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Even if the network password or network name is changed, the PIN remains valid."This is a huge expletive-deleted security problem," Horowitz said.Routers are the essential but unheralded workhorses of modern computer networking, yet few home users realize they are computers, with their own operating systems, software and vulnerabilities.MORE: Best Home Wi-Fi Routers "A compromised router can spy on you," Horowitz said, explaining that a router under an attacker's control can stage a man-in-the-middle attack, alter unencrypted data or send the user to "evil twin" websites masquerading as often-used webmail or online-banking portals.

So a plumber comes over to your house, turns the router over, takes a picture of the bottom of it, and he can now get on your network forever." That eight-digit PIN isn't even really eight digits, Horowitz explained.

Router: How They're Different and What They Do Next, Horowitz recommended that customers buy a low-end commercial-grade Wi-Fi/Ethernet router, such as the Pepwave Surf SOHO, which retails for about 0, rather than a consumer-friendly router that can cost as little as .

Commercial-grade routers are unlikely to have UPn P or WPS enabled.

"Go to /HNAP1/, and, hopefully, you'll get no response back, if that's the only good thing.

Frankly, if you get any response back, I would throw the router out." Worst of all is Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), an ease-of-use feature that lets users bypass the network password and connect devices to a Wi-Fi network simply by entering an eight-digit PIN that's printed on the router itself.

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