How to Update Router’s Firmware: Easy step-by-step guide

Imagine your router getting viruses/ malware or your internet slowing down to the point of sheer frustration. This can happen if your router’s firmware is not updated. Therefore, lets delve into the steps we can follow to update your router’s firmware no matter the model.

Some routers offer automatic updates for their models. For some other routers, you have to conduct a manual firmware update.

When it comes to updating the router’s firmware, most people find this process hard and confusing.

Fortunately, we have created an easy step-by-step guide on how you can update your router’s firmware in no time at all. All you need is a computer or laptop, Internet access, and access to your router manufacturer’s website.

Steps for updating the router’s firmware

Let’s start with checking if there is an updated version of your current device’s firmware available online or not. This will mean logging into your router manufacturer’s website and searching for your router model. Once you see it you will be able to see if there is an update or not.

If there is an update available, proceed further with updating the router using these below-mentioned steps:

Step 1: Type your router’s IP address on your computer’s web browser search bar.

The process will work for any browser that you use on your desktop or laptop. You can find the IP address for your router typed at the back of the router. If not available, you can check it from your manufacturer’s website.

Type the default router IP address on the address bar as shown below. The default router IP address may vary from one router model to another. Therefore, it is good to check the IP address of your router.

Typing the IP address on your browser to update the router's firmware

If possible, for the update, connect your computer to the router via an Ethernet cable. This ensures reliability and also ease in the connection between the router and the computer.

Step 2: Enter your username and password

Once you press enter after typing your router’s IP address on the address bar, the following will appear on your browser. You may get a warning that your connection is not private. In this case, For you to access the login page for your router, you can click Proceed or Advanced > Proceed.

After entering the IP address, this interface appears on your web browser. Click on proceed (unsafe) to access your web user interface login page as you prepare to update your router's firmware

Thereafter, you will get the login page to your web user interface. On the login page, enter the username and password as typed on the back of your router. This will work if it is the first time you are logging in to the admin page or if you did not change the login details the first time you logged in.

If you changed the router’s password (admin login details), then ensure you type in the correct details. However, if you can’t remember the login details, you can reset the router for you to use the default login details.

This process will lead you to the router’s web interface. You can conduct a lot of activities here. This includes changing the Wi-Fi password, updating the firmware, prioritizing the devices, setting parental controls among others.

Router's firmware update: Enter the username and password for you to access the web user interface (admin page) of your router

Step 3: On the admin page locate the Firmware or Update section.

Once you login into the router’s web user interface, you need to locate the “firmware” or “firmware update” or “update” section. The location may be different from one router model to another.

You will find this on the “advanced”,  “Administration“, or “Management” section for most routers including Netgear routers, or the settings for others.

Netgear router's firmware update

You may not see this section for some routers if the update are done automatically. If not, kindly check with your manufacturer the update steps that applies.

Step 4: Get access to your router manufacturer’s website.

To get the update, you need to access the manufacturer’s website. Thereafter, check for your model from the list provided. Then, check if there are firmware update files available.

If your router is up to date, then there will be no need to proceed to the next steps. However, if your router’s firmware is not the current version, then you need to proceed.

Finally, ensure that you are checking the updates for the exact model that you have. This will ensure that you don’t download updates for a different model.

Step 5: Download the router’s firmware update file.

Get the file from the manufacturer that you will update your router with. You can do this by downloading the “.Zip” file labeled Version XXX update. The .Zip file is a compressed folder that contains more than one file.

This folder will automatically be saved on your downloads. Therefore, for the next step, you might need to access the downloads folder on your computer or access the .Zip folder if you can see it.

Step 6: Extract the file and save it on your preferred folder

Once you open the .Zip folder, extract the update file and save it in a folder you can easily access. You can save the folder on your desktop for ease of access.

The process of extaction is easy. You can click on the folder and an extract button appears on top of the folder as shown below:

Extracting the .Zip file for Router's firmware update

You can also right-click on the folder, where options will appear including extract. Then you can use that to extract the files from the compressed folder.

Step 7: On your router’s admin page Update section, select Choose File or Browse.

Once you have saved the update file on your preferred folder, go back to the router’s admin page. On the page, select “Choose file” or “browse”. This will open a dialogue box that you can use to select the folder where you saved the update file then the file.

Step 8: Select the router update file saved on your preferred folder

Pick either the image file or the largest file among the files extracted. This is because the update file is either developed in those two styles. Once you select the file, click on “Upload”.

Step 9: Start the upgrade process

You can start the upgrade process if it does not happen automatically. Some routers will start the upgrade process once you upload the file. For others, you might have to manually click on the “Upgrade” or “Start” button on your web user interface.

It is important to let the router finish making the installation. This is because if you interrupt the process, you may render the router unusable. Interrupting the update may also cause irreversible damage to the router.

The whole update process will take a few minutes to complete.

Step 10: Reboot the router once the firmware has been fully applied

Most of the routers will automatically reboot once the process is complete. However, if your router does not reboot automatically, you can restart the router manually. This can either be done by using the web user interface, switching off the power, or using the power off/on Button on the router if available.

Kindly note that rebooting the router is different from resetting the router. Do not press the reset button after the router firmware update!

Why should you keep the router firmware updated?

There are several reasons to update the router. Updating the router firmware is a simple way to keep out malware and also enhance the router’s performance. The following are the main reasons to update the router:

Updating a router can help a router work better. Moreover, an update can repair an annoying bug in addition to adding support for improved internet speeds.

Furthermore, updating your router’s firmware can increase your network’s reliability. This is because it gives you a software that has been tested for better performance.

Is it safe to update router firmware?

Yes, it is safe to update the router’s firmware. Even though manufacturers recommend updating the router’s firmware when you start experiencing challenges with your connection, as Technonology Reviewer, we recommend having the router running on the most updated version of the firmware. This is for the reasons above.

Will updating router firmware increase speed?

Updating your router may increase the router’s speed. This is because the previous version may be lacking in some components or infected by malware that affects the internet speed.

The update ensures better security and smooth running of the router thus impacting internet speeds. You may experience a better performance because of the performance enhancement that each update contains.

How do I know if my router needs a firmware update?

You will know if your router needs a firmware update if there is a performance concern or if there are updates available. To know if there are updates available, you will need to check the version that your current router is running on and then loggin onto your manufacturer’s website and checking if there is a later version.

Conclusion

Most of us don’t know how to update our routers’ firmware. This can be problematic because if your router gets attacked by malicious software or you buy an infected version of the device, you could end up with problems on your hands that are difficult to fix.

Following the steps above, you will be able to easily update your router’s firmware. The steps are applicable for all types of routers including Netgear, Linksys, TP-Link, Asus, D-Link among others.

If you are not able to update the router’s firmware and the router does not have automatic updates, then it is time to consider getting a new router.

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  2. […] your router does not allow for automatic updates, you can update the router’s firmware manually as described […]

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