Update firmware

Want to upgrade your computer for free? Here’s how.
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  • Updated:3 Jan 2006

03.Update your broadband modem

Broadband modem firmware updates often take advantage of new security protocols or faster speeds.

As with DVD burners, each product’s different, and there’s a lot of variation in how a firmware upgrade is accomplished. We can provide a general idea of what tasks are involved, but you should always check with your modem’s manufacturer before proceeding. Instructions that work for one model won’t always work for another so get specific help for your product.

  • Configurations and settings may be lost during the update. Write them down before you start.
  • The current firmware revision is usually listed within the web interface for your modem. Status or utilities pages are the most likely spots to find this information — look for the ‘software version’ or ‘firmware revision’.
  • Download the firmware upgrade from the manufacturer’s website. Most modems are updated from within the web interface — log in through a standard address (such as and check the settings for an option to update firmware. If you’re not sure where to find it, check the user manual. When you run the firmware update, you’ll usually need to locate and select the file you downloaded to begin the update process. It’s important that you don’t touch your modem, cable or computer while the upgrade occurs.
  • Depending on the manufacturer and model, you may have to restart the modem or reset it to factory defaults once the upgrade is complete.

Wireless modem/routers must generally connect directly to a computer for firmware upgrades and you may need to assign your computer a specific network address before upgrading.

Firmware upgrades frequently change the web interface — you may find that options and settings have moved around within the layout. Most manufacturers release a new manual to go with each firmware upgrade to cover such changes.


Web interface: Browser-based access to settings and preferences, usually located by typing in a standard web address.


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