Firmware is the software embedded in your router. Its firmware helps the router figure out how to carry on different tasks. To update it, you have to flash updated software in the router. We’ll tell you why and how to update router firmware and where to get an update.
You should update the router firmware whenever a new update is available. It’s because the latest update will have better features and might have fixed security issues in the previous version of the firmware. An updated router helps in fixing older router software errors too.
If some problem on the router isn’t fixed even after a reset, the best thing is to update the router firmware.
Normally, if you are downloading the router update from the web, it shows a list of improvements related to the firmware. You can check the improvements listed and then decide whether to update the router firmware.
The best thing to do is to keep on checking for updates at regular intervals. If there is a later version, use it for better functioning of the router. Let’s see how to update router firmware in the next section of this article.
How to update Router Firmware
Some routers, like Google and Binatone, update themselves when an update is available. For other routers, you will have to access the router web page to flash the firmware.
To access the router, you need an active internet connection and a computer. Since you will be flashing the router ROM to update router firmware, we’d suggest you use an Ethernet connection so that the procedure becomes easier, faster and safer.
If Ethernet cable is not possible, you can use your Wi-Fi. Just make sure that your computer and router are on the same Wi-Fi. It is possible to run a flash on Wi-Fi, but the time taken will be longer as compared to Ethernet connections. It is just so that the internet connection doesn’t drop while you are still updating the router firmware.
How to access your routers’ web interface
We’ll use the web interface to update the router. Follow these steps
- Open your Internet browser
- Type 192.168.1.1 in the address bar; it will open the router login page; in case 192.168.1.1 does not direct you to the router login page, check with your router support manual for links like “routerlogin.net” etc. In some cases, the information is provided by way of a sticker on the back or bottom side of your router
- There are default values for login in all routers. You need to find the username and password to log into the router; use the following combinations and see which one works for you:
- Username admin; Password password (the characters should be the lower case always)
- Username admin; Password admin
- Username password; Password password
- Username admin; password 1234
- Username admin; password 0000
If none of the above helps you login, reset the router and try again. There will be a reset button on your router. It can also be in a small hole near the power switch of the router.
Insert a pin to access the reset button (in case of a hole). Press the reset button for five to 10 seconds so that the router configuration is set to defaults. Try the above values for username and password after resetting the router.
Caution: Resetting the router will set all values to default. Proceed only if you know how to configure the router.
Where to download the firmware update file
The model number of your router would be printed on the router. It could be printed directly on the router’s body or in the stickers on the backside and bottom side. Make a note of it.
Assuming that your Internet browser is open, go to the website of the router manufacturer. For example, if it is NetGear, type https://www.netgear.com. From there, go to the Support part of the website by clicking the relevant menu tab. In most cases, it is simply named “SUPPORT”.
In the support page of the router, there must be a search bar. Type the router model number and press enter to receive information related to your router. The same page should have a Downloads section. Check out the latest router version and download it to a secure place on your computer.
- ASUS router users visit router.asus.com.
- Linksys router users go here.
- ARRIS router users go here at arris.com/support/softwarefirmware.
- NetGear router users go here.
- TP-Link router users go here.
- D-Link router users go here.
Flashing to update router firmware
Once you have downloaded the firmware update file, go to the browser tab containing router login.
Check for the option that says Upgrade, Admin, or Firmware. It can have another name on the menu, but when you click it, it shows a page asking you to “BROWSE TO FILE” with a text box and a button saying “UPDATE”.
Click on “BROWSE”. When the dialog box to open file comes up, navigate to the place where you saved the updated firmware file, select it, and click on “OPEN” and then on “UPGRADE” button.
It will take some time to update router firmware, depending upon the type of connection between the router and your computer.
Once the update is finished, the router reboots so that you can have a better network experience.
Read next: How to update BIOS on Windows 10 computer.