How to Update Firmware on an ASUS Router

Your wireless router is your first and sometimes might be the last line of defense between you and all malicious content on the web. Malware, Viruses, command and control, botnets, DDOS, hackers, Trojans, etc, all of these are pounding at your digital door on daily basis. And many times, it is the fact that your router knows and understands better in an easy way than to let them in that prevent them from taking over every device connected to your home network. Most of the times, every router does a fantastic job in protecting you from all the evildoers on the internet. But hackers and intruders of the world are always find new vulnerabilities, and the only way to prevent is to know, how to update the firmware on an ASUS Router.

How to Update the Firmware on an ASUS Router
What to do when ASUS Router Firmware Not Updating?

Press and hold the Reset button for approximately to 5 seconds, and then reconnect the wireless router to the power source while still holding the Reset button 5. Enter [Firmware Restoration], and click [Browse] to choose the firmware you want to upload then click [Upload] and wait for around 60 seconds.

In this mentioned case, your router, think of it as the operating system for your router. Just like how Windows gets regular updates, your router needs to be updated with the latest security patches and fixes in order to make sure it performs well and error free. When the manufacturer finds out about the security vulnerability, they will often fix it as part of a firmware patch. Firmware updates also tend to fix bugs, technical errors (if any) and improve the overall performance and at times, even add new features. So in that way, it is a really good idea to install them.

Recently I bought up a new wireless router, the ASUS RT-AC3200. Keeping in mind with this, the steps below will be taken from it.

Before you begin: Note which you need to remember, in rare cases, updating your firmware or failing to do so can brick your router. Sometimes, it’s just a case of the settings being wiped out and you just need to reset it, leave it unplugged for about 15 to 20 minutes, and then connect via an Ethernet cable and set it up all over again. Other times, it is a seriously toast, and you need to use the firmware’s’ recovery utility and try to downgrade it. In any case, it makes sense to have a backup router handy with you. Hopefully, you have not thrown out all your old routers, but before you begin, it’s a good idea to make sure they work.

Connect to your router with a wired or wireless connection. Open your web browser and go to http://router.asus.com. If that doesn’t work, try to type in your router’s IP address and it is usually http://192.168.1.1).

ASUS AC3200 wifi router

 

By proceeding with logging into your router using your administrator credentials. And if these are not the same credentials you use to connect to the internet via your wireless network, then find out the username and password that you used when you had initially set up your router. If you have forgotten your credentials, try the default credentials.

  • Username: admin
  • Password: OMGWhyHaven’tYouChangedYourDefaultPassword????

Jokes apart the default password is “admin.” But seriously, you should change it like right now if you haven’t yet. Go to Advanced Settings then Administration then System and put in your new password and username.

Firmware Upgrade

Anyway, after you have changed your ASUS router login password, look at the top of the screen for the Firmware Version. If it is out of date, then you will see a flashing yellow exclamation point in the top-right. Go to the firmware update screen by clicking the firmware version or else go to Advanced Settings then Administration then Firmware Upgrade.

ASUS router firmware not updating

The Firmware Upgrade screen will tell you if there is a new firmware available or not and will give you the change log, too. And also you need to keep an eye out for the “Security Updates” section. These are the important ones. To install the firmware, click Firmware Upgrade.

New Firmware Available

Your router will install the firmware update and reboot, so warn your wife if she is watching Amazon Prime at that exact moment.

If your ASUS router firmware is not updating and not detecting the firmware update already and you know one’s out there (e.g. you downloaded it from the ASUS website), you can always check for a newer version by clicking Check, or you can manually upload a firmware file you downloaded from ASUS. Just make sure the firmware you are uploading is legit and valid from the actual ASUS support site.

Firmware Upgrade

By any chance if a ASUS router firmware not updating and fails for any reason (power goes out during an upgrade, firmware file was corrupted, etc.), some models (like the RT-AC3200) will go to an emergency mode. When this happens, you can always use the Firmware Restoration utility on CD to make a system recovery. I will write a tutorial on that in a later post.

Also, make a note that there is a signature version that can be checked on the Firmware Update page. This is related to the AiProtection from Trendnet. To date, there is not really a way to update the signature version or a need to.

Earlier, I honestly did not know exactly what that signature was for, and the ASUS documentation does not mention it. I reached out and had a word with ASUS tech support expertise and he said this:

Please be informed that the signature version of the firmware is to enable the security measures on the router such as Aiprotection utilities. You can always keep an eye and check the updates for your router signature ID from the firmware downloaded page.

This is different from what I thought it was. I thought it had been something to do with ensuring that you are installing a genuine ASUS Firmware. That is, something that would prevent you from installing third-party or open source router firmware, like Tomato or DD-WRT
For the release note for the Version of 3.0.0.4.380.3479, it says this:

ASUS has been dedicatedly to cooperate with third-party developers to come up with more and new innovative features. To comply with regulatory amendments, we have modified firmware verification rule to give you ensure more better firmware quality. This version is not compatible with all the previously released ASUS firmware’s along with uncertified third-party firmware.

This perhaps has nothing to do with the signature, or at least not in the way I thought it did.
I will provide updates if I get more hard information on ASUS signature versions.
Anyway, that is how you update your firmware on an ASUS router

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