You can upgrade the firmware of your network equipment on your own. You don’t need any special training, you just need to be careful and follow a few simple rules. I’m here to give you some direction for upgrading your network devices. If you follow this advice you can save hundreds of dollars!

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What Network Equipment Firmware needs to be upgraded?

Short answer = everything. You will want to keep the firmware updated on your access points, network switches, firewalls, etc. All of these devices have firmware that will need to be kept up to date. I have a reminder set in my calendar for the 15th of each month, to remind me to upgrade the firmware of my devices.

Where Do You Find the Firmware?

You need to get the latest firmware for each of your devices FROM THE MANUFACTURER. Do not foolishly use firmware from some other website (often-times hacked firmware contains malicious software). Make sure you download the official firmware from the manufacturer. I suggest that you google the device manufacturer, model number, and the words “firmware update”. Then look for the result that includes the domain of your network hardware manufacturer.

Incrementally Upgrade the Network Equipment Firmware

Your network device firmware should be upgraded incrementally. You can’t generally move from a version that is titled 5.0.1 to version 6.2. Your device needs to go from 5.0.1 to 5.1 to 5.2 to 6.0 to 6.1 and then 6.2 (just a made up example). You can often find out the specifics by googling your device manufacturer, model number and then “upgrade path”. Hopefully that search will produce a document that shows the required incremental upgrades to your hardware.

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If the Network Equipment Firmware ain’t broke don’t fix it

It is possible to take the approach of the old adage, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” However, you might be faced with a situation where you want to install a new device to your network, and it isn’t compatible because your firmware is so out of date. For this reason, I suggest you do monthly checks for new network equipment firmware updates. The other reason to keep your firmware up to date is that newer firmware can often patch security issues. It’s actually scary how many home devices have terrible security. Enterprise grade network solutions are not immune to security issues either, but with the latest firmware you can lessen the odds of a security breach.

Conclusion

You need to keep your network device firmware up to date. You need to set a reminder for each month so that you don’t forget to check for updates. It will certainly take a little bit of extra time, but it may end up saving you tons of money and time because you prevented hacking. Also, doing things yourself can save you literally hundreds of dollars per month!!

If you enjoyed this post, then I suggest you check out my podcast! You might also like my post about When to Use Static IP Addresses.

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