PC Peripherals Router firmware updating


Emil

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I have a TP-Link WR740N, which I have been using for several years. I just realized that it is running a rather old firmware from 2013. The maker's website shows there are 3 updates since then. They are from 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Do I have to install each update in sequence or do I just install the latest firmware? The manufacturer's documentation is not clear on this.
What would happen if my power fails during update?
My ISP gives me a 20 Mbps connection which actually gives me a pretty stable and symmetrical 15 Mbps download and upload speed. Does it make sense to upgrade to a newer router? The Wifi signal is pretty weak at the opposite corner of my flat, on my balcony.
 

seshu

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you should be able to update to the latest version directly.

power failure during FW update can corrupt router & it might stop working.

firmware update might not improve wifi performance !
 

Emil

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you should be able to update to the latest version directly.

power failure during FW update can corrupt router & it might stop working.

firmware update might not improve wifi performance !
Thanks for your response.
One of the 3 updates has the comment, "Improved wireless performance and fix some minor problem." but my main reason for updating is because they have fixed some security issues.
Sorry for the confusion. The last part of my post was basically asking if a newer router would have better WiFi coverage.
Post automatically merged:

One more question on this subject, what will happen to all my settings when I update the firmware? Will everything be like factory reset?
 
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seshu

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- just my opinion -

obviously,
if FW update improves performance then there would be no need to buy a new one.

currently there are no attractive offers on almost all peripherals.
why purchase at near MRP unless getting new device is a must ..
 

Party Monger

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If your router is that old, check what version it is. These routers are compatible with ddwrt, especially the old ones. I have one bought in 2018. Flashed to ddwrt. You ahve to check the hardware version, see if compatible, find the latest ddwrt available for that hw version. DDwrt is much better than general software, but flashing and setup takes some skill.

Hw version etc is generally on the box or printed behind the router.
 

Emil

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My router versions are:
Firmware Version:3.16.3 Build 130104 Rel.55864n
Hardware Version:WR740N v4.24

I will not try anything risky during the lockdown. I cannot afford the router to break as I am dependent on it to work from home.

What benefits will flashing 3rd party firmware give me?
 
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huskyhunter

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My router versions are:
Firmware Version:3.16.3 Build 130104 Rel.55864n
Hardware Version:WR740N v4 00000000

I will not try anything risky during the lockdown. I cannot afford the router to break as I am dependent on it to work from home.

What benefits will flashing 3rd party firmware give me?

I would suggest using openWrt but its not user friendly and that way you have more control over it
 

Party Monger

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OpenWrt is a good one as well
Yes any of the open source firmwares will be much better.
Post automatically merged:

My router versions are:
Firmware Version:3.16.3 Build 130104 Rel.55864n
Hardware Version:WR740N v4 00000000

I will not try anything risky during the lockdown. I cannot afford the router to break as I am dependent on it to work from home.

What benefits will flashing 3rd party firmware give me?
Then dont flash anything till its over.
These firmwares are not dependent on the manufacturer to provide updates or features. They unlock a bigger and better set of features generally if its 100% compatible. Also more reliable. Like I have mine as a wifi client on my main router's wifi and I can use its wifi or lan ports to access the internet like an extender. I get wifi + 4 lan ports.
 

Emil

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Thanks for your responses. I will look at OpenWRT after the lockdown is lifted.
What will happen to all my settings when I update the firmware? Will everything be like factory reset or does everything need to be reconfigured?
 

huskyhunter

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Thanks for your responses. I will look at OpenWRT after the lockdown is lifted.
What will happen to all my settings when I update the firmware? Will everything be like factory reset or does everything need to be reconfigured?
Most likely you would have to reconfigure everything, It will be more like flashing a new firmware, similar to flashing a new rom on an android device
 

Emil

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I took a look at the OpenWRT hardware support list. My router hardware version is v4.24 and for some reason, the list has v4.20, 21 -- v4.28 but v4.23 and v4.24 are missing. Any idea why?
Does it mean there is no compatible version for my router?
I look at the warning that 4MB/32MB is not enough to support the current firmware. It appears that this may make my router unreliable. Comments?
 

huskyhunter

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I took a look at the OpenWRT hardware support list. My router hardware version is v4.24 and for some reason, the list has v4.20, 21 -- v4.28 but v4.23 and v4.24 are missing. Any idea why?
Does it mean there is no compatible version for my router?
I look at the warning that 4MB/32MB is not enough to support the current firmware. It appears that this may make my router unreliable. Comments?
I have looked at the table, your device version is listed there v4.23, 4.24. that means if you flash it on v4.23 or 4.24 it should work. As for the memory and flash size you wont be getting any updates above 18.06 cause the flash rom and memory is not enough, tho if you really want to try the latest version you can flash a snapshot version of it if its available(Not Recommended, it may make the router unstable), if not you can build it from source and flash it, by building from source you would have to remove some features to make the image small enough to flash it. If you do plan to buy a new router make sure it has at least 64MB ram and 8MB flash size and its supported by OpenWrt tho i would recommend 16MB flash and 128MB ram, TP-link is the best when it comes to OpenWrt support(But thats just my opinion)
 

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Emil

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thanks @huskyhunter and @k_m_Arya
I did not find v4.23 and v4.24 at first because it showed up much lower in the list for me.
I will look into this once the lockdown is lifted. I cannot afford to screw up the router while I am working from home and cannot buy a replacement urgently.