Router Freedom: regaining sovereignty over your digital equipment

The right of choosing your own modem and router is a basic precondition for a neutral, safe and healthy digital environment. If you cannot control your router, it is not free and your digital freedom is likely to be compromised. For years, the FSFE has been successfully fighting for Router Freedom in Germany. Now the debate has reached the European level with Internet Service Providers imposing their specific routers to customers. The FSFE has prepared an activity package for people and organisations interested in advocating for their freedom of choice.

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If I understand correctly, the issue lies on the boundaries of NTP, and those should have been defined in the Directive 2015/2120 transposition for each of the member states.

Am I correct? If so, wouldn’t it be useful to have on that country table a link (or a name) to the national law doing the transposition?

I have switched ISP some time ago, and my present provider is Scarlet, delivering internet connection, TV, mobile and (landline) telephone.
They force us to use a modem/router from Proximus (ex Belgacom).
I was with Proximus before that, but had to replace the modem/router anyway, although it was
also from Proximus.
The problem is that on the new one I could not succeed in modifying the general internal
network IP address (mine used to be, and got stuck with
As a result, having several wifi routers and a dozen machines connected I spend a couple of
days resetting all de allowed IP addresses in those routers because I couple them to a
fixed IP address, and restrict wifi accees not only by password but also by Mac address.
On top of this, they expected me to send back the old router, which I refused.

I would like to test attaching my own modem router to the incoming Internet cable,
but I have no experience with that. Is any modem/router an option or do I need a type
that can be set up on a low level or so ?
Yvo Brasseur.

Have you asked your ISP if they can put the modem to bridging mode? If yes then I would forget about trying to fight with the ISP device and simply put it to bridging mode and build your own network after that.

Routers are produced at the lowest costs without long-term support: If there are any security flaws, bugs, or new security enhancing technologies, they are not/slowly fixed/supported. Because routers should be as cheap as possible, ISPs do not focus on security interests. Long-term maintenance is expensive, adding new technologies to the firmware as well.

Competition is a good argument but security is much more difficult to argue. Should this say “ISP routers are produced…”? If all routers are produced at lowest cost then how does being able to choose the router help? Should we also try to recommend some good router models? Most people have no way of assessing the security of a router. Here in Finland it seems that it is exactly the ISP routers that get constant software updates and the routers that people have bought themselves are never updated or never even receive any updates from the vendor.

Thanks for the tip… I’ll check this out.