How Do I Update Router Firmware

Coby McKinley Profile image

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Updated August 8, 2022

If you’re shopping for the best router, then you need to know how to update the firmware on a router. While you’ve probably run a firmware upgrade on your mobile device, few people perform the update process on their router. And, when the firmware isn’t updated, the WiFi router can keep turning off without warning.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • You need to periodically update the firmware on your router to keep it secure and in peak condition.
  • You can log into your router with the device’s IP address and the admin password included in the router’s user documentation.
  • Most manufacturers require you to download updated firmware from their website, but you can find firmware updates from other sources.

While some models offer automatic updates, most router settings require manual software updates. Alternatively, if you want to know how to check which devices are connected to a WiFi router, that’s another guide entirely. So, if you’re wondering how do I update router firmware, read this guide.

While you may think a router firmware update is optional, the upgrade process is critical to keep your software compliant with the latest Wi-Fi standards. In addition, old firmware programs leave your networking software at risk of harmful computer code. Luckily, you can minimize security threats and keep your router efficient with the firmware update process. You can follow similar steps if your Wi-Fi booster isn’t working.

Insider Tip

If you cannot find your router login information, check the user documentation that came with your unit.

So, read on to get your router on the correct firmware version. That said, if updating your router firmware file doesn’t fix your issues, you should see if you need a new router.

How to Install Firmware on a Router

STEP 1 Plug Your Computer into the Router

We recommend using an ethernet cable to get the best connection. That said, with some products, like Belkin products and software, you can still connect via Wi-Fi.

STEP 2Download the Software Data Files

Go to your router manufacturer’s website and download the correct firmware for your hardware version. If it isn’t on the router maker’s website, you can look elsewhere. That said, scan the file for malicious programs before installing.

STEP 3 Log Into Your Router

You can log into your router by entering the router’s IP address into your web browser’s address bar. If you’re unsure of your router’s default login, you can find it in the user documentation that came with your router’s packaging.

STEP 4 Find the Firmware File

Once inside your router’s settings, look for the Update Software button. Most routers will ask you to load the eligible software to update your firmware.

STEP 5Finish the Upgrade Process

Some models require you to place the firmware’s zip file on a USB stick and insert it into your router’s USB port to transfer the files. Follow the steps on your router software and approve any privacy policy updates.

STEP 6 Reset the Router

Most routers will reset automatically, but you may need to press the reset button to finalize the update process.

Warning

Do not leave your router on the original firmware if you value your data security. Old firmware is vulnerable to software viruses that can cripple your network.

F.A.Q.S

Why should I upgrade router firmware?

Routers on previous versions are vulnerable to hacks and security breaches. In addition, some subsequent versions allow your router to access increased speeds.


Do routers automatically update firmware?

Most modern routers have automatic firmware updates, but most require smart app connectivity to make it work. If you have a router older than two years old, you won’t have an auto-update setting to install the firmware update file.


Where can I download router firmware?

While you can find the original firmware update file from many sources, your router’s manufacturer’s website is the best place to look. The manufacturer will have the most up-to-date software programs for your network.



STAT: According to a 2018 US Census Bureau survey, 78% of American households have a desktop or laptop computer. (source)

Coby McKinley Profile image