the attack. It may take time for the attack to ramp back up, but you will likely experience the issue again soon.

How are DDoS attacks stopped?

  • Add filters to tell your router to drop packets from obvious sources of attack. timeout half-open connections more aggressively. drop spoofed or malformed packages.
  • Rate limit your router 
  • A virtual private network is able to hide your IP address by routing all your internet traffic through the provider’s network. 
  • An attacker trying to detect your IP address would only detect the VPN’s address. Data Traffic from a DDoS attack will be rerouted to the VPN’s servers first, where they can filter the packets before they hit your home network.

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