Cyber Security News


How (And Why) To Back Up Your Home Router

The internet has become an integral part of our daily lives, and we rely on technology more than ever. Our homes are filled with smart devices that connect to the internet through a router. While routers provide a gateway for our devices to access the internet, they are also vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

One of the most common reasons for router vulnerabilities is not updating the firmware on the device. In this article, we will discuss the inherent risks of not updating the firmware on your home router and provide a step-by-step guide on how to update it.

We will also explain how to back up your router settings and why it is essential.

What is Firmware?

Firmware is the software embedded in your router's hardware that controls the device's functionality.

The firmware controls all the router's processes, including network security, performance, and other features. Like any other software, firmware requires regular updates to fix bugs and security vulnerabilities.

Risks of not Updating Firmware

Not updating your router's firmware can expose your home network to several security vulnerabilities. Here are some of the risks:

  1. Security Vulnerabilities - Routers are susceptible to various security attacks, such as malware, phishing, and hacking. Hackers can take control of your router and gain access to your personal data or steal your identity.
  2. Poor Performance - Old firmware may result in poor router performance, which could lead to slow internet speeds or connection drops.
  3. Compatibility Issues - Outdated firmware may not be compatible with new devices or technologies, which could cause connectivity issues.

Steps to Update Router Firmware

Updating your router's firmware may seem intimidating, but it is relatively simple. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Check for Firmware Updates - First, check if there are any firmware updates available for your router. Most routers have a web-based interface that allows you to check for firmware updates. To access the interface, you need to know your router's IP address.
  2. Find Your Router's IP Address - To find your router's IP address, open the Command Prompt on your computer and type "ipconfig" and press enter. The IP address of your router will be listed as the "Default Gateway" under the section for the network adapter that is connected to your router.
  3. Download the Latest Firmware - Once you have your router's IP address, enter it into your web browser's address bar. This will take you to the router's web-based interface. Find the firmware update section and download the latest firmware for your router model.
  4. Backup Router Settings - Before updating the firmware, it is crucial to back up your router's settings. This is essential in case something goes wrong during the update process. To back up your router's settings, go to the administration section of the router's web-based interface and find the backup settings option. Follow the instructions to save the settings to your computer.
  5. Update Firmware - Follow the manufacturer's instructions to update the firmware. Usually, you will need to upload the firmware file to your router and then wait for the update to complete.
  6. Restore Router Settings - After the firmware update is complete, restore your router's settings using the backup you created earlier.

Why Backup Router Settings?

Backing up your router's settings is crucial because it allows you to restore your router's configuration to its previous state in case of a firmware update failure or any other issue. Without a backup, you may need to reconfigure your router manually, which can be time-consuming and may result in mistakes.

Conclusion

Updating your router's firmware is crucial for the security of your home network. Outdated firmware can leave your network vulnerable to cyber-attacks and poor performance. Therefore, it's essential to check for firmware updates regularly and update the firmware as soon as possible.

If you need help, you can always try searching for "how to update router XX" on YouTube.

However, if you're not confident or have any doubts, it's best to contact your network security solutions company (such as IT Basecamp) or local IT provider for assistance.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your router's firmware is up to date, and your home network is secure.