Router-induced SPAM

By on November 10, 2003

Hardware maker Belkin has sunk to new lows in marketing strategies; a firmware upgrade on its wireless routers adds the ability for the router to grab a random HTTP connection every eight hours and redirect it an ad for Belkin’s parental control option. The Register has an article on it, and there is a Google thread on the subject. Belkin defends itself by saying it is only an “option”, and you can opt out of it easily, but it is on by default. Sleazy.

I haven’t bought a Belkin product for a long time — poor Mac support (on a USB hub of all things) and a smart-aleck tech guy who suggested I switch to a PC instead of working out my problem with the hub. This sort of thing makes me ready to make my boycot permanent.



  1. It strikes me that this is less of a spam issue and more of a fundamentally broken product. A purpose of a router is too, well, route. And this one has a defect. Whether it’s for spam or not isn’t the point — it’s busted.

  2. Too true; a router’s job is to route packets. But the point is that this thing isn’t broken; it’s doing exactly what Belkin has designed it to do. You & I would consider it to be broken, ie… doing something that a router isn’t supposed to do, but I think Belkin wouldn’t see it that way.

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