We are constantly updating our smartphones, tablets, computers, and pretty much any modern piece of technology. What about routers, though? While a vital part of our online communications, this little internet hub is commonly ignored. This article will teach you how to update router firmware and keep your connection strong and healthy.
More: The best Wi-Fi routers
Why do I need to update my router firmware?
Think of it like this: your router is in charge of keeping all your wireless devices connected to the internet. That is a very important job, and while we don’t often pay much attention to it, it’s essential to at least keep an eye on it and update it from time to time.
As with other smart products, router firmware updates usually improve performance. They can also patch security bugs. In the case of more modern routers with smart functionality, firmware updates can even introduce excellent features to enhance your experience altogether.
The process to update router firmware is different with every manufacturer. Generally, you will have to download the firmware from the brand’s website and go into the router’s admin page, using its IP address on a browser. You then have to navigate to the updating page and upload the files. When your device finishes updating, restart it.
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Important: Note that every manufacturer uses a different method for updating the firmware. The process may differ from model to model, even between devices from the same brand. We will give you a general guide to update router firmware on multiple popular router brands, but the process may be slightly different depending on your hardware. Additionally, updating a router often requires entering the management using a browser, which is usually accessed using the router’s IP address. It’s different for every router, so we can’t give you your router’s IP address. It’s usually on a sticker, under the router. Otherwise, Google is your friend.
Amazon Eero devices aren’t your typical routers. These mesh network systems are considered intelligent devices and can be easily managed using the official Eero home Wi-Fi system app. Updating the firmware is a breeze, and it requires just a few taps on the app. And they happen automatically most times, so you often don’t need to do anything.
How to update Amazon Eero routers
- Open the Eero home Wi-Fi system app.
- Hit the Settings tab.
- Go into Software updates.
- You will be notified if there’s an available update. Hit Install now.
Asus is a popular router brand, especially for demanding users like gamers. As such, keeping these routers in tip-top shape with constant firmware updates is imperative. There is an easy way to update Asus routers, but it doesn’t always work. If you’re out of luck, you’ll need to do it manually.
Related: The best gaming routers
How to update Asus routers
- When connected to your router, use a browser to go to http://router.asus.com.
- Log in. By default, the router username and password should be “admin”.
- Go into Administration.
- Click on the Firmware Upgrade tab.
- Hit the Firmware Upgrade button. Let the process run.
How to update Asus routers manually
- Go to https://www.asus.com/Networking-IoT-Servers/WiFi-Routers/All-series/.
- Find your router, go into its page, and select Support.
- Go to Driver & Utility. Then select BIOS & Firmware.
- Download your router’s latest firmware.
- When connected to your router, use a browser to go to http://router.asus.com. Alternatively, you can find your router’s IP address and enter it in the URL box.
- Log in. By default, the router username and password should be “admin”.
- Click on Administration.
- Select Firmware Upgrade.
- You should see your router in one of the boxes. Next to it, select Upload.
- Find the firmware file and select it. Let the process run.
D-Link devices aren’t as simple to update, but the process is still relatively easy.
How to update D-Link routers
- Go to https://support.dlink.com/, find your device, and download the latest firmware.
- Launch your browser and go to http://dlinkrouter.local or enter your router’s IP address.
- Log in. If you haven’t changed your password, leave it blank.
- Hover your cursor over Management and select Upgrade.
- Click on the Check for New Firmware if you want to try and use automatic updates.
- Otherwise, click on Select File in the Upgrade Manually section.
- Select the firmware file and let the upgrade run.
Andrew Grush / Android Authority
Google’s Nest Wi-Fi routers are very similar to Amazon’s Eero products. These smart mesh Wi-Fi systems can be easily managed from an app. In fact, the system is so intelligent that Google will automatically download and install updates overnight. There is no direct way to force an update to Nest Wi-Fi systems. You have to wait for Google to push it out.
Also: The best mesh Wi-Fi systems
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Linksys routers are more traditional regarding updating the firmware.
How to update Linksys routers
- Access your Linksys Server Account. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to use a browser and enter your router’s IP address on the URL box.
- Go into Connectivity.
- Under the Basic tab, find the Firmware Update section.
- Click on Check for Updates.
- If the router finds an available update, you will be notified. Select Click here.
- Select Yes to confirm the installation.
- Select OK when you see the Router Reboot window.
How to update Netgear routers
- Go to https://www.netgear.com/support/. Find your router and download the latest firmware update.
- Unzip the file if it’s compressed.
- Go to https://www.routerlogin.net/.
- Log in. The default username is “admin”, and the password is specified the first time you log in.
- Go to Advanced or Settings.
- Select Administration.
- Select Firmware Update or Router Update.
- Click Choose File or Browse, then locate and select the firmware file that ends in .img or .chk.
- Hit the Upload button.
Here: Should you upgrade to Wi-Fi 6?
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
How to update TP-Link routers
- Go to TP-Link’s Download Center, find your router, and download the latest firmware available.
- The file will be compressed. Unzip it.
- Access the router management page. You can do this by launching a browser and entering your router’s IP address in the URL box.
- Log in. The default username and password are “admin”.
- Click on System Tools-Firmware Upgrade (or Firmware); click on Choose File to find the extracted firmware file, and click open.
- Select Upgrade.
- Let the process run and restart the router.
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The IP address is usually found right under the router, printed on a sticker. Otherwise, you can look for the information in the user guide, or look for the default IP address on your router’s support page. You can also try the most common IP address used for routers, which is 192.168.0.1.
There is usually an option for doing this on the router’s management page. If you can’t access it, you’ll need to perform a hardware reset. This process is different for most devices, but there is usually a reset button you can press for a long time to reset the router.
Yes, but your router needs to support the feature. You can check our list of the best VPN routers for some recommendations.
This highly depends on your model. Higher-end Wi-Fi 6 routers can usually handle well over 50 devices at a time. Lower-end units can usually support about 15-20.