How to update your router’s firmware (and why you should be doing it regularly)

woman working near router

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Your router comes with its own embedded firmware to management how the product performs. And just as you really should often update your PC’s functioning technique and other software, so also really should you update your router’s firmware. A firmware update can convey with it new functions and bug fixes, as perfectly as stability patches to guard versus the most recent malware and other hazards.

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Every single manufacturer of router gives its very own exceptional firmware with diverse layouts, configurations, and choices. I am going to go by way of the methods on a Netgear Orbi mesh procedure. But the basic procedure for updating the firmware is the similar no make any difference which item you individual.

Also, lots of routers will automatically update the firmware, primarily to apply a security patch in the function of newly identified malware. Nonetheless, you should even now look at your router periodically to make guaranteed that you’re working the most up-to-date firmware.

How to update your router firmware

First, you can expect to require to indicator into your router’s firmware by coming into its name or IP deal with in a browser. Usually, the IP deal with assigned to your router is Nevertheless, which is not often the scenario, so you could want to double-check out the deal with.

In Windows 10 or 11, simply click the Lookup area or button and type cmd to open up a command prompt. At the prompt, type ipconfig. Seem for the portion for your default adapter — both Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The deal with assigned to Default Gateway is the just one for your router.

The ipconfig screen showing your router's IP address

Test your IP tackle by using ipconfig.

Picture: Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Alternatively, you can find your router’s IP handle specifically in Home windows. In Windows 10, go to Settings > Community & Web > Status and click the website link for Check out components and relationship houses. In Windows 11, go to Settings > Community & net > Sophisticated network settings > Components and connection attributes. Look at the entry for Ethernet or Wi-Fi and glimpse for the IPv4 tackle or IPv4 default gateway to find your router’s IP deal with.

Windows displaying your router's IP address

Obtain you router’s IP tackle in Home windows.

Graphic Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Hearth up your favored browser and form the IP tackle in the tackle industry. You may then be prompted to enter the username and password for your router. With any luck ,, you know the qualifications so that you can get entry. If not, the method is a little bit additional demanding.

If you never ever adjusted the username and password from their default values, you can search on line for the title of your router adopted by the words username and password as in Netgear router username password. The search outcomes should suggest the default identify and password. In any other case, most routers supply a password-recovery attribute that resets the username and password back to the default values.

Soon after logging into your router, glimpse for the location for firmware update and select it. On my Netgear router, the setting was stated underneath Administration.

The firmware update setting

Check out for the firmware update setting.

Image Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

At that level, your router may perhaps automatically examine for any updates, or you may possibly have to click a button to manually verify for them. Possibly way, permit the process to run to see if any updates are waiting for you. If the position indicates that an update is out there, simply click the Update or Utilize button to download and set up it.

The firmware updates screen

Check for firmware updates.

Impression: Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Make it possible for the update to install. In the course of that time, your router will be inaccessible and your connection offline. Immediately after the set up is full, you should see the hottest update listed.

The update ready to install

Graphic: Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Downloading firmware updates by means of the net

A different way to download a new firmware edition is by the web. Most router distributors have a website by way of which you can accessibility downloads, like new firmware. To look at this, you may usually will need the design selection for your router.

Also: How to set up a VPN on your router

Search to the vendor’s site and enter the product amount in the ask for field. Head to the downloads region and simply click the Downloads button to seize the most current firmware. Extract the downloaded file if it can be packaged as a ZIP archive. You must uncover an IMG file or equivalent file in the extracted articles.

Latest firmware on the web

Obtain the latest firmware from the internet.

Impression Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Log into your router’s firmware and go to the Firmware Update portion. Appear for a guide update choice. Click the button to browse to the IMG file or other file and then upload it. Click on the Update button to install the new firmware.

Uploading the new firmware

Upload and set up the newest firmware.

Graphic: Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

On the other hand you seem for a new firmware update, check out to do this on a typical foundation, perhaps every few months or so. Also, some cyber criminals like to launch malware made to infect routers. Keep alert to any information about new malware specifically targeting routers. If you see one thing regarding in the information, verify your router or your vendor’s internet site to see if a new firmware version with a protection patch is available and then apply it as soon as you are in a position.