Yes, Your home network can get a virus. The following are the two ways by which your home network can be infected with virus and other malware.
Home network virus infection by user
A user on the home network accessing the internet without any secure software has high probability of getting infected. Once infected , it can infect all the other users on the network including IOT and smart devices.
Home network virus infection by IOT devices
The second way by which home networks are infected is by IOT / smart devices. The devices are connected to the internet and in the event of insecure version of the device OS, all devices and systems on the network is vulnerable and can be exploited.
How to prevent home network from virus infection
The best option is to setup firewall on your home router. If your router does not have a firewall, plan to upgrade your home router which has a firewall. By having a firewall on your router , all malicious traffic is blocked at the router.
So irrespetcive of whether it is a user accessing the internet or a smart home device, all traffic is filtered before it reaches the devices.
Wireless router with firewall recommendation
The following are two routers which are recommended for your home network with inbuilt firewall. The routers are from the leading networking vendors ASUS and TPLINK.
ASUS RT-AX86U Pro (AX5700) Dual Band WiFi 6 Extendable Gaming Router is a good choice for a router which has inbuilt firewall features in it.
The router comes with inbuilt commercial-grade Security. AiProtection Pro , which is a trend micro product.
This security feature protects your home network and assocaited devices and systems from virus and other malware. In addition , the router has instant guard feature which provides a one click sharable secure vpn.
The router comes with TP-Link HomeShield which is the premium security services that provides protection for your home network and the IOT / smart devices in it.
1. My router has NAT feature. Will this also work as a firewall.
No. It will not. The functionality of NAT and firewall is different. The main goal of NAT is to share the internet connection with mulitple users on the network. It does not provide any security.
2. The computers and other mobile devices on my home network has security software inbuilt. In this scenario, is a router with firewall needed.
A security feature will protect the associated devices. But , the security of IOT / smart devices on the network, is dependent on how secure the OS of the device is.
If it it not properly updated these devices can still be vulnerable and exploited.
3. Do you have to pay for the firewall router
The firewall is an additional service which is provided by the vendors. Typically it is free for the first year, and chargeable from the second year.