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How To Check and Change Your Router's Firmware (Updated)

Devor
Luminary

How To Check and Change Your Router's Firmware (Updated)


Introduction


The purpose of this guide is to step you through the process of changing the firmware inside your router. If you are unsure what firmware means, basically it's software embedded inside a programmable memory chip. This software includes security and network protocols, as well as providing many other router functions. Firmware releases allow Netgear to change functionality and improve stability, to routers that are already sold.

It's worth noting that higher firmware version numbers do not always mean better firmware. However, as of this date, the general consensus indicates that the latest firmware releases are recommended. Older firmware links are included below for completeness. In addition, it's not safe to use Chrome or Safari. IE works, some versions might be slow. I use Firefox without issue.

Keep in mind, the idea is to have as trouble-free of a firmware change as possible. It's shouldn't be about how fast can you get this done, as it's not a race. You should read this post in it's entirety before attempting to make any changes to your router. As always, YMMV. 🙂


Step One


Because there are four nearly identical models, you will first need to determine which router you own. If you already have the router connected, the easiest way to do this is to log into the router with your Web browser and type into the address field one of the following:


After you press the ENTER key, an authentication box will appear. If you have changed the router's Username and Password, enter those. Otherwise, the default Username is "admin" and the default Password is "password". Whenever you are typing these in remember they're case sensitive and the quotes are not needed.

Once logged into the router, look on the left side under the "Maintenance" section for "Router Status" and click it to go to that page. Near the top you will find the "Hardware Version". Knowing which version of the hardware you own is important so that you pick the correct firmware later.

You own a v1 router if your "Hardware Version" reads one of the following:
    _____
    WNDR3700v1 (v1.0.7.98NA) - Router uptime (d:h:m:s): 1155:02:31:46 - How To Check and Change Your Router's Firmware: http://forum1.netgear.com/showthread.php?t=63234
    Message 1 of 10
    grandpa21
    Aspirant

    Re: How To Check and Change Your Router's Firmware (Updated)

    The directions here seem to stop part way through. Perhaps I just don't understand how to get the rest?

    Message 2 of 10
    antinode
    Guru

    Re: How To Check and Change Your Router's Firmware (Updated)

    > The directions here seem to stop part way through. Perhaps I just
    > don't understand how to get the rest?

       Looks like a forum problem with this (very old) posting.

       Do you have some actual problem which you are trying to solve?

    Message 3 of 10
    don544
    Aspirant

    Re: How To Check and Change Your Router's Firmware (Updated)

    Yes we are attempting to find out the version and the original post stops before fully explaing the method of doing so

    Message 4 of 10
    antinode
    Guru

    Re: How To Check and Change Your Router's Firmware (Updated)

    > Yes we are attempting to find out the version and the original post
    > stops before fully explaing the method of doing so

       Have you tried accessing your router's own web site?  That normally
    displays the firmware version prominently.

       Visit http://netgear.com/support , put in your model number, and look
    for Documentation.  Get the User Manual.  Read.

       General advice: You'd probably do better by starting your own thread,
    in some appropriate forum, with actual information about your equipment,
    than you will by tacking a vague query onto this very old, corrupt
    thread.

    Message 5 of 10
    jwh7
    Aspirant

    Original post before the forum moved

    Archive.org has the original forum post here.

     
    Message 6 of 10
    antinode
    Guru

    Re: Original post before the forum moved

    > Archive.org has the original forum post here.

       Thanks for the link.

       It's very old, and peppered with unhelpful advice.  For example:

          As a added precaution, I like to make sure that the firmware I
          downloaded is intact. The easiest way to do this is to download
          the firmware a second time. I then use HashTab (free) to compare
          the two files. You can get HashTab HERE.

       Nowadays, Netgear seems to distribute its firmware in zip archives
    (which include the chronically under-informative "Release Notes").  If
    you successsfully extract anything from a zip archive (with its built-in
    CRC-32 checking), then you can be pretty sure that doing everything a
    second time will only waste time and effort.  And you don't need to
    install any (obsolete) software to do it.

       The specific links to old firmware kits for old routers are good for
    very little, too.

       On the whole, I'd skip it.

    Message 7 of 10
    jwh7
    Aspirant

    h/w ID

    I should mention the reason I looked it up; I was updating the WNDR3700 OpenWRT wiki which references that old link, and redirects to the new (truncated) one.  The reference regards v1 and v2 hardware ID, that v2 may not be explicitly indicated, and the link was to help in that endeavor.  Thus, I wanted to see the rest of section 2, and the firmware versioning scheme.  Anyway, I agree it's not very helpful; I will remove the OpenWRT wiki link.

     
    Message 8 of 10
    antinode
    Guru

    Re: h/w ID

    > [...] The reference regards v1 and v2 hardware ID, that v2 may not be
    > explicitly indicated, [...]

       "v1" (not "v2") may be implicit?

    Message 9 of 10
    jwh7
    Aspirant

    Re: h/w ID


    @antinodewrote:

    > [...] The reference regards v1 and v2 hardware ID, that v2 may not be
    > explicitly indicated, [...]
       "v1" (not "v2") may be implicit?


    The 3700v1 is yes, it only shows 'WNDR3700'.  However, the OpenWRT wiki had indicated the 3700v2 might also have no v- indication, like the v1.  I did see one on ebay which was indeed marked 'v2' this may not matter.  A co-worker has what he thinks is a v1, which is how I got into this rabbit hole.  🙂

     
    Message 10 of 10
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