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What is a Firmware?

A Firmware is the Operating system of the device. It is basically the software that is used by hardware which gives commands to interact with the other devices in the system so that you can perform tasks on the hardware. The complex operations that are carried out in our day to day lives on the hardware that have become such a prominent thing in our lives, are all run by some sort of Firmware. A Firmware is required for every device. For example, the computer that you're reading this on contains a lot of different Firmwares present at the same time. Even the mouse that you're using to scroll contains a Firmware. The Firmware is what turns a single click from your mouse into readable electrical signals and then converting it into something that your computer can understand and that is how the operation of a single click of your mouse is carried out.

What is your Router’s Firmware?

The software that is embedded inside your router is called the router’s firmware. This is the software that is responsible for carrying out all the operations that are needed for your router and all its hardware to function. All the security and administrative commands that are carried out are accessed through the firmware by the user.

The firmware is the most important software in the router. It is a type of a non volatile memory which possesses the capability to hold the saved data even if by any chance the power goes out all of a sudden.

Why do you need a Firmware upgrade?

It’s mostly in your best interest to always keep your router’s firmware updated. The older firmware will still function but it is advised that the firmware is upgraded from time to time. There are already a lot of features in your existing firmware but there are new features and enhancements are being made almost every day by the manufacturers to make sure that their customers are fully satisfied and for the betterment of the experience by the people who have bought their product. The newer firmware will help you eliminate the previous bugs that might have been in your router’s firmware and provide better security. There is a lot of traffic which goes through your router; it may be your sensitive information such as your banking information, so it’s advised to keep your router’s firmware updated and help your router’s manufacturer help you keep your entire sensitive information safe and to keep everything in order and working perfectly without causing any troubles.

In a nutshell, Firmware upgrades improve the functionality of the routers and enhancing the experience. It can be acquired without any cost and is a very hassle free job. It is definitely recommended to upgrade your firmware so that the user can get the most out of a onetime purchase of their router.

How do I update my Netgear Router’s Firmware?

Updating the Netgear Router Firmware is a fairly simple task. Most of the Operating systems will prompt you to update your firmware as soon as they come out or if you register your device to the manufacturer, they will notify you when the update is out. Keep this in mind that the firmware upgrades that should be trusted should have to come directly from your manufacturer and not from any third party sources as it can lead to the entry of viruses in your firmware and might lead to reduced performance. 

Netgear releases the updates for their routers regularly in order to provide a smooth experience.

Now there are a few ways through which a firmware can be upgraded. It can be done through the Netgear Genie Smart Wizard software or app or it can be done manually by going directly to the  website and performing the simple set of steps to install your firmware update after it has been downloaded. But it is recommended that you keep your Netgear router model number with you and the username and password. The default username is “admin” and the default password is “password”. In case you have changed your password, then you have to type that in when prompted. In case you have forgotten your password, then you will need to perform a factory reset on your router by pressing the reset button on the back of the router with a safety pin or something similar and holding it for about 30 seconds and the releasing it. When the power light turns green (white in the newer models), then the reset is complete and now you can begin updating your Netgear Router’s Firmware.

Updating the Netgear Router’s Firmware through the Netgear Genie Smart Wizard software:

Here we will guide you through all the steps required to install the latest firmware upgrade for your Netgear router through their Genie software.

1.   Open the Netgear Genie software. Click on “Router Settings” which will be on the left hand side. You can also directly click on the “Click here” option under the Router Settings thumbnail.

2.   The Router Settings page will appear and it will prompt you to type in your username and password. The default username is “admin” and the default password is “password”.
If you have a personalized password, then type that when prompted. The username and password are case sensitive. If the default password is not working, and you’ve forgotten your personalized password, then a factory reset is required to restore the router to its default settings.

3.   Once you’ve logged in with your username and password, you will be redirected to the Wireless Settings page. There will be two arrows pointed in the opposite direction at the top right corner. Click on arrow pointed towards the right to see the Router Update tab.

