Monday, 28 March 2011

Netgear G834GT Firmware Upgrade

So Virgin Media's broadband seems unreliable, insofar as it drops the connection a couple of times a day, sometimes more. Is it them, or is it me?

I'm using my G834GT Router, rather than the GT384G that Virgin sent me, as mine has a Hawking aerial that I can't plug into theirs. I'm thinking it's time to upgrade the firmware as the GT is still on version 1.-something...

A quick visit to Netgear's website with the product search reveals the latest as: G834GT Firmware Version 1.03.23.

Checking the release notes hints at amendments to firmware for dealing with traffic across certain tyeps of connection, so it looked like it's worth a go.

Conveniently, you get a clear set of upgrade instructions, beginning with the download of the firmware image file (3.28Mb).

Using a browser, login to the router (the default router URL's are generally http://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.1.1). Again, default user name is admin, and the default password is password. If you haven't changed your password already, do this first!

BEFORE you move on, take some screenshots or print-to-pdf the router settings in case the upgrade fails. Also use the Built-in back-up facility to create a back-up .cfg file containing all your settings. This will capture all the configuration information that you changed from the defaults.

The Upgrade
  1. Under Maintenance, click Router Upgrade
  2. Click Browse and locate the firmware image file which you just downloaded
  3. Click Upload
  4. Wait for the upgrade progress bar to complete and final prompt to appear.
In the event of problems after upgrading, you can clear the configuration by pressing the Factory Defaults pushbutton on the rear panel for at least 10 seconds until the Test LED blinks. You can then re-enter your configuration information manually. Interestingly, there is no reset button on the 834G.

So Far So Good
In the first week, I've had fewer dropped connections. Only time will tell if this is a long-term improvement, but for a quick and simple process, a firmware upgrade is always worth considering before you junk your existing equipment. RC

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