It’s hard to believe that a standard supported by some of the largest corporations in the world and backed up by hundreds of compatible products can be incomplete. Yet that’s the situation with the latest iteration of the wireless protocol, 802.11n.
The n protocol, often described as ‘draft-n’, isn’t yet set in stone. The good news, however, is that 85 percent of the IEEE 802.11n Task Group’s members approve of the protocol as it stands.
Nevertheless, any changes to the final standard will likely require some tweaks to your router's basic firmware. Follow our simple, four-step walkthrough to upgrade your router's firmware and maximise its performance.
1. Because 802.11n has yet to be ratified, it’s likely that any changes to the protocol will result in changes to your router’s firmware. You should regularly check the manufacturer’s website for updates. Before doing this, click Router Status and jot down the current version.
2. In our example, we’re using netgear.com. Click Support, Downloads. Now click the drop-down menu and choose Select A Product. Find and select your router. Available updates should be listed here. If the most recent firmware upgrade is newer than your router’s current version, you should download it.
3. Click a firmware update and follow the instructions to download it. Head back to the Router Manager main screen and click Router Upgrade. Click Browse to find the downloaded file, then Upload to send the software to the router. Wait for your router to restart before continuing to the next step.
4. When the Ready light stops blinking, wait a few seconds. Click Router Status and verify that the new firmware has been installed. For major upgrades you may need to reconfigure your router after upgrading. Refer to the release notes on the installation CD if you need to reconfigure the router.