Should I Update Firmware on Router Reddit

Should I Update Firmware on Router Reddit

Should I Update Firmware on Router Reddit

Many people take the attitude that it doesn’t thing if their router is older because their phone, laptop, or other wireless gear isn’t cut border anyways. Even if y’all don’t take brand new tech toys yous still do good from upgrading a dated router.

Why Would I Want to Do This?

Routers are the oft-ignored work horses of the home network. Virtually people inappreciably pay any attention to them unless at that place is a large malfunction, and people may not consider upgrading them any more than they consider upgrading their washing machine.

Unfortunately, this leads to a situation where the important-but-ignored router ends up being a source of degraded net connectedness quality and a diminished user feel for everyone on your network. Upgrading to a electric current generation router is a inexpensive and effective way to improve your home network in every way: better Wi-Fi range, stronger signal, and better handling of demands modernistic users put on their network. The final thing you desire in the historic period of Netflix is a router design from the days when Netflix was synonymous with DVD rentals.

If you’re worried about the cost of upgrading, don’t exist. You don’t have to run out and
drop $300 on a flagship router
to brand a existent difference in Wi-Fi performance (but make no mistake those flagship routers are pretty awesome). There are plenty of mid-range routers sporting current generation engineering science that are light years alee of old routers.

Let’s take a wait atwhen
you want to consider upgrading and thenhow
you’ll do good from the upgrade.

When It’s Fourth dimension to Upgrade

Although at that place is no style for us to assess the situation of every reader and give them a tailored recommendation, you tin utilise these general guidelines to consider if an upgrade is the right motility for you.

First and foremost: are you lot experiencing frequent symptoms of an under-powered or overwhelmed router? If you can’t get a Wi-Fi signal everywhere in your abode (and have considered getting a Wi-Fi extender or a second router), that’s a skilful indicator you’re a good candidate for an upgrade. If you often have network-related congestion problems, like boring web page loading or stuttering video playback, that can’t be chalked up to a slow broadband connection and so it’s a practiced sign that your router isn’t upward to the job of serving anybody in your household.

Your time has come, WRT54G. Goodnight, sweet prince.

Second, was the router a freebie? If information technology was supplied by your Internet access provider (whether as a router/modem combo or a stand up-alone unit) at that place’southward a good adventure it’s not upward to snuff. ISPs aren’t in the business of handing out extremely loftier quality routers, and more often than not speaking most modem/router combination units are junk.

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What is 802.11ac, and Practise I Need It?

Even if you aren’t noticing problems, you should also consider the historic period of your router, too–both in terms of the actual age of your physical device and the historic period of the particular model. You might have bought the router 2 years agone, just if the model itself is from v or more years agone, there’s a expert chance that you lot’re playing with outdated router tech and could benefit profoundly from upgrading. If you’re yet using a unmarried radio/band Wireless-G router from 2010 or earlier, for example, you’re substantially using a bicycle when you lot could be using a spaceship.

Finally we want to emphasize: even if you aren’t quickly (or at all) adopting devices that can back up the newest Wi-Fi standards like
802.11ac, you lot can still benefit an upgrade every bit newer routers are optimized in ways that benefit older equipment too.

The Many Benefits of a Newer Router

We tin can’t hope y’all’ll reap every single benefit on this list from a router upgrade, but for anyone sporting an former or cheap Internet access provider-supplied router, yous tin can expect to reap many of them.

One thing we’d similar to highlight earlier diving into the listing is that many of these benefits apply to both wired and wireless connections. While Wi-Fi is what near people are interested in, thanks to the affluence of Wi-Fi devices in their homes, things similar improved quality of service rules and newer hardware give Ethernet connected devices a leg up merely like their Wi-Fi siblings.

Multiple Bands Subtract Congestion and Interference

Any router that supports newer standards volition be, by default, at least a dual-ring router. Older standards like 802.11b and 802.11g use the 2.4GHz ring. Newer standards like 802.11ac utilize the 5GHz band (and some premium routers include two 5GHz bands, a little network magic trick that relies on using ii distinct chunks of the 5GHz spectrum).

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At the bare minimum you’ll do good from having one band for your older gear and one band for your newer gear that can support 5GHz advice (even if yous don’t have any 5GHz stuff yet you’ll even so take a nice broad open space for it when y’all upgrade).

