You should learn how to update your router’s firmware and do so occasionally. Your router has a firmware chip on it similar to your computer’s BIOS. It is called firmware because it is a combination of software and hardware and can be updated regularly to improve functionality or fix problems with security or other issues. It is very important to make sure you keep up to date with these upgrades–especially if there is a problem that could affect the security of your LAN. Upgrading is usually done in a couple of ways.
The router’s manufacturer with either ask you to visit their website and download the firmware onto your computer or the router will go out on the Internet itself and get the upgrade. Some routers will even have an option to automatically check and upgrade its firmware on a scheduled basis.
How to Update Your Router’s Firmware – Step 1
Before you begin to learn how to update your router’s firmware, make sure you have the right router Information. It’s often not enough to list the make and model, as some routers will vary in hardware based on versions within that model. Look on the back or bottom for a label that will look similar to this:
You can then visit the manufacturer’s website and download the latest firmware for your router model and version. Next, login to your router. You login by typing the URL of the router into your web browser. This might be something like http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.0.1 . You will need to enter your router’s username and password. If you never supplied a username and password, check the manufacturer’s website for default passwords that might work.
Look through the configuration for the firmware update option. Sometimes this will be located under the Advanced tab (or similar) depending on your router model. You will have one of the options we talked about before–either Browse to the file you downloaded from the manufacturer to your computer. Or tell the router to check for firmware updates itself. Once the firmware is loaded, the router will reboot. No other configuration should be necessary.
How to Update Your Router’s Firmware – Download Firmware
Tomato Firmware – This is a custom firmware that works on many popular routers. It provides a lean interface that makes it easy to confirgure your network. The most popular router for this is a Linksys WRT54G. If you have an old router, maybe give it a try.
If you have questions on how to update your router’s firmware join our forums and ask, or read our other networking articles.