4.   Once you’ve opened the Router Update tab, click on the Next button to check if your router has an update pending.
If you're router is already up to date, then a message will be displayed that you're router already has the latest firmware.


5.   If there is an update available, the Netgear Genie will notify you all the details about the update. Click Next.

6.   Now the Netgear Genie will run a firmware check and once it is completed, it will provide instructions how to manually update the firmware. It will automatically lead you to the router login page. Log in to the page using either the username and your personalized password or the username and the default password.

7.   After you’ve logged in to the Router Settings page, a flash message will display at the top of the page which will say “A Router Firmware is available”. Click it.

8.   Now the router will try to connect to the Netgear servers and in a short while, it will display all the details of the new firmware. Click Yes.

9.   The Router will now download the new firmware and it will install the new firmware once the downloading process has been finished.
Once the process is finished, the router will reboot itself. After the router is finished rebooting, it will be updated and ready to use.

Updating your Netgear Router’s Firmware manually:

The Netgear Routers Firmware upgrades are released regularly. Usually, you will be notified when an update comes out for your router. But in any case if it fails to notify you, then you can manually download and install the latest firmware. Here are the step by step instructions:

1.   Open the NETGEAR Download Center and download the latest firmware for your router.

2.   Open up any web browser. It is preferred that the router and the computer are connected via an Ethernet cable.

3.   Type in the address bar. It will take you to the login page. 

4.   Enter the router login and password. The username and password are case sensitive.
The default username is “admin” and the default password is “password”. If by any chance you’ve lost your personalized password and cannot recall, then a factory reset is required to reset your router to its default settings.

5.   Click on ADVANCED. Then click on Administration.

6.   You will see a Router Update or Firmware Update option. Click it.
The option might vary for different routers.

7.   Click on Choose File.

8.   Locate the firmware that you initially downloaded and upload it. The router will start to install the latest firmware.

Do not interrupt this process as it may render your router useless. Once the router has finished updating the latest firmware, it will automatically reboot itself.   

Updating your Netgear Router’s Firmware using the check button in the interface:

A message will display on the top of the router pages if an update is available. To update the firmware, you can either click on that message or you can check to see if an update is available and install it yourself. Here are some steps to check and install the router’s new firmware update:

1.   Open any web browser on a computer. It is recommended that the computer is connected to the router through an Ethernet cable.

2.   Enter in the address bar.

3.   A window will open and it will prompt you to put in the username and password.
The default username is “admin” and the default password is “password”.

4.   Click on ADVANCED. Then, click on Administration.

5.   Check for Firmware Update or Router Update.
This may vary with different router models.

Click “Check”. The router will proceed to look for the latest firmware. If there is any update available, the router will ask you to download and install it.
Click “Yes”.
The router will then proceed to install the latest firmware and update your router. It is recommended that the process is not interrupted as it may harm the router and might render it useless.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) answered:

1.   Why do I always need to update my Netgear Router’s Firmware?

Keeping your Netgear Router’s firmware updated will help in increasing the security and performance of the product. The up-to-date firmware will eliminate previous bugs and correct issues within the router and may also add new and improved features.

2.   How do I know if my router’s update is due?
The Netgear Smart Wizard will notify you if your router firmware is out of date.

3.   What will happen if the power goes out during the firmware update?
If that happens, it may cause your router to stop functioning properly.

4.   Can I install custom firmware on y Netgear Router?
Yes, you can in some newer models.

5.   What will happen if I do not update my router’s firmware?
Your router may become slow or it may cause some issues or security concerns.

6.   If I lose my password, is there any way I can recover it?
No. You can reset your router and go on to put in a new password.

7.   How long does it usually take for a firmware update?
It only takes a couple of minutes.

8.   What is the Netgear Genie app?
It is an application that be used to configure the router, monitor its performance or used to repair networks.

9.   Where do I find the Parental Control function?
It is in the Netgear Genie Smart App.

10 Can I update my firmware manually?
     Yes, you can.