For power users, a combination of multiple bands plus multiple radios does wonders for network congestion and overall performance. What causes this network congestion anybody complains nigh? While you can contribute to it simply by having tons of Wi-Fi devices on your network there are also external factors at play. The 2.4GHZ band is chock total ofstuff. Non simply exercise many of the communication channels in the 2.4GHz spectrum used by routers
overlap each other, but the same chunk of the radio spectrum is used by many cordless phones, baby monitors, wireless security devices, and more. Decreasing the load on your 2.4GHz network and putting some of it on the 5GHz network goes along mode towards alleviating congestion bug.

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Multiple Radios Offer Better Coverage

Paired with multiple bands, multiple radios are the biggest performance booster around. Don’t confuse radios with bands: the radios are the physical bits within the router and its antennas that ship and receive information. The bands are the portion of the radio frequency they can do then on. Call up of each band like a totally separate highway and each radio like a lane on that highway: the more than lanes the amend.

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To use a contempo instance, Google’s
OnHub router
is a dual-band router (it uses 2.4GHz band and a unmarried 5Ghz band) just it has half dozen radios devoted to the ii.4GHz ring and 6 radios devoted to the 5Ghz band.

When you have multiple people in your household streaming Netflix, playing games, and browsing the web, an abundance of radios ensures that traffic is spread beyond the router hardware and nobody is experiencing dropped connections or lag.

Better Range Across Your House

Thank you to a combination of dual radio bands, multiple radios, and improved hardware, newer routers of take improve coverage. Wi-Fi has absolutely matured from it’s infancy in the 2000s, and modern Wi-Fi routers are better designed on all fronts for a humming household with dozens of Wi-Fi devices.

While a user in 2006 might have thought it was cool to sit on their couch without an Ethernet cord plugged into their laptop, the user of today wants to sit down on the couch, in a tree firm, on the edge of their property half an acre from their home office, and all the same go a stone solid Wi-Fi bespeak.

Router designs reflect that, and the mid-to-premium routers of today are designed to requite you a solid signal so you can check your email while yous’re at the end of your long driveway checking your real mail.

User-friendly Interfaces

Router interfaces used to be downrightawful. If yous weren’t  a really proficient geek or an outright network engineer, and then changing any settings was difficult (permit alone making sense of them). Thankfully, over the last few years the settings interface of routers from major companies similar D-Link, Netgear, and ASUS, has radically improved.

You may think y’all’ll never use it, but you’d be surprised. Instead of just plugging information technology in and going “Well, information technology works!” and and then never touching information technology again, you might actually discover yourself browsing through the menus and using the specialty features.

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Specialty Features

Speaking of those specialty features, newer routers typically come with a wide range of specialty features that were either outright missing from older models or were there just then arcane and difficult to access that nobody bothered.

On modern routers, it’s ordinarily pretty like shooting fish in a barrel to set upward Quality of Service rules (and then that certain devices and/or applications on your network get bandwidth preference to ensure shine operation), set up “bedtime” enforcement where certain devices can’t access the internet during homework or bedtime hours, enable guest networks for visitors, or even attach USB difficult drives for dead-simple Network Attached Storage to store file backups, family photos, or other personal files.

The laundry list of specialty features, on even a mid-range modern router, is packed with things that were practically unimaginable on a routers released years agone.

Updated Software

Every device eventually reaches what the manufacturer considers its end-of-life phase. At that point, the device is downgraded to either having only critical security updates or (in most cases) information technology just isn’t upgraded at all. Anyone who has looked for drivers for an old laptop, scanner, or other piece of aging hardware has certainly run into this problem.

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How to Use a Custom Firmware on Your Router and Why You Might Want To

Routers certainly aren’t allowed to it, either. As time goes on, not but is your router lacking in the hardware department, merely it might too be lacking in the software section as updates get fewer and further between. At best, that deprives you of new and useful features, and at worst information technology could exit your router vulnerable to security flaws and exploits.

As a terminal note on software:
If you’re inclined to flash custom firmware to your router
to gain additional features your all-time bet is to check out the newest hardware supported by the firmware project you’re interested in. Simply like manufacturers will retire hardware and phase out support for it, the custom firmware for older routers eventually reaches a stable end-of-life release; if you desire the new wiz-bang features you’ll demand the new wiz-bang hardware to become with it.


If your router is long in the tooth or the freebie your ISP tossed at y’all, there’due south no better time than the nowadays to upgrade and accept advantage of the new developments in router tech.

Paradigm courtesy of
Norlando Pobre,Webhamster.



Should I Update Firmware on Router Reddit